After developing self-driving cars, Google is set to bring its innovation prowess to the seas, with a novel new ship propulsion system that uses kite energy.
(Next Animation Studio) – After developing self-driving cars, Google is set to bring its innovation prowess to the seas, with a novel new ship propulsion system that uses kite energy.
Google first delved into marine technology in 2009, mounting computer data centers on barges and using seawater to cool them.
The tech giant’s most recent innovation, an airborne rigid kite, incorporate this initial technology with an airborne wind turbine or AWT that connects to the ship via an electrically conductive tether.
According to the patent application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in May 2016, the windmill-like kite consists of a number of turbines mounted on a rigid wing, and is meant to fly over water at high altitudes.
The AWT has two functions, and can be used to both steer the vessel and generate electricity for it.
The ship itself is also capable of producing its own fuel, by drawing out carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas from seawater, refining, and then converting it to ethanol.
With a sustainable fuel and electricity source, moving data centers across the seas will not only be cost-effective, but also environmentally friendly.
For now, Google is remaining mum on this exciting new technology, despite successfully acquiring the patent for the AWT in September.