It was reported on the 16th September that Google, the massive internet search engine provider, has filed for a patent on floating data centres.
Now, this is an interesting concept! According to news reports, Google plans to house data centres on a ship or ships that would be anchored off the coast of major population centres.
These floating data centres would then harness wave power to generate electricity that would power the data centre.
So what problems might they face?
It is difficult to imagine how racks of servers might perform when being thrown around in a Force 9 gale, but surely this can be overcome?
There are some other challenges though. Since wave power alone is unlikely to provide sufficient energy to power the data centre, there is going to be a need for an additional power source.
True, one could add wind (especially in that Force 9 gale!), solar and other forms of green energy, one might also need to self generate using a more traditional form of generator.
It is unlikely that Google are going to run power cables under the sea to provide energy from the national grid. What about connectivity?
There is, of course, satellite communication, but this tends to be very expensive, not 100% reliable and bandwidth would be a real issue. GSM perhaps?
It doesn’t seem likely. Or are these floating data centres going to be sufficiently close to land to be able to take a comms cable from a land based source.
Possible, but this might reduce the benefits of the wave power.
So, Google, good luck with the patent! It will be interesting to see for what exactly it gets granted.
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