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World Community Grid Celebrates Earth Day 2010!
19 Apr 2010   

Summary
World Community Grid members donate computing time to The Clean Energy Project.


Voracious Energy Appetite

Humans have been living on the earth for over a million years. As societies and cultures grew and flourished, our consumption of energy gradually increased. But our appetite in just the past two centuries has grown tremendously, and in the past decade has become simply unsustainable.

Most of the staggering growth rate has been based on exploitation of fossil fuels – an approach that is causing irreparable damage to our planet. We now find ourselves with two options – reduce the amount of energy we consume and find ways to develop more sustainable energy sources.

Harvest the Sun

There are many viable options for providing renewable energy, and solar is one of the most promising. Due to the abundance of sunlight on many parts of the globe, solar energy will be a key component of any future energy strategy.

Organic Solar Cells

There are various approaches to converting solar energy into electricity, and each have advantages and disadvantages. Common silicon cells are very efficient but costly to manufacture. Plus, they have limited flexibility in terms of how they can be installed. On the other hand, organic photovoltaics (plastic solar cells) are comparatively inexpensive to make, and can be used in many different settings. But their efficiency is still too low to make them practical.

Introducing: The Clean Energy Project - Phase 2

A group of dedicated researchers from Harvard University have been using World Community Grid to design new high-performance organic photovoltaics. The first phase of their work has been completed, and phase 2 is scheduled to launch prior to the end of June, 2010.

World Community Grid’s donated computing time is allowing these researchers to calculate the properties of millions of molecules in order to find the best candidates for building the solar cells of the future.

These scientists are paving the way to future energy solutions. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by donating your unused computer cycles and helping power the sustainable energy movement.



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