Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Biomimicry and the “Evolution” of Tidal Energy

The Oil Drum just posted a great article about the “evolution” of tidal generators and the rise of biomimicry in general. Essentially by mimicking the design of plants and sea-swelling creatures that have adapted to an underwater environment for millions of years, we are able to build systems and devices that are more likely to achieve peak efficiency…or at least go a long way towards it. From the article:
In my post on ocean energy a few months ago I briefly mentioned a scheme by a small Australian company called BioPower to trial some tidal power and wave power technologies in Bass Strait that used “biomimicry” based design principles. The project is due to go live next year, with 2 prototype units being deployed – the wave power system will be off King Island and the tidal power one off Flinders Island. Each unit can produce up to 250 kilowatts. The $10.3 million system is half funded by the Australian Government and the electricity generated will be used by Hydro Tasmania. BioPower CEO Tim Finnigan says the locations were chosen because Tasmania “offers a world-class wave climate on the west coast and a fantastic tidal environment on the eastern side”. The field of biomimicry (also called “biomimetics” and “bionics”) is a new one that has gathered an increasing amount of attention in recent years, with advocates promoting these types of designs as being efficient ways to harness natural resources and to use them in a sustainable way. In this post I’ll look at the history of the science (apparently you can get a degree in it now) and at a range of examples where it is being applied.
Read the full article here.


Ready, Set, Forage: Pick Pawpaws, Win a Book!

It’s pawpaw picking time! As we cruise into fall, the change in season often evokes images of apple picking and pie-eating. But apples aren’t the only fruit reaching their prime this time of year. Lesser known but equally delicious is the pawpaw. Described as a cross between a banana and a mango, this exotic-looking fruit […] Read More..

5 Common Invasive Species and How to Manage Them

Last week, we asked authors Tao Orion and Katrina Blair to share alternative approaches to managing five different plant species commonly held to be “invasive.” St. John’s Wort, Garlic Mustard, Thistle, Oxeye Daisy, and Kudzu are often dismissed as annoyances at best and the target of aggressive eradication with harmful chemicals at worst. Orion and […] Read More..

What in the World is a Pawpaw?

Have you heard of the pawpaw? A few generations ago, most would say “yes!” You could ask just about anyone and they could tell you what this fruit looked and tasted like, and more importantly, where to find it. But today, the pawpaw remains a mystery to some and entirely unknown to others. In Pawpaw: […] Read More..

Uncovering the Many Uses for Abundant Kudzu

As Invasive Species Week comes to a close, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds,  share alternative approaches to understanding and managing Kudzu. Take a look through our final profile and check out any you might have missed along the way: Oxeye […] Read More..

Oxeye Daisy: A Plant for the Pollinators

As Invasive Species Week continues, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, are sharing alternative approaches to managing and using plants considered to be “invasive.” Take a look through today’s profile on Oxeye Daisy and check out tips for working with Garlic […] Read More..