Essay on Biomimicry in Energy Technologies

1451 Words Aug 14th, 2012 6 Pages
As the world demands new measures for our needs, the way that these are found has changed. The term "Biomimicry" has become more familiar in the sector of science and innovation during the last few years, referring to the discipline of looking at nature as an inspirational source to emulate its mechanisms, functions or processes in order to solve human problems. The idea of this approach is to use nature as a mentor, because it has 3.8 Billion years of experience learning and solving problems to live in harmony (Benyus Janine 1998). In this way, Biomimicry can play an important role as a tool for innovation in the search for solutions in nowadays issues such as Energy sources. It is one of the biggest concerns all over the world for the …show more content…
Not what do you want to design? Who is involved in the problem? And where is the location of the problem?. The next step “Translate” is to rephrase the problem in biological terms expressing it in habitat, climate, nutrients or social conditions. After this, the “Observe” stage starts, looking closely at nature to find the best model to solve the problem. At this point the interaction among engineers, designers, biologist and specialist becomes essential to be able to choose the best example in nature according to its characteristics. Having the model selected the “Emulate” process takes part looking into details to mimic form, function and ecosystem. Finally, the “Evaluate” step, in this part the design or solution is assessed against life’s principal, also possible improvements might be requested and the learnt lesson is documented for a future or different problem (Biomimicry Institute 2011).

Picture 1: Biomimicry Design Spiral
(Source: http://www.biomimicryinstitute.org/about-us/
biomimicry-a-tool-for-innovation.html)
This approach has been used to create incremental innovations in current energy technologies, such as the case of a company called WhalePower, which inspired by flippers on humpback whales, has created Tubercle Technology to improve the efficiency in wind turbine blades. Frank E. Fish, co-founder of WhalePower, realised that the leading edges of the…

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