An engineering team at Princeton University is using biomimicry to develop cheaper solar panels that will absorb more sunlight. You may be wondering what the word biomimicry means. Biomimicry is when people mimic (or copy) designs found in nature to improve upon and advance technology.
God designed plants to be highly efficient at collecting energy through photosynthesis. The new solar panels are modeled after the design found in leaves. The team at Princeton has made solar panels containing folds on their surface, much like the folds found on the surface of leaves. The folds help the new panels to capture 47% more energy than traditional solar panels.1 The new panels are made out of plastic, instead of the usual silicon. The plastic is not only cheaper than silicon, but is also easier to bend and fold.
We can make important scientific advances by studying the amazing design that God has incorporated into the world around us!
For more information about biomimicry, please see:
1Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, News to Note, May 12, 2012, Answers in Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2012/05/12/news-to-note-05122012.