Google's recent patent application for a floating data center triggered a lot of discussion in the data center industry. One of the most interesting facets of the concept was the use of wave action to generate electricity, potentially providing a source of power that is both green and cheap. Google's concept is based on power systems from Pelamis, a UK company that developed huge "wave snakes" comprised of a series of floating cylinders. The first commercial wave farm went live this week off the coast of Portugal, and will supply up to 2.25 megawatts of capacity to Portugal's power grid. Here's a brief video offering a closer look at how the Pelamis machines generate electricity. This video runs about 1 minute.
How Google's Ocean Power Would Work
How would Google generate power to support ocean-based data centers? Here's a closer look at Pelamis wave farms and how they work.