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    Building smarter with nature as a model

    It’s a new field for humanity, but harnessing solar power is nothing new for sunflowers. And according to Wired, a team of researchers are using them as a model to build a better concentrated solar power plant.

    These systems require huge amounts of space — a problem if we’re going to increase our reliance on solar power. But the scientists were able to shrink their CSP’s footprint by drawing inspiration from the florets, those pod-like structures at the sunflower’s center. The team arranged the mirrors so they would be, like the florets, 137 degrees from each other, reducing the necessary room by 20%. (Click through for all the study’s nitty-gritty details.)

    We love this story, because it illustrates that sometimes, the secret to creativity is simply spotting what translates well into what you’re trying to achieve.

    Image: jeffreyc42 / Flickr / CC-licensed

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    23 notes Thursday, January 12, 2012

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