FLAG Project History #2

A project log for Flexible circuit wind generator

A new way to generate wind energy using only polyester film based flexible circuits

Stuart MacKenzieStuart MacKenzie 10/14/2021 at 05:570 Comments

Sometime around 2010, I unpacked a box and found what was still a sorry excuse for a wind generator.  After a few years of thinking about it, I decided that it might have a better chance of working if the motion was simple reciprocation instead of the wave-like motion that was required in the previous iterations.  I had an idea for something a little more basic, and just to try it out, I built a test out of 1/8" acrylic.  This was a new 4-sector machine, with unique flat contact switching on it.  Back and forth action causes the inner sectors to alternately approach the other sectors, and the switches connect the sectors to each other and ground in such a way that the charges double each cycle (though I don't think a true doubling is possible without a good connection to ground-  in this case I think the charge multiplier theoretically approaches 1.62).  After a minute or so of shaking the generator, the compact fluorescent light would blink with every shake.  The wires were very well insulated with silicone fuel line tubing.

This was encouraging enough to bring the FLAG project back to life.  I started making new generators out of thin films that were more similar to this acrylic test, and started experimenting with ways to make something like this reciprocate in the wind.  Progress was very slow- now having 3 kids I would work on it whenever I had a little bit of spare time.  I moved the blower I had been using from the previous experiments from my workplace into my garage for occasional wind tunnel testing.