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Rooftop Solar Could Be Shared With Neighbors’ PCs

Excess energy from a homeowner’s PVC system can be drawn off the grid by other computer users.

Researchers from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) in Barcelona have designed a prototype that allows a homeowner whose roof receives direct sunlight to install a photovoltaic system and become a potential supplier of computing power. According to a UOC release, participants with the necessary physical resources—such as computer hardware—can store excess energy for their own future personal computing needs or “inject it” into the electrical grid.

rooftop solar

PC-designated solar energy in residences can help people elsewhere power their computers, thanks to a new device from Barcelona-based researchers. Credit: marufish/Flickr

Meanwhile, software installed on a potential grid user’s computer can place their machine in sleep mode and awaken the unit if there is enough excess energy available, according to lead researchers Borja Martínez and Xavier Vilajosana. 

“Right now, the conditions are right to create a critical mass of producers—the providers of computing resources—and consumers, the persons, and businesses who could lease these resources,” notes Martínez and Vilajosana. 

A study on the project appears in the journal IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Computing