We’ve all been energized by the mighty power of rock music at one time or another. But it seems that researchers have found a way to harness this power into tangible electricity - and rock and pop are better at generating energy than classical.
According to New Scientist, Researchers Steve Dunn at Queen Mary University and James Durrant at Imperial College London have been researching zinc oxide as a more cost-effective material for solar cells compared to traditional silicon-based cells.
Dunn and Durrant found that although zinc oxide cells are much less efficient than silicon, their efficacy could be greatly enhanced by provoking a wobble in nanoscale rods at the heart of the material.
This wobble in response to mechanical stress generates an electrical field, and can be induced by sound. New Scientist says the research could lead to solar arrays designed to be deployed in noisy public areas such as near busy roads.
"We tried our initial tests with various types of music, including pop, rock and classical," Dunn said, noting that rock and pop were the most effective, perhaps because they have a wider range of frequencies. "There are lots of places where this might be useful," Dunn added. "On top of air-conditioning units, on military vehicles or on military personnel where lightweight power sources can be used to supplement heavy power requirements."
Which albums do you think would be perfect for boosting the power generation of solar cells?