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New technology could make solar energy cheaper

Staff writer |
A new study found that using the v-shaped posture that is adopted by a butterfly species in order to prepare its muscles before flight, the amount of energy that is produced by solar panels could be increased by approximately 50%.

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An Indian-origin scientist has come up with this idea. As per the study, in addition to increased efficiency of solar energy production, the costs associated with the production could also be reduced.

According to study lead author Tapas Mallick, professor at University of Exeter in Britain, "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".

As per reports, on cloudy days, the Cabbage White butterflies take flight prior to other butterflies. During such weather, insects face problem in quickly using the energy from the sun in order to heat their flight muscles.

It is thought that this ability is a result of the v-shaped posturing they make on such days in an attempt to make the most of the concentration of solar energy onto their thorax, to take-off flight.

In addition to that, particular sub-structures of the butterflies' wings let the sunlight to be reflected in a more efficient way. This makes sure that the flight muscles are heated up to an optimal temperature as fast as possible.

On account of this, the team of scientists studied how the wings could be replicated to develop a new, lightweight reflective material that could be utilized in production of solar energy.


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