Key to Green Energy may Lie in Hornet's Solar Power Ability

by Kathy Jones on  January 8, 2011 at 6:10 PM Environmental Health   - G J E 4
The Oriental hornet can harvest solar energy through its body shell or exoskeleton, a group of Tel Aviv University researchers has shown.

They demonstrated how the animal takes the sun's energy and convert it into electric power in the brown and yellow parts of its body.
 Key to Green Energy may Lie in Hornet's Solar Power Ability
Key to Green Energy may Lie in Hornet's Solar Power Ability

Previously, entomologists noted that Oriental wasps, unlike other wasps and bees, are active in the afternoon rather than the morning when the sun is just rising. They also noticed that the hornet digs more intensely as the sun's intensity increases.

Taking this information to the lab, the TAU team studied weather conditions like temperature, humidity and solar radiation to determine if and how these factors also affected the hornet's behavior, but found that UVB radiation alone dictated the change.

They also found that the yellow and brown stripes on the hornet abdomen enable a photo-voltaic effect: the brown and yellow stripes on the hornet abdomen can absorb solar radiation, and the yellow pigment transforms that into electric power.

The team determined that the brown shell of the hornet was made from grooves that split light into diverging beams. The yellow stripe on the abdomen is made from pinhole depressions, and contains a pigment called xanthopterin.

Together, the light diverging grooves, pinhole depressions and xanthopterin change light into electrical energy. The shell traps the light and the pigment does the conversion.

The findings were recently published in the German journal Naturwissenschaften.

Source: ANI

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like