- How to stream Chelsea vs. Leicester City Today 8:30 AM
- Florida man arrested after allegedly texting girlfriend his mass shooting plans Today 8:27 AM
- How to stream Real Madrid vs. Celta Vigo Today 8:20 AM
- How to stream Seahawks vs. Vikings in NFL preseason action Today 8:00 AM
- How to stream Steelers vs. Chiefs in NFL preseason action Today 6:30 AM
- Chuck E. Cheese recycles pizza is the conspiracy theory that won’t die Today 6:30 AM
- How to stream Cowboys vs Rams in NFL preseason action Today 6:00 AM
- Cómo ver el UFC 241: Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic Today 6:00 AM
- How to live stream UFC 241: Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic Today 6:00 AM
- How to stream Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur Friday 6:59 PM
- QAnon supporters claim they couldn’t sport Q attire at Trump rally Friday 5:52 PM
- How to stream Southampton vs. Liverpool Friday 4:55 PM
- See when and where your team plays: The 2019 NFL preseason schedule Friday 4:51 PM
- Twitter is testing a feature that would hide offensive DMs you receive Friday 4:19 PM
- How to stream Arsenal vs. Burnley Friday 4:15 PM
Blu-ray disc helps researchers improve solar panels’ efficiency
Got a big physical media collection? This is news you can use.
Researchers at Northwestern University have finally found the perfect use for Police Story 3: Supercop on Blu-ray. No, the correct answer is not “using it as a frisbee” or “playing a drinking game where you have to take a shot every time Jackie Chan does some badass karate move,” although these are acceptable alternate uses for the title. Instead, these geniuses have found a way to coax a 22% efficiency gain out of solar panels by using a mold of the nanopatterns found on Blu-ray discs.
The use of Blu-rays to increase photovoltaic output sounds crazy, but it’s actually a creative solution to a pretty simple problem. Today’s photovoltaics are not as efficient as they could be, because a large amount of the light they are exposed to bounces right off their surfaces, similar to how evil-doers are repelled by Jackie Chan’s sick moves.
The Northwestern scientists peeled off the top layer of super thin plastic found on their copy of Police Story 3 (yes, they actually seem to have used this specific title, but it works with all Blu-rays) and exposed the quasi-random photonic nanostructures below. This surface, which is optimized for data storage, also happens to perform extremely well at catching the sun’s light. A mold of the pattern was then taken and applied to the solar panels.
There are still kinks to be worked out with the technology, but if it catches on, it won’t just improve solar panel efficiency—it might save Blu-ray discs from total obsolescence.
Photo via demmbatz/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Alex La Ferla is a writer, artist, and architect living and working in New York City. His work for the Daily Dot focused on internet culture.