Wave-powered barges to multiply IT giant's computing power

Google, the Internet search engine company already renowned for radical ideas has really pushed the boat out this time.

According to a patent application seen by The Times newspaper, the multi-billion-dollar company may be embarking on a futuristic server farm aboard what has already been dubbed its ‘computer navy’.

Huge banks of computers storing billions of web pages may soon be housed on barges moored offshore, which would use renewable wave energy as a power source.

Tax breaks
The company also hopes to avoid paying property taxes on the huge installations it currently runs across the globe.

Electricity consumption by internet servers is predicted to skyrocket in the next 20 years, and as a result, companies such as Google, Microsoft and Sun Systems have been investigating ever more radical solutions to the problem of keeping the electronics cool.

One company is planning to harness the arctic weather in Siberia, while another plans to house the machines underground.

Google refused set a date for the launch of its computer navy, telling journalists: ‘We file patent applications on a variety of ideas. Some of those ideas later mature into real products, services or infrastructure, some don’t.’