Perovskite solar panels supporting life lasting animal telemetry

Bogdan Vykhor
Published: 11 October 2021
Last edited: 11 October 2021
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Summary

Telemetry collars with flexible perovskite solar panels are created to support the life-lasting monitoring of animals. Collars consist of injecting printed perovskite solar panels covered by transparent epoxide and combined with a GPS fixing chip and LoRa data transmitter. Two innovative collars were put on two European (male and female) bisons at Styr hunting enterprise. The GPS coordinates were saved in the EEPROM memory in the collar and transmitted through the LoRaWAN communication protocol to the cloud and created a database. The database provides data to Grafana open-source service, enabling flexible visualizations of forms from multiple data sources. As a result of this, online monitoring of wildlife is established without the need to change the batteries in telemetry collars worn on animals.

Classifications

Region
East Europe
Scale of implementation
Local
Multi-national
Ecosystem
Forest ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Theme
Protected and conserved areas management planning
Science and research
Species management
Terrestrial spatial planning
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Species Status Assessment
Species Monitoring and Research
Species Intensive Management (in situ or ex situ)
Risk communication, community engagement and behaviour change
Risk assessment
Challenges
Loss of Biodiversity
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Poaching
Lack of infrastructure
Sustainable development goals
SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy
SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals

Location

Brody, Lviv, Ukraine

Challenges

The telemetry study is quite costly and time-consuming especially when monitoring or tracking animals takes years. The replacement of batteries in telemetry devices or devices themselves is also time and money consuming and creates extra stress for animals that are tracked. Accumulator batteries also contain a hazardous element to the environment (e.g. heavy metals) and the volume of their usage should be reduced where possible.

Beneficiaries

Conservationists, scientists, protected area managers, farmers,  government, and other interested stakeholders.

How do the building blocks interact?

Two blocks combined in one device. Near 90 % of accumulator batteries as a source of energy are replaced by perovskite solar panels. There is no necessity to replace the telemetry collar or replace batteries because of discharging. Two ideas connected together. So independent sources of energy (ink printed perovskite solar panels) can be scaled and used on any monitoring device to feed sensors and transmit data.

Impacts

Implementation of life-lasting telemetry collars provide inside of spacial behaviour of animals during their whole life and help to understand the cascade of relationships in ecosystems (day/night, sex, season, habitat preferences). Understanding where is an animal at the exact time allows to improve species management and monitoring, which are the keys to human-wildlife conflict mitigation and poaching prevention. For example, two collared European bisons help to locate the flock easily and take measures by administration of managing enterprise for human-wildlife conflict prevention.  Telemetry collars fed by flexible perovskite solar panels didn't need battery replacement and animals capturing repeatedly which also save resources and reduce the level of stress.

Story

Bogdan Vykhor

If you are dreaming to be Elon Musk in nature conservation you need to be innovative. Animal telemetry collar combining innovative materials of super-efficient, flexible perovskite solar panels, telemetry chip, reduced battery size, no need for replacement and cheap LoRaWAN transmission technology push animal telemetry to a new level: animal life-lasting tracking. This is product is a combination of joint approaches on a multidisciplinary level - engineering, renewable energy, transmission, and proceeding technologies and multinational and multicultural cooperations. It contributes to the conservation of one of the biggest European terrestrial mammals - European bison with emphasis on live monitoring, management, human-wildlife conflict reduction, and poaching prevention. 

Contributed by

Bogdan Vykhor WWF Ukraine