Google may be building floating data center in San Francisco Bay

google boat
Public Domain US Patent Office

At the end of Treasure Island, a former Navy base in the middle of San Francisco Bay, floats a barge with a large structure being built on top of it and it's almost certain that Google is the builder, so could this be the floating data center that they've been hinting at for years?

The folks over at CNET tracked down lease agreements and asked several people tied to the construction project and discovered that Google was behind the project though the company has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

The likeliness that this is a floating data center is assumed because back in 2009 Google was issued a patent for a floating data center that could run off wave power and be cooled by sea water. Plus, they've shown a penchant for building data centers that use sea water and other passive cooling techniques as well as renewable energy sources.

The barge itself is 250 feet long, 72 feet wide and 16 feet deep. The modular building on top is made of shipping containers reaching four stories high. Based on the design of the building, Joel Egan, the principal at Cargotecture, which designs custom cargo container buildings, said it looks like a data center. "The cutouts in the long walls of the containers, when they line up, they make hallways," Egan said. "You could put all sorts of mainframes into the containers...It doesn't have enough windows for an office building."

It's a great idea, not only because of the abundant renewable power and cooling source, but also because it can be moved around in open water and its modular nature allows it to scale up easily.

Check out CNET to read about their full investigation into Google's ties to the project.

Tags: Computing | Google | Technology

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