Music is energy, creative vibrations that enrich and create more energy vibrations. We all know this experientially and intuitively. Science and music are intrinsically related. Still, each fresh encounter with the study of music and metronomes is quite appealing. A new exploration actually shows how music positively affects solar panels.
Music apparently improves the functioning of solar cells, creating more vibrations of energy.
Wiley Online Library first broke the story: “Acoustic vibrations are shown to enhance the photovoltaic efficiency of a P3HT/ZnO nanorod solar cell by up to 45%, correlated to a three-fold increase in charge carrier lifetime. This is assigned to the generation of piezoelectric dipoles in the ZnO nanorods, indicating that the efficiency of solar cells may be enhanced in the presence of ambient vibrations by the use of piezoelectric materials.”
Pop music is most effective in increasing this certain kind of energy with this type of solar panel. Sound vibrations form this music most increased energy absorption. No doubt this is relevant information that will be developed in the solar field.
The UK research team works on zinc oxide solar panels, a cheaper, more flexible variant of traditional silicon-based solar cells. Unfortunately, zinc oxide panels are still in the experimental stages, hampered by a paltry 1.2 percent efficiency at the moment. Zinc oxide’s trick, however, is that it can form nanoscale rods that generate electricity from outside vibrations—like, say, some pumped-up jams.
Having subjected the photovoltaics to a variety of musical genres, the team found that rock and pop boosted efficiency nearly 50%, likely due to the wide range of sound frequencies involved. Even ambient noise gave a decent increase. While an industrial-scale stereo playing Top 40 hits to a field of solar panels wouldn’t be very efficient, the discovery paves the way for cells that generate extra juice from the ambient vibrations in noisy environments. Someday, perhaps black metal could generate just as much power as a ray of sunshine.