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If You Like Butterflies…

Then you will appreciate knowing they are being accessed for some scientific inspiration.

The nature born wing technology of the butterfly has actually been studied – and replicated – for use in human designs with elements of biomimicry.

In 2009, a group of researchers found that scales on the wings actually act as onboard solar collectors, productively collecting light. Imitating the scales as a model they successfully advanced the way solar cells that are sensitive to dye were able to gather and store light.

If You Like Butterflies…

Image source: pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cm702458p?journalCode=cmatex

The wings of the Swallowtail butterfly were examined due to interest in how their fairly flat wing structure reflects almost no sunlight. This allows the wings to effectively absorb the sun’s rays. In utilizing this knowledge, a prototype of the scales was made that enhanced the solar cells energy production by an impressive 10%. This creates a naturally efficient energy technique.

Further, the butterfly’s unique wing design has been used in form with current day gadgetry. The Mirasol screen, which is a low voltage display, mimics the darting creature’s membranes in the wings which are coated in ultra-thin scales and capable of reflecting light. When this design is applied to cells, e-readers and tablets, sunlight is deflected producing a lustrous presentation.

This is done by employing 2 glass panels and small color reflective mirrors that redirect color back onto the screen providing a much brighter, easier to see display. Since the construction takes a clue from being outdoors it is supposed to be a better option for outside reading. Though there were some issues in production of the first screens, the technology could be picked back up at some point in the future and further developed.

Interesting advancements in nature inspired technology that can lead to resourceful ways of generating renewable energy are certainly promising.

Don’t save all the observation for the laboratory.

If you are lucky enough to have the avian friends as part of your landscape, safely attract them where they can be on display. The solar insect theater entices them along with other insects for a bit of light play.

If You Like Butterflies…

Image source: earthtechling.com/2009/12/outdoor-solar-light-puts-bugs-on-display

This idea can easily be turned into a do it yourself project by using a vented, transparent container placed by a solar light stick or small solar lamp. Don’t forget to allow escape routes for guests that stop in. Placed it near a plant that is known to attract them and enjoy the show.

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