Lily Impeller: A Nature-Based Design

Lily Impeller, which was originally designed as a propeller for boats by Jay Harman, has been used as a device to mix water in water tanks around the world. It is reported that one such device, about 6 inches tall, is able to circulate hundreds of millions of gallons of water. The device only consumes as much energy as it takes to light a bulb, but it can save 85 percent of chemicals due to its ability to move the stagnating water.

The device is designed based on the spiral shapes observed in nature. We observe this shape everywhere and everyday. We observe the shape at sea shells, tornadoes, galaxy, water going down the sinks, etc. As Harman asserted:” there is no such thing as a straight line in nature”. All gases and fluids move in spiral paths. Based on this observation, Harman developed the Lily Impeller. It turns out that the device can save a lot of energy. In the example above, the device saves 80% of energy, and it is only the beginning. The devices can possibly be used in wind turbines and propellers. Can the spirals inspire applications in buildings and save energy? Hope we can see them soon.