Navigation Links
Solar panels can attract breeding water insects
Date:5/27/2010

EAST LANSING, Mich. Solar power might be nature's most plentiful and benign source of energy, but shiny black solar cells can lure water insects away from critical breeding areas, a Michigan State University scientist and colleagues warn.

Applying white grids or other methods to break up the polarized reflection of light, however, makes mayflies and other aquatic insects far less likely to deposit eggs on the panels thinking that they are water, the group discovered.

"This research demonstrates that solar panels are a strong new source of polarized light pollution that creates ecological traps for many types of insect," says Bruce Robertson, a research associate at MSU's Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners. "This is of significant conservation importance given the radical expansion in solar energy development and the strong negative impacts of ecological traps on animal populations."

Using nonpolarizing white grids, he adds, demonstrates a novel approach to reducing the attractiveness of a false habitat by applying what biologists call habitat fragmentation. That is an effect that usually is harmful to species, but in this case promises to solve a conservation problem.

Robertson's team estimates that adding white markings to solar cells might reduce their ability to collect solar energy by perhaps 1.8 percent, depending on the amount of space the strips cover.

Conventional solar cells share a problem with glass-clad buildings and other expanses of shiny dark surfaces even vehicles. Reflected sunlight becomes polarized, or aligned in a single, often horizontal plane, which is how at least 300 species of insect recognize the surface of water bodies to lay their eggs.

When species such as mayflies and caddis flies mistake shiny dark surfaces for water, they set themselves up for reproductive failure and often become easy targets for predators, Robertson and colleagues noted in a recent online article in the journal Conservation Biology. Local population collapse could be a result, with cascading impacts on predators and other species up the food chain.

Humans typically recognize reflected sunlight as glare, which polarized sunglasses overcome by filtering the horizontal waves through vertically polarized lenses.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Fellows
mark.fellows@ur.msu.edu
517-884-0166
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Nanotech could make solar energy as easy and cheap as growing grass
2. Smarter energy storage for solar and wind power
3. Hinode: new insights on the origin of solar wind
4. Nanowires hold promise for more affordable solar cells
5. Telecom research leads to solar cell breakthrough
6. Substantial improvement in essential cheap solar cell process
7. The future of solar-powered houses is clear
8. Popcorn-ball design doubles efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells
9. Solar flares set the Sun quaking
10. Did the solar system bounce finish the dinosaurs?
11. Sun to set on Ulysses solar mission on July 1
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Solar panels can attract breeding water insects
(Date:1/18/2017)... Jan. 18, 2017 MedNet Solutions ... supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is ... record-breaking year for the organization in terms of ... MedNet,s eClinical products and services. The company,s exceptional ... success of iMedNet ™ ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... 12, 2017  New research undertaken by Fit Small ... future.  1,000 participants were simply asked which office technology had ... may consider standard issue.  Insights on what will ... gathered from futurists and industry leaders including Penelope Trunk ... .  Some of these findings ...
(Date:1/11/2017)...  Michael Johnson, co-founder of Visikol Inc. a company originally funded ... named to the elite "Forbes 30 Under 30" list in the ... in 20 fields nationwide to be recognized as a leader in ... selected. ... currently a PhD candidate at Rutgers University. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... MA (PRWEB) , ... January ... ... leader in Less Exposure Surgery (LES®) Technologies, announced today the next evolution ... PedFuse Pedicle Screw System platform). In contrast to the competition, SpineFrontier is ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Research and Markets ... has announced the addition of the ... 2025" report to their offering. Report ... provides a detailed analysis on current and future market trends to identify ... market values as the base numbers Key market trends ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... MAYNARD, Mass. , Jan. 19, 2017 ... company focused on enhancing productivity in aquaculture and a ... ), announces that it has completed the listing of ... finalized the equity subscription from Intrexon. "AquaBounty,s ... Company that will broaden our exposure to the U.S. ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017 The global ... USD 92.9 billion by 2025, according to a ... industry has been adaptive of the function of ... as 2002. Among the services outsourced, clinical trial ... instance, Johnson & Johnson was the first pharmaceutical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: