Oriental Hornet Capable of Converting Sun's Energy into Electric Power
January 7, 2011 6:50 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: Sciencedaily.com/Wikimedia Commons)
Could lead to the development of better solar cells
Tel Aviv University
scientists have found that Oriental hornets have similar capabilities as plants when it comes to the process of photosynthesis.
Professor David Bergman, a physicist and professor at Tel Aviv University's School of Physics and Astronomy, along with Professor Jacob Ishay, of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, and Professor Marian Plotkin, a doctoral candidate, have studied
the Oriental hornet
and found that certain parts of its body are capable of converting the sun's energy into electric power much like plants do during photosynthesis.
Entomologists have recorded similar results when studying Oriental wasps. They found that the wasps were more active during the afternoon when the sun was at its highest point rather than the early morning when the sun was just rising, or at night. The same results were recorded for hornets, who were digging more energetically when the sun was up.
Several years ago, Bergman and his team discovered that the Oriental hornet's exoskeleton, or outer body shell, was capable of
harvesting solar energy
. Since this discovery, the researchers have tried to imitate this process by studying all the elements that could affect how this occurs. Humidity, temperature, solar radiation and other weather-related conditions were studied, and the results showed that UVB radiation solely caused the change in the hornet's behavior. The hornet's body also contains a heat pump system that keeps it cool despite absorbing the suns energy.
In addition, the researchers found that the yellow and brown stripes on the Oriental hornet's abdomen specifically allow a photo-voltaic effect, absorbing radiation while the yellow pigment converts it into electric power. The brown shell is made from grooves that split the light into separate beams, and the yellow is made from "pinhole depressions" holding a pigment called xanthopterin.
Researchers have tried to
imitate this process
in the lab, but had poor results. They could not reach the same efficiency rates of energy collection as the Oriental hornets. But they plan to continue improving their methods to mimic this process in order to better understand it and possibly create better solar cells based on the findings.
"The interesting thing here is that a living biological creature does a thing like that," said Bergman. "The hornet may have discovered things that we do not yet know."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Solar powered hornets
1/8/2011 6:40:30 AM
I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords
RE: Solar powered hornets
1/8/2011 11:56:49 AM
Not me, 20 minutes after I eat one of these I'm hungry again.
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
Self-Repairing Solar Cells Mimic Plant Processes in Nature
January 4, 2011, 3:23 PM
Hybrid Energy Harvesting Tool Uses Light/Heat to Produce Electricity
December 9, 2010, 1:30 PM
U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II, F-22 Raptor Team Up for “Integration Training”
November 19, 2014, 9:15 AM
U.S. Marshals Using Fake, Airplane-based Cell Towers to Scan Cell Phones of Americans
November 14, 2014, 9:05 AM
Ford Enlists Wind Energy Corp. to Provide Wind, Solar Energy to Four U.S. Dealerships
November 10, 2014, 10:58 AM
Disney Reveals Star Wars Ep. VII Title -- "The Force Awakens"
November 6, 2014, 3:45 PM
U.S. Navy Lockheed F-35C Completes First Carrier Landing
November 4, 2014, 12:44 PM
Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen Donates $100M to Fight Raging Ebola Epidemic
October 23, 2014, 6:05 PM
Most Popular Articles
Wal-Mart: Miss Thanksgiving, Get Xbox One + Master Chief Collection for $299
November 17, 2014, 9:40 PM
Nokia Lumia 635 LTE Windows Phone is Only $40 at Best Buy on Black Friday
November 18, 2014, 11:59 AM
Uber Exec Threatens to "Spend Millions" to Stalk Female Reporter and Her Family
November 19, 2014, 12:31 PM
Toyota’s Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Priced from $57,500 in the U.S.
November 18, 2014, 10:23 AM
Apple Replaces “FREE” Label with “GET” on App Downloads in iTunes App Store
November 19, 2014, 5:38 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information