Technology

The FLAG combines two different principles to generate electricity.

Aerodynamic Film Oscillation

Multiple layers of thin plastic film are configured with holes to reliably oscillate in the wind, essentially a self actuated air valve. The FLAG oscillation method does not depend on the Karman vortex shedding from flagpoles that can often be visibly seen on conventional flags.  For this reason it reliably oscillates in a variety of form factors, and over a very wide range of windspeeds.

Electrostatic Power Generation

The film itself is also an electrical insulator, covered with a pattern of conductors that allow it to work as an electrostatic machine when it oscillates in the wind.  A variety of energy harvesting circuits can be used with the FLAG, ranging from very simple to complex triggered circuits. FLAGs have also been constructed using no solid-state electronics at all, using only electrical contacts on the film surfaces. The demonstration prototypes depicted on this website were constructed using a modified version of a harvesting circuit from De Queiroz, A. C. M. (2016). Energy harvesting using symmetrical electrostatic generators. 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS). doi:10.1109/iscas.2016.752732

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