Music can Increase Solar Cell Efficiency

Guest_Jim_* - November 11, 2013 11:06AM in Science & Technology

Ever talked to your plants to help them grow? Cannot say I ever have, but now some researchers at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London can say they have played music for solar cells, and improved their efficiency.

Before getting too far, it needs to be stated that this experiment involved a special solar cell comprised of zinc oxide nanorods. Zinc oxide is a known piezoelectric material, which means it can create an electrical current when a mechanical force is applied to it. That current, it turns out, can be used to increase the energy conversion of the photoelectric polymer placed on top of the nanorods. As we are dealing with a polymer, the future solar cells that would benefit from this research could be low cost, printed solar cells.

The researchers tested different kinds of music and found that pop music was the most energizing, as it increased efficiency by 40%. The cause of this genre preference is that high pitched sounds, like those common to pop music, have the greatest effect.

Source: Queen Mary, University of London