TreeHugger has a post on some biomimicry being applied to solve the problem of ice forming on wind turbine blades - Water Drops on Leaves Inspire Wind Turbine Coatings That De-Ice Themselves.
There's lots of cool stuff going on with biomimicry these days and on Wednesday I got to see one of the coolest things I've seen in this arena in a while: Experimental superhydrophobic coatings for wind turbine blades. Inspired by the way water balls up on certain types of leaves, these promise more efficient renewable energy, safer airplanes, and more:
My sneak peak into superhydrophobia came thanks to GE's largesse, as they ferried myself and several other reporters up to their Global Research Facility in Niskayuna, New York to take part in a media forum on their investments in cleantech startups. ...
The inspiration for this came originally from observations of lotus leaves which exhibit similar characteristics. Nasturtium leaves (pictured at top) behave in the same way. In nature this serves, essentially, to enhance photosynthesis as dirt has a harder time collecting on the leaves -- it just gets continually washed off by dew and rainwater.