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Support Clean Water and Solar Energy—Without Leaving Your Desk

9/22/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: technology, computers, power, energy

Thanks to grid technology, you can now help clean up the world’s water and develop clean energy by simply turning on your computer and walking away. The World Community Grid, a network of millions of individual computers, uses grid technology to join together idle computers from across the globe to help scientists tackle some of the world’s biggest environmental and humanitarian issues.

idle computer 
Not using your computer? Donate your idle computer time to help the World Community Grid power environmental and humanitarian research. Photo By Rhiannon Floyd/Courtesy Flickr. 

Your part is quite simple. Once you’ve joined the World Community Grid, your idle computer will request data for a specific project, perform computations on the data, send the results back to the server and then request more work. By sending the data to millions of computers in its network, the World Community Grid has created a system more powerful than any supercomputer, which will help scientists reduce research time from years to months.

Two of the World Community Grid’s active projects include finding lower-cost solar-energy solutions and providing access to clean drinking water. The Computing for Clean Water project is using the World Community Grid’s power to research low-cost and efficient water filters for millions of people who lack access to clean water around the world. Meanwhile the Clean Energy Project is looking for new materials to create the next generation of more affordable solar power.

It’s easy (and free) to join. Once you register for an account and download the necessary software, you can select the projects you want to help power. The World Community Grid currently has eight active research projects you can choose to help.  

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