Jackie Chan Blu-ray Disc Increases Solar Panel Efficiency by 22%

    Old Blu-ray discs have found good use. In the journal Nature Communications on November 25, an article was published describing the method of how to use these disks to increase the efficiency of solar cells.

    “The movie Police Story 3: The Super Policeman with Jackie Chan came to us by accident,” said Jiaxing Huang, an American engineer at Northwestern University, one of the authors of the research paper. - My student found him among several other films with BestBuy. Of course, CDs with other films will do. ”

    The fact is that individual solar cells convert light to electricity a little better than others, absorbing photons in a wider range of the spectrum. This is due to pseudorandom patterns in the surface texture of “super-efficient” cells, compared to completely random patterns in other cells (while cells with random patterns work better than photocells with a periodic clear texture). And the surface of Blu-ray discs consists precisely of such necessary pseudorandom recesses and protrusions in which the video and audio signal is encoded. This is due to the Blu-ray disc encoding algorithm, which adds redundant encoding to a randomly encoded signal and also limits the number of consecutive ones to 0 or 1. So a random sequence turns into a pseudo-random one. By a happy coincidence,

    Jiaxing Huang and his students found a way to transfer a pattern from a Blu-ray disc to the surface of an element, turning an ordinary cell into an “ultra-efficient” one.

    The technique involves the manufacture of rubber stamps that copy the surface of a Blu-ray disc, then they process the surface of solar cells.

    Disc experiments lasted several months. The authors believe that the result is rather unexpected (that is, too good): as much as 21.8%. Apparently, the technique can be improved using thicker solar cells or other types of materials. It is also necessary to optimize the process of imprinting on rubber. In these cases, the efficiency of solar panels can be increased by an even larger amount!

    It’s even possible that Blu-ray disc factories will ever be re-qualified for solar power.

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