Biomimetic Passive Cooling
August Hammel, Ille C. Gebeshuber
Vienna University of Technology, Austria | Institute of Applied Physics
With the rise of the average global temperature due to the ongoing climate change, more and more households need a way of keeping their living environment at bearable temperatures. It is therefore even more important to find solutions that do not further fuel the climate change. Great long-term solutions might be passive cooling systems. This work explores the possibilities of biomimetic passive cooling utilizing structured surfaces. The focus is put on structures that, when applied on the surface of a body, can lower the average temperature of the body, compared to its temperature without the structured surface, without the need of electricity or replenishable resources. Biomimetics, the abstraction of good design from living Nature, helps to find novel non-polluting ways to achieve such cooling structures.
One such inspiration from living Nature, managing heat exceptionally well using surface structures, is the Saharan silver ant Cataglyphis bombycine. With triangular, nanostructured hairs optimized for solar reflection they can withstand lethal temperatures of the Sahara for much longer than any other animals living there. And it is only one of many great inspirations Nature has to offer for paving the way towards innovative new applications with an added benefit of sustainable approaches.