Google could make a splash with water-based datacenters

Search giant has filed patent for floating datacenters powered by wave energy, cooled by the sea

Why settle for free cooling thanks to air-side economization when you can get free power and cooling from the sea -- not to mention a nice tax break? That appears to the logic behind Google's patented "water-based datacenter" design.

As reported this week by Rich Miller at Data Center Knowledge, Google filed a patent back in 2007 for a floating datacenter that "would be located 3 to 7 miles from shore, in 50 to 70 meters of water," Miller writes. "If perfected, this approach could be used to build 40MW datacenters that don’t require real estate or property taxes."

The design, Miller writes, "incorporates the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter units, which use the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity and can be combined to form "wave farms." Google's patent envisions combining 40 or more Pelamis units to crank out 40MW of power.

The free cooling would come from "sea-powered pumps and seawater-to-freshwater heat exchangers."

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