The grid computing team at IBM is teaming up with researchers at Harvard University to create a solar development project on the World Community Grid. The grid project spans more than 200 countries and currently links to the processing resources of more than 1 million computers.
The initiative will be focused on developing and nurturing organic materials that will make solar cells most efficient and, subsequently, more cost-effective. The technology will be applied to screening the thousands of compounds that are being considered for future generations of solar cells, which will be made out of plastics and not silicon materials. According to Harvard research Alan Aspuru-Guzik, the project could be completed in two years, compared to the 22 years that it might otherwise take in a traditional cluster of scientific computers.