Google Inc., the largest Internet search engine provider in the world, obtained a patent today for a water-based data center to be powered with the ocean's waves.
In its patent, Google uses Pelamis machines which capture the natural motion of the water and turn it into electricity and or pumping power for cooling pumps that will serve the data centers.
Pelamis Wave Power Ltd based in Edinburgh, U.K. manufactures a system which generates electricity from offshore wave energy. It is the first to be used in commercial wave farm projects, according to the company's website.
Google applied for this patent in February 2007. In November that year, the company revealed it planned to invest tens of millions of dollars for an initiative to develop electricity from renewable energy sources.
Google's water-based data or computing centers would be located on a ship or ships but they could also be placed on the shore and receive the power and/or cooling water from the Pelamis floating systems.
Centers located on the water can be moved to other locations if needs for computing power arise in a particular area.
During a natural disaster, for example, a data center could be needed until regular infrastructure can be repaired or rebuilt, the patent explains. It could be expensive to build or locate the data centers as well as find access to electric power, high-bandwidth data connections, and cooling water for such data centers.