The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is considering a patent application by Google Inc. that proposes floating computer data centers to be powered by electricity generated by ocean waves, tides, and currents.
Google employees Jimmy Clidaras, David Stiver, and William Hamburgen submitted the patent application for the system, which they said would feature a floating platform-mounted computer data center and multiple computers, a sea-based electrical generator connected to the computers, and one or more sea-water cooling units to cool the computing units.
Electricity generated by the system would power computers in data centers operated by Google, a giant Internet search engine operator. Water would be circulated through a heat exchanger to produce cooling for the equipment.
The application proposed several options for various types of ocean energy generation as well as a wind energy option. When discussing ocean energy options, the application mentions by name Pelamis wave energy devices developed by Scotland-based Pelamis Wave Power. (HNN 6/16/08)
The inventors said the system would make it possible to distribute computing power by moving data centers closer to users. The system also would eliminate or reduce expensive routers and costs for cross-country fibers, and more evenly balance and confine network activity to a particular area.
Data centers also could be placed on shore, and receive power and cooling water from floating systems.