Biomimicry – or designs based on natural systems – is one of the most intriguing methods for designers and engineers to create innovative and efficient solutions to problems. Inspired by forms and functions found in nature, this approach to sustainable design allows for environmentally friendly solutions for energy, waste reduction and a bevy of other design challenges. Using biomimicry as the guiding design principle, the Australian firm BioPower Systems has developed Biowave: an ocean power system that harnesses energy by mimicking the motion of underwater plants in the ocean currents to generate electricity.
BioPower Systems is currently testing a prototype off the coast of Tasmania. A prototype unit of 250kw will inform the company on how to best deploy a larger scale system which in turn is expected to provide power to Flinders and King islands, and in the future, if successful, the entire state of Victoria, home of the city of Melbourne.