When Energy Efficiency is Driven by Nature Itself

Biomimicry is the “design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modelled on biological entities and processes.” Learning from the planet and the different species, researchers have discovered how to improve power light efficiency through fireflies. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) play a big role in modern clean energy. However, they are only at 50% efficiency in commercial settings due to lack of light extraction performance. One of the biggest culprits for LED inefficiency is that half of the light produced in the device gets reflected back into it, where it can turn into heat.


As a result, a team of researchers from Belgium, France and Canada have discovered that the firefly “lantern” follows a pattern of jagged scales that enhanced the lanterns’ glow. By mimicking this design and utilising tilted pyramidal structures, the LED can emit more light using the same amount of electrical energy.  When implemented, LEDs become 55% more efficient than previous designs. You can see the difference in the image below.



This increase in efficiency could potentially reduce power bills for both homes and businesses. However, implementation can be quite costly. What are your thoughts on this topic? Let us know in the comments below!




SOURCES: CleanTechnica; Antropocene; Science Daily

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