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Google considering "data barges" at sea, powered by wave energy and distanced from national laws

 
 
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 12:48 pm
Google search finds seafaring solution

Quote:
Google may take its battle for global domination to the high seas with the launch of its own “computer navy”.

The company is considering deploying the supercomputers necessary to operate its internet search engines on barges anchored up to seven miles (11km) offshore.

The “water-based data centres” would use wave energy to power and cool their computers, reducing Google’s costs. Their offshore status would also mean the company would no longer have to pay property taxes on its data centres, which are sited across the world, including in Britain.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,042 • Replies: 8
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Nick Ashley
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 01:27 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Interesting..

Reminds me of when the pirate bay had plans to buy the micronation of Sealand.
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070115-8618.html
Robert Gentel
 
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Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 01:52 pm
@Nick Ashley,
There's been a datacenter (of very dubious legitimacy in about every meaning of the word) on Sealand for a while now:

http://www.havenco.com/
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 02:34 pm
This reminds me of an article I read in Popular Mechanics almost 30 years ago about anchoring "Generator Rafts" off shore to use wave energy to produce electricity (enough to power cities). What ever happened to that idea?

Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 02:50 pm
@rosborne979,
It wouldn't produce enough energy. I remember a documentary like that and it showed how even if they circled the United Kingdom with them it wouldn't be enough to produce a reasonable percentage of UK energy needs.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 09:33 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
It wouldn't produce enough energy. I remember a documentary like that and it showed how even if they circled the United Kingdom with them it wouldn't be enough to produce a reasonable percentage of UK energy needs.

A statement like that would seem to be dependent on the size of the raft, the efficiency of the generating system and the relative energy movement of the ocean. A fair number of variables for such a blanket statement.

DrewDad
 
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Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 10:07 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I saw this earlier today. It sounds like something out of a Neal Stephenson novel.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 09:55 pm
@rosborne979,
I don't have substantiation at my fingertips right now, and am too lazy to look it up at the moment, but I believe the kilowatts per meter potential has already been calculated fairly accurately for shoreline wave farms. It's true that the efficiency of capturing the energy has a lot of room for improvement but I don't think shoreline wave farms would provide more than a small fraction of any nation's energy needs.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 09:56 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Jeff Nolan on the water datacenter patent

http://jeffnolan.com/wp/2008/09/15/yet-another-google-datacenter-rumor/
0 Replies
 
 

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