Thursday, 11 September 2008

Google all at Sea

I couldn't resist the headline, but if anything it's just the reverse.

You may recall a blog back in January about a US start-up company with plans to launch a fleet of ship-based data centres. A total of 50 were planned, with half based around the US coast and the rest in ports around the world. Power from on-shore was to be supplemented by the ships’ own bio-diesel run generators with sea water used to cool the air-conditioning units and waste heat used to warm the ships’ accommodation.

I haven't heard any more about the plan, but Google has seen the potential and had a patent approved in the US around the means to power floating data centres.

According to the patent the objective is to provide data centre and telecommunications facilities quickly and flexibly, given the problems of getting access to power, data connections and cooling water, but it also has big implications in environmental and energy savings.

The idea is to provide data centres on moored ships. Energy is captured from the wave or tidal motion of the water to create power for the equipment and cooling pumps. There are a variety of options as to how the power will be generated and used, including the possibility of the data centres being on shore and receiving power or cooling water from floating systems.

I've attached a couple of the diagrams that are lodged with the patent, but if you're interested go and have a look at the patent application.

© The Green IT Review

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