Google has filed a patent for the rather brilliant idea of a deep-water cooled data center, and describes it, here.
"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 plurality of units."
The platforms, to be positioned between three to seven miles offshore in water ranging from 50 feet to 250 feet deep, are designed to use renewable power created by Pelamis wave energy converters connected to a floating platform holding Google's data centers. Standard shipping containers would house racks of computers that could be transported by truck and placed onto a boat, and transferred to the floating center by crane.
Each joint of the floating Pelamis unit has a 2.25 megawatt capacity, and each data center would have enough to supply 40 megawatts. Google also has plans to use direct current electricity to run DC-capable computers, so no energy would be lost in transmission.
In addition, pipes will circulate cold deep water throughout to cool all the hardware inside the containers, preventing overheating.
Google mentions an additional important advantage of basing data centers such as this patent envisions on the open seas: when critical infrastructure has been taken out, for instance by earthquakes or hurricanes, the data centers could be towed back in close to land to re-establish local computing power and telecommunications.
Next, Google Brings Cheap Energy From The Earth
Via Good Clean Tech