Barge BAL0010 in San Francisco is about to be the new home of what some believe is a floating data center currently being built by Google. According to some really solid CNET reporting, the tech giant is working on a revolutionary “water based data center.”
In 2009, Google actually filed for a patent for a “system [that] includes a floating platform-mounted computer data center comprising a plurality of computing units, a sea-based electrical generator in electrical connection with the plurality of computing units, and one or more sea-water cooling units for providing cooling to the…computing units.”
This project could very well fulfill that patent’s dream.
It makes perfect sense that Google would want to try going this route with a data center. It’s easy to deploy to areas that are in most need of Internet infrastructure, there is little-to-no pollution created by wave-generated energy, and a floating data center can produce plenty of power by itself. Not to mention the water that it’s floating on is integral for a cheap cooling system.
The whole project is completely hush-hush, as we hear that some of the Google employees working on the project don’t even know the full scope of what it is.
Google has done a great job, up until now, of covering their tracks, including setting up a fake LLC just to purchase the barge and keep everything under wraps.
According to some marine officials, this barge isn’t just your average barge— it’s big and strong enough to travel wherever the owner takes it. That means that this data center could be intended for somewhere much further away from the San Francisco Bay.
Check out the full in-depth report from CNET below.