Morgan Stanley plans to power their new data center in Scotland with a new generation of turbine generators called the Transverse Horizontal Axis Water Turbine (THAWT). The $400M data center will require 150MW of power. It will be powered initially from the utility grid but later transitioned to power generated by the underwater turbines of the THAWT device.
Morgan Stanley is a shareholder in Atlantis Resources Corp., which is developing the THAWT. Atlantis is pioneering the use of tidal currents for power generation. My initial investigation indicates that THAWT was the result of ISIS Project 3325 at University of Oxford. What relationship exists between Atlantis and ISIS, I’m don’t yet know.
Instead of turning at right angles like a traditional windmill style turbine, THAWT rolls on its long axis with the flow of sea water. This suggests a more efficient and powerful design and is said to produce 12MW of power. Furthermore, multiple THAWTS can be chained together to yield even greater power generation.
This design seems to offer some advantages over the “sea snake” concept proposed as a part of Google’s floating data center barge concept.
Anyone with further familiarity with these projects is invited to join the dialogue.