Zinc Oxide Based Solar Cells "Love Listening" Music

You may have heard that some modern farms play music when they raise cattle. It is said that “playing a harp on a cow” can help increase the milk production of dairy cows, but have you heard of playing solar music to increase power generation? Researchers at Imperial College in London and Queen Mary University of London published papers in the latest issue of New Materials magazine. The sound waves generated by music will enhance the performance of zinc oxide-based solar cells, as well as pop music and rock music. The effect is better than classical music.

Zinc oxide is a material that can produce a piezoelectric effect and generates a voltage when a pressure is applied to this material. Researchers use zinc oxide to make hundreds of millions of small rods (nanorods), which are then covered with a living polymer. This new device converts sunlight into electricity, which can be called an acoustic solar panel. This zinc oxide-based solar cell makes full use of the material properties and is sensitive to sound fluctuations. When the sound reaches 75 dB (ie, equivalent to noisy roadside or office printer noise), its performance will be greatly improved.

"Acoustic waves will produce random fluctuations that will cancel each other and may affect the overall output power of the battery, so the key is not to allow these random fluctuating sounds to cancel each other out, and to allow some sound to amplify the output power of the battery." Imperial College James Professor Durant said.

Researchers tried to replace dull and dull sounds with music and analyze the effect of different pitches on battery performance. As a result, it has been found that pop music is very different from classical music, and the high-frequency sound generated by pop music has a greater impact on battery performance, which can increase the performance of solar cells by about 40%.

The researchers said that this study is of great significance for improving solar energy utilization efficiency and developing new low-cost printed solar cells. In some environments with high noise and frequent sound and vibration, such as solar air conditioners, cars or trains, such acoustic solar cells will be more useful.

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