The patent application envisages huge floating data centres situated off the coast of major population centres that are powered using renewable wave power. The cold sea water could also be used to cool the hardware.
"Computing centres are located on a ship or ships, 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," it reads.
Powering and cooling data centres is becoming an increasing problem and the situation is only getting worse according to analysts.
Microsoft is reportedly looking into building data centres in cold climates like Russia and Iceland is making major play for the market touting its abundant cheap power and cold climate.
However there are significant hurdles to be overcome before floating data centres will become viable.
It is unlikely based on current technology that wave power alone could power a large data centre for example and data transmission to shore would also be a problem.
In addition the data centres themselves would have to be mobile to avoid bad weather, such as Hurricane Ike which recently ravaged large parts of the Gulf Coast.
Google applies for floating data centres patent
By Iain Thomson on Sep 16, 2008 8:55AM