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:3/14/2016)... , March 14, 2016 NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ... starting the week of March 21 st .  The commercials ... including its popular Squawk on the Street show. --> ... on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... March 11, 2016 --> ... research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology (Pattern Recognition), ... Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), by Industry ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected to ... 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 19.1%. ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... YORK , March 9, 2016 This ... and future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) ... segments such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, ... Analyze various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as ... services Identify the main factors affecting each segment and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/6/2016)... Recent studies show that patients no longer ... when treating certain types of pain. With the past ... go right to the source instead of masking the ... provides physician training about the benefits of regenerative adult ... physicians across the United States ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... American Process, Inc. (API) announced that ... Nos. 9,322,133 and 9,322,134, to API and its affiliated companies for BioPlus® nanocellulose ... nanocellulose compositions. In addition to these patents and U.S. Patent No. 9,187,865 ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 ... ... Day? Well, look no further than LaJollaCooks4u, San Diego’s premiere hands-on cooking experience. ... you need to give mom an experience she won’t forget. , Guests that ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 According ... Research "Metabolomics Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, ... market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ... million by 2024. Metabolomics is the extensive ... cells, biofluids, tissues or organisms. Together, these small molecules ...
Breaking Biology Technology: