Patterns from Nature – Plant Leaf Design for Efficient Cooling Systems

In deciduous trees, the shapes of leaves determine the thermal properties and in particular the efficiency of evaporation and thus cooling. Based on my fundamental research and new insights into these shape principles, parametric design was used to fabricate panels of porous materials with 3-D surface structures. This shape-function relationship, as well as the use of porous ceramic materials are expected to increase the evaporation efficiency of panels compared to conventional technologies. The performance of installed prototypes with respect to their thermal properties was investigated.