Keeping Your Computer on Can Help the Solar Industry and Environment

December 09 2008 / by amisampat / In association with Future
Category: Environment   Year: 2010   Rating: 1


By Ami Sampat

What Happened?
Scientists at Harvard University and IBM have an idea to create cheap, solar energy: by using the power from countless computers that are left on.

IBM's World Community Grid allows materials science researchers to use volunteers' computers for calculations testing new solar compounds.  Researchers expect to get the research done faster- calculations that takes usually twenty years to collect would only take two.

Why is this important?
By gathering information from idle computers, researchers are hoping to find organic materials to manufacture solar cells. This solar energy would be cheaper and more flexible. In turn, it would be used in a wide array of situations-such as to coat windows and rooftops.

A method of clean, cheap solar energy could help to reduce our dependency on coal for electricity generation.

What to Watch
The range of potential materials used in renewable energy systems could be vastly expanded by tapping the computational power of networked personal computers.  Earlier we wrote a post on a simliar computer-based discovery around solid state hydrogen storage system.

If you would like to volunteer your computer to the World Community Grid, please visit the Clean Energy Project.

World Community Grid

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