The humble butterfly could hold the key to unlocking new techniques to make solar energy cheaper and more efficient, pioneering new research has shown.
A team of experts from the University of Exeter has examined new techniques for generating photovoltaic (PV) energy – or ways in which to convert light into power.
They showed that by mimicking the v-shaped posture adopted by Cabbage White butterflies to heat up their flight muscles before take-off, the amount of power produced by solar panels can increase by almost 50 per cent.
Crucially, by replicating this ‘wing-like’ structure, the power-to-weight ratio of the overall solar energy structure is increased 17-fold, making it vastly more efficient.
The research by the team from both the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and the Centre for Ecology and Conservation, based at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, is published in the leading scientific journal, Scientific Reports.
Professor Tapas Mallick, lead author of the research said: “Biomimicry in engineering is not new. However, this truly multidisciplinary research shows pathways to develop low cost solar power that have not been done before.”
The Cabbage White butterflies are known to take flight before other butterflies on cloudy days – which limit how quickly the insects can use the energy from the sun to heat their flight muscles.
This ability is thought to be due to the v-shaped posturing, known as reflectance basking, they adopt on such days to maximise the concentration of solar energy onto their thorax, which allows for flight.
Furthermore, specific sub-structures of the butterflies’ wings allow the light from the sun to be reflected most efficiently, ensuring that the flight muscles are warmed to an optimal temperature as quickly as possible.
The team of scientists therefore investigated how to replicate the wings to develop a new, lightweight reflective material that could be used in solar energy production.
The Latest on: Low cost solar power
via Google News
The Latest on: Low cost solar power
- Azure Power Wins 2 GW ISTS Solar Project With SECIon December 12, 2019 at 8:02 am
is a leading independent solar power producer with a pan-Indian portfolio. With its in-house engineering, procurement and construction expertise and advanced inhouse operations and maintenance ...
- Concentrating Solar Power Market Examination and Industry Growth Till 2025 Which Is Going to Change Industry Futureon December 5, 2019 at 11:10 am
Through concentrated solar power technology, better efficiency, low-cost investments, and thermal storage capacity benefits are obtained. These benefits have resulted in an increasing demand for the ...
- Power company seeks to bring solar power to benefit low-income residentson December 4, 2019 at 9:04 am
Spring Valley is hoping to get into the low-cost energy game. Economic Development Director Debb Ladgenski is working with Citrine Power to try to bring in a community-solar project that will benefit ...
- Low-Cost Batteries Are About To Transform Multiple Industrieson December 3, 2019 at 3:17 pm
In a McKinsey & Co. report from March of this year, the researchers suggested that a $100/kWh cost for battery packs ... consumers thinking about installing solar and batteries. When Superstorm Sandy ...
- Low-cost Solar Panels Are Easy To Make And Reconfigureon November 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm
[Christian Pedersen] has just published a guide on how to make these handy little solar panels, and they only cost about $1.25 each! They are capable of providing between 0 – 0.5V at 400-1000mA ...
- Nigerian telecom launches low-cost 4G LTE wireless networkon November 8, 2019 at 6:15 am
Sub-Saharan Africa has the least affordable data prices of all low- to middle-income regions ... market conditions by optimizing for cost thanks to freely available Wi-Fi spectrum and relatively ...
- Govt planning low-cost electricity, solar power projects for South Punjab: PMon November 7, 2019 at 1:18 pm
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minster Imran Khan Thursday said the government was planning to provide low-cost electricity to South Punjab, besides executing solar power projects in the area. The prime minister, ...
- Mass Megawatts Wind Power, Inc. Announces Improvement with its Low-Cost, Solar Tracking Systemon October 26, 2019 at 7:15 pm
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
- Mass Megawatts Wind Power, Inc. Announces Improvement with its Low-Cost, Solar Tracking Systemon October 24, 2019 at 5:06 am
The STS is an innovative structural design that is simple, robust, and low-cost. The solar panels are automatically repositioned throughout the day as the sun's position travels from east to west with ...
- Duke Energy Pushes Plan for Low-Cost Solar Adoptionon September 19, 2019 at 4:41 am
Duke Energy is turning its attention to non-residential customers and wants to give them another option to install solar power on their properties. The company filed to be a certified solar lessor ...
via Bing News