Google has plans to build barges which will use the ocean waves to generate electricity. The barges will house data centers and will be a first if and when the project is completed. Google had filed for a patent back in February 2007, in which it stated the barges would be 3 to 7 miles off shore, and in 50 to 70 meters of water. According to the article:
The Google design incoporates the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter units, which use the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity and can be combined to form “wave farms.” The largest existing project uses seven Pelamis Units to generate about 5 megawatts of power. Diagrams included with Google’s patent application indicate the company plans to combine 40 or more Pelamis units to produce 40 megawatts of power.
The patent documents describe a cooling system based on sea-powered pumps and seawater-to-freshwater heat exchangers.
Google should be given credit for leading a charge not only for this new type of technology but also for supporting geothermal energy and electric vehicles. It is nice to see at least one mega money giant using their cash to try and solve our energy woes. Who knows. Google could end up with their own Navy ! 🙂