Everyone knows two are more powerful than one. On the same principle, IBM and Harvard University researchers launched a joint project today in an effort to search for the optimum combination of materials to create the most efficient solar cells ever.
Their project features a distributed computing system, the same used in [email protected] – the program that uses your computer while it’s idle to interpret possible alien signals coming from deep space.
For discovering the perfect solar cell atomic structure, IBM Master Inventor (interesting they have an “inventor” job there) says that the system will calculate “what would happen if sunlight hit this thing”. That almost says it all. This distributed computing system will cut time and money needed to otherwise run the calculations and spare about 20 years in inventing world’s most efficient and greenly-produced organic solar cells, as Berstis, a senior software engineer and chief scientist for the World Community Grid says.
The software is called BOINC, you may google for it, download and select for the various project you can load from their site. Then, when your PC or laptop is on and idle, BOINC will use a part of your processor’s power to calculate on the project you opted for. “We’ll go through and try to synthesize all kinds of exotic materials,” Berstis said. “It’s not guaranteed that we’ll find something – but there is a good chance we will.”
And I’m sure they will – there has to be some way out – we’ll either walk and ride horses in the future, or invent devices to power ourselves from the Sun for the rest of our lives.