Ashlee Vance recently wrote in the NY Times Bits blog:
The search and advertising company has filed for a patent that describes a “water-based data center.” The idea is that Google would create mobile data center platforms out at sea by stacking containers filled with servers, storage systems and networking gear on barges or other platforms.
This would let Google push computing centers closer to people in some regions where it’s not feasible, cost-effective or as efficient to build a data center on land. In short, Google brings the data closer to you, and then the data arrives at a quicker clip.
Perhaps even more intriguing to some, Google has theorized about powering these ocean data centers with energy gained just from water splashing against the side of the barges.
The great BLDGBLOG had an excerpt from the patent application:
In general, computing centers are located on a ship or ships, which are then anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away from computers in the data center.
Pelamis Wave Power Ltd is an industry leader in wave energy and here’s how their generator/converter works:
Google makes waves and may have solved the data center conundrum – ZD Net – September 8, 2008
Google files patent for wave-powered floating data center – CNET News – September 8, 2008
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