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What if AI could heat your pool?

March 15, 2023.

Swimming pool.

© iStock.

AI-related news are coming out so fast, we’re going to need AI tools to peel through them all… Small data centers could present a more environmentally sound way to heat municipal pools. How? The energy used by computers is released as heat which dissipates without doing anything for anyone, contributing to data centers’ poor reputation as gluttons for energy and water, used for cooling. At a time when heating costs in Europe are soaring, why don’t you use the excess heat produced by data centers to heat something useful? That’s what Deep Green asked, before installing a data center the size of a washing machine under a pool in Devon County in England. Seven other set-ups of this kind are being installed across the UK. In this system designed by Deep Green, servers are immersed in mineral oil, which evacuates the heat toward the pool, heating its water up to 30 degrees Celsius most of the time.

The company is paying for equipment costs, installation, upkeep, and electricity use. In exchange, it earns income from clients who pay to use the servers’ computing power for machine learning and AI, reports the BBC. Diverting waste heat to a swimming pool saves the tech company money that it would otherwise have to spend on more expensive cooling systems.

Deep Green’s computers suspended above mineral oil.

© Deep Green.

The Verge, Justine Calma, “How data centers at public pools can keep swimmers warm.”