Biomimicry in Energy Technologies

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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 need to generate cleaner, more competitive, sustainable, reliable and secure energy sources (European Commission 2008). This piece of writing will describe how Biomimicry is used as a tool for innovation, how it has been applied to improved current energy technologies, how it can be applied in new renewable energy technologies and It will discuss some advantages and disadvantages of Biomimicry’s approach. Biomimicry can be used as a tool for innovation following a model called “Biomimicry Design Spiral” (Picture 1). It was created by the organization Biomimicry Guild as a guide for all kind of innovators to design, create and develop ideas in an organized way, from the first concept generation stage to the final design stage (Biomimicry Institute 2011, AskNature 2011). The Design Spiral consists of five simple steps which are: Identify, Translate, Observe, Emulate and Evaluate. The shape of the spiral underlines the concept of the repetitive cycle, after solving one challenge, it should be evaluated to check whether it fulfils life’s principals or not. If it does not, a new challenge emerges and the process starts again. The first step which is “Identify” refers to the definition and specifications of the main problem and possible...
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