Monday, April 03, 2006

Google’s Hunt For The Icy Blue

Most of the servers that power the search engines of Google are in the process of being relocated to Oahu, Hawaii to take advantage of their cooling waters. Google has been on a constant search to find ways to reduce the amount of power or cool down their fields of low-end computers that run their business.

John Piña Craven offered a solution, harvest the near-freezing waters within the ocean depths. He is the “mad genius” who designed the miles of pipes that feed through the servers and eliminated the need for fans or even A/C throughout the complex.

The temperature difference between the ice-cold water and the tropical air outside can also be harnessed to create enough electricity to power the same computers they are cooling. This slightly warmed water is then returned hundreds of meters back down.

“The real advantage of tropical islands is their warm climate and lack of a continental shelf,” explained Craven. “This way you can send your pipes far below the bulk of the marine life, the warm air boosts the amount of electricity generated, and you never have to worry about your above-ground pipes freezing in the winter.”

Craven also pitched his idea feed ceramic pipes through Hawaii’s lava fields, calculating that the difference between the superheated steam and chilly ocean water would power the state capital. Google declined, saying they had no interest in becoming a public utility.



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