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BOINC Software to Cut 20 Years in Solar Cell Development


boinc-systemEveryone 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.

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  1. You forgot to put in his full name – Viktors Berstis. I knew Viktors when I was with IBM in Austin and he’s been leading the World Community Grid push within IBM for years.
    Also, Master Inventor isn’t a job title, but an honor you earn by being one of the top patent filers in the company, while still doing your regular job.

  2. I would like to bring to the attention of all that the easiest way to run and manage BOINC is through what is called an account manager.

    GridRepublic (www.gridrepublic.org) is created in collaboration with BOINC at the University of California Berkeley and it makes everything as easy as one, two, three. Through a point and click actions joining and choosing projects projects are fast and easy.

    Joining through GridRepublic you create one login (instead of multiple if you want to help more than one project), choose the projects you wish to help, and download the GridRepublic program (BOINC with a few customizations). Here you can discover many of the other projects that work on climate modeling, AIDS, cancer, astronomy, nanotechnology, and much more.

    Come and check it out: http://www.gridrepublic.org


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