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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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  • Quiz question: how many solar panels do I need to put on my roof to compensate for my google searches??

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  • vbt

    This value is incorrect. The amount of power consumed by a single Google search (if we assume that it is spread out over a single month for reference) is on the order of leaving a 2.5 mW bulb on for the entire month -> 6480 J. This assumes that each of the one million computers consumes 100 W (100 J/s).

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  • Google is the Willy Wonka of wisdom...

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  • Steampunk Google would make for a good Windows background.

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