Search Engine

Arnoud van den Heuvel
December 28th 2008

Search Engine

"Google has stationed approximately a million computers worldwide to be able to process the 40 billion searches per month. One search request uses as much energy as a low-energy light bulb in one hour." (25000 Joule/Hour = 7 Watt/Second)

If there's any truth in the calculation; we will all be searching in darkness soon.

Quote: Intermediair (article in Dutch). Image: Jeen Berting / Overburen (thanks Jeen!)
Related: Google 2084 | Google DNA search

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!public: 1

7 comments

Koert van Mensvoort
Posted 09/02/2009 – 01:18

Great James, thanks for the calculation.
So how many solar panel units do I need to compensate for my google searches? Won't be that many I guess.

James
Posted 08/02/2009 – 21:54

After translating the original Danish article and getting some units that make sense, it looks like we use 7.2 watt-hours per search, which is...minuscule. That's a few ten-thousandths of a penny worth of electricity, and much less than a super-efficient CFL light bulb uses in a hour.

James
Posted 08/02/2009 – 21:34

A joule/hour and a watt/second are different. One is mass*distance^2/time^3, the other is md^2/t^4. A watt/second doesn't even make much sense, nor is a joule/hour a unit of energy. I'd try and verify this but I'm not even sure how to use these units in a calculation.

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