Renewable Energy AssociationSolar Trade AssociationAct on Co2
Solar Panel News

Solar Power Helps Wild Elephant Studies In Africa

Each year Stanford University have a number of elephant researchers located at a high tech camp in an isolated location within Etosha National Park, Namibia for a few weeks. Solar panels are being used to provide all the energy that the camp requires utilising the sunlight. The scientists are able to peacefully watch, photograph and videotape the elephants by Mushara waterhole.

Wild elephants are being monitored by researchers in Africa with the help of solar panels

Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell who is the lead researcher stated: “One of the really special aspects of solar energy is that it allows us to be in this incredibly remote area that’s closed to tourists and is off the grid. We get to watch elephant society unfold before us in a very quiet environment – no generators, no people, no vehicles.”

Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell has been based at Mushara for twenty years where she studies how elephants communicate. She identified that the elephants’ low frequency calls create strong vibrations in the earth that can be felt and interpreted by elephants through their feet and trunks. One of her colleagues, Patrick Freeman, has taken hundreds of pictures of elephants to help with their identification and used a camera whose batteries were charged using solar energy.

The solar panels produce enough solar energy to run a system of strong speakers that produce low frequency sound to the elephants. They also produce sufficient power to operate a laboratory for elephant dung and editing equipment and a camera for a video crew who are making a documentary. The solar panels also provide sufficient power to run two fridges containing the likes of beer and fresh meat, to provide power for a researcher’s computer to enable Internet connection and an electric fence to protect the camp from the wild animals.

The researchers have now left the camp but will be returning again next year when they will resurrect the solar panels to continue to provide the camp with solar power so that they can continue with their wild elephant research.

Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell said: “Basically, all of our high-tech electronics are run off of a couple of solar panels, a couple of batteries and an inverter. The sun does the rest.”

This entry was posted in Renewable Energy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.