Patent published on October 26, 2023

New Patent that Could Make Computers Run on Renewable Energy

In a world increasingly driven by vast systems of computers and machinery, the global carbon footprint continues to grow, raising alarm about the potentially irreversible impact on the environment. A recently disclosed patent by Keith George Ferry, numbered US20230341830A1, provides a fresh perspective on this pressing issue. It focuses on the underutilized energy produced by renewable sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines, and how this excess energy can be harnessed for running computational tasks.

Our dependence on non-renewable sources has not just led to environmental damage but also presents operational inefficiencies particularly with renewable energy generators. They are often unable to adjust their output based on demand, leading to wasted potential. Moreover, attempts to store or transmit the excess energy for later use are either inefficient or impractical due to a variety of reasons including cost, infrastructure, and logistical issues. For instance, although additions like batteries to vehicles could harness surplus power, the added weight of the battery could necessitate more fuel for movement, defeating the original goal.

Keith George Ferry’s patent offers an innovative solution. The patent is about a parent system that orchestrates smaller, energy-efficient units (child systems) that operate using behind-the-meter energy, such as that provided by solar panels or wind turbines. Instead of letting excess energy go to waste, these child systems deploy it to perform computations when there's capacity left after the completion of their main tasks. The parent system, which can be near or far and may use the same or different energy as the child systems, coordinates their activities.

In a post-patent world, imagine a residential area covered in solar panels, not only providing electricity to the households but also powering child systems that perform a multitude of tasks such as running simulations, performing calculations, or powering machine learning processes. The systems would be continuously or intermittently operational, devouring the excess energy efficiently, reducing waste, and lowering carbon emissions.

For businesses, this could mean running large-scale operations without the guilt of hefty environmental footprints, using the excess energy to drive machine learning algorithms for predicting consumer behavior or producing highly accurate weather forecasts. In a global setup, these systems could work round-the-clock across different geographical locations consuming excess energy. Usage of data is also far more efficient for transferring across locations without any loss or geographical dependency.

As promising as it sounds, it’s worth noting that this solution currently only exists as a patent. Whether it progresses from the realm of theory into a tangible product in the market is yet to be seen. Innovations like these are imperative, not only to tackle operational inefficiencies but also for making meaningful strides towards reducing our collective carbon footprint. The need for sustainable solutions has never been greater, and Mr. Ferry’s patent might just be one such step in the right direction. P.S. This article discusses patent US20230341830A1, which does not guarantee its future market availability. However, the possibilities presented by its premise are exciting and indicative of where the technology might be headed in the foreseeable future.

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