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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Solar Power Breakthrough Using The Intelligence of Nature - Biomimicry

Nature has its own system and design that enables it to function efficiently. After thousands of years of trial and error followed by evolution, nature knows what it's doing. This makes it come as no surprise that humans use inspiration from nature to solve human problems and create more productive and efficient products through biological engineering.

This practice is known as biomimicry, and while the term first appeared in the early 80's, it was made popular by scientist and author Janine Benyus in her book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature in 1997. Benyus suggests looking to Nature as a "Model, Measure, and Mentor" and puts heavy emphasis on sustainability as biomimicry focus.

Being that I'm a big solar panel supporter, I was happy to see that there has been a nice little advancement made in the field, and by a 13 year old no less. Taking inspiration from the unique ways that trees branch off to absorb the most sunlight and nourish itself, Aidan Dwyer created a solar cell tree that produces 20-50% more power than a uniform array of photovoltaic panels.


When I see intelligent 13 year old children making advancements in science, it shows me just how little scientists and head honchos in charge of improving our efficiency are doing to make us a more sustainable machine.


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