Recently, we have been publishing a series of stories about the rapid growth of the solar energy industry, as well as the rapid decline in price for solar products. Now, new research released this week has revealed another way that this technology can be made even more efficient.
A study recently published by Northwestern University in a new edition of Nature Communications shows that the same combination of materials and information patterns that make Blu-Ray discs possible, can also help solar panels harness electricity from the sun.
It has already been known by scientists and engineers that certain combinations of patterns can help increase the efficiency of solar panels, but now it has been discovered that the same pattern used for Blue-Ray discs actually works great for conducting solar energy as well.
One of the researchers who tested the discs is Jiaxing Huang, a materials chemist and engineering professor at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
“We had a hunch that Blu-ray discs might work for improving solar cells, and, to our delight, we found the existing patterns are already very good. It’s as if electrical engineers and computer scientists developing Blu-ray technology have been subconsciously doing our jobs too,” Huang says.
“We found a random pattern or texture does work better than no pattern, but a Blu-ray disc pattern is best of all,” Huang added.
This is just one of many recent developments in the understanding and mastering of solar technology.
As we reported last month, solar electricity is on track to be as cheap or cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in 47 U.S. states by the year 2016.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.