Pop music makes solar cells produce more electricity
2013 11 12

By James Urquhart | NewScientist



They really are picking up Good Vibrations. Some solar cells convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently when loud music is played to them – as long as it is pop rather than classical.

Traditional silicon-based solar cells convert sunlight into electricity efficiently, but they can be awkward to work with and expensive to produce. So Steve Dunn at Queen Mary University in London and James Durrant at Imperial College London have been experimenting with zinc oxide, which is much cheaper and can be made into thin, flexible films. The only drawback is that its efficiency is just 1.2 per cent, a small fraction of what silicon is capable of.

To improve this, Dunn and Durrant took advantage of another of zinc oxide’s properties. Nanoscale rods of the material wobble in response to mechanical stress – such as the vibrations produced by sound – and generate an electric field.

"We tried our initial tests with various types of music, including pop, rock and classical," says Dunn. Rock and pop were the most effective, perhaps because they have a wider range of frequencies. Using a signal generator to produce precisely measured sounds similar to ambient noise they saw a 50 per cent increase in efficiency, rising from 1.2 per cent without sound to 1.8 per cent with sound (Advanced Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201303304).

The discovery could lead to the development of zinc-oxide solar arrays that can be deployed in noisy public places – next to busy roads, for example.

[...]

Read the full article at: newscientist.com



Related Articles
Listening to Mozart doubles survival rates after a heart transplant. Enya? No effect.
Archaeoacoustics: The Sound of Ancient Megalithic Structures
Our Ancestors, the Acoustical Engineers
Sound waves levitate and mix floating drops of liquid
Neuroscientists prove ultrasound can be tweaked to stimulate different sensations
Sonic Art – German Audio-Visual Artist Makes Pictures from Sound Waves
Resonance - Beings of Frequency
World’s Loneliest Whale Sings At The Wrong Frequency
Ancient Maya Temples Were Giant Loudspeakers?


Latest News from our Front Page

Magaluf bar where British girl was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men is shut down after police investigation into video
2014 07 26
Is this what the youth in Britain and Europe is spending their their energy, money, efforts and innocence on? The young girl, pictured, was lured into performing multiple sex acts after organisers offered a free drink although she thought a holiday was on offer* Council officials launched an official investigation after the video went viral Playhouse bar in Magaluf and entertainment ...
Prejudice is a Form of Common Sense - Hard-Wired Into the Human Brain, Says ASU Study
2014 07 26
Contrary to what most people believe, the tendency to be prejudiced is a form of common sense, hard-wired into the human brain through evolution as an adaptive response to protect our prehistoric ancestors from danger. So suggests a new study published by Arizona State University researchers in the May issue of the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," which contends that, ...
The State is a Bully
2014 07 24
In the history of Western philosophy and social theory, no really silly idea has been more successful than the theory of the social contract. It is in fact not a theory of the social contract. It is a theory of the political contract. It is the idea, promoted by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that, at some point in ...
NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
More News »