Much speculation surrounds the construction of mysterious barges in San Francisco and Portland, which a Coast Guard spokesperson recently revealed to be linked to Google. While the true purpose of these barges is yet to be revealed, the idea that Google may be constructing floating data centres seems to have captured many people’s imagination.
Although Pelamis isn’t involved in the mysterious barges, Google has previously filed a patent on the use of Pelamis wave energy converters for powering floating data centres, leading to further speculation that Pelamis machines may one day power such units using local ocean waves.
Ross Henderson, Pelamis Wave Power’s Technology Director, suggests that the idea could be used in future:
“While Pelamis Wave Power is currently focussed on demonstrating Pelamis technology for utility supply of electricity, the use of wave energy to power floating data centres is an exciting prospect. The Pelamis machines themselves could house modular data centres, taking advantage of a limitless supply of cold water for cooling while making efficient use of the locally generated wave power with zero carbon emissions.”
“Wave energy is still a developing industry so we’re some years away from examining possible alternative applications of wave power technology. It is encouraging that there is already enthusiasm for uncovering all the ways we can use the vast amounts of energy in the seas around us.”
Google Pelamis patent floating data centersImage: Diagram from a 2008 patent application by Google using Pelamis machines to power floating data centres