Clean energy technology is taking cues from sunflower spirals, schooling fish and other natural phenomena

By observing how plants, animals and even mud behave, renewable energy innovators are uncovering new ideas for improving efficiency and output

Photo ©
The spiral arrangements of seeds on a sunflower provides a model for optimum arrangement of heliostats in a concentrated solar plant. Photo ©
In a laboratory testing facility, an artificial seafloor “carpet” whose design was inspired by the behavior of mud transforms wave energy into hydraulic pressure. Photo courtesy of the Theoretical and Applied Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at UC Berkeley | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Ensia is a solutions-focused nonprofit media outlet reporting on our changing planet.

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