FLAG Project History #4

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 06:070 Comments

After the first successful prototype, I started making more generators in this style, mostly by hand.  I refined the design a little bit;  I gave it some supports so it could be hung from an acrylic rod or directly from a fluorescent light.  I also put the power output on those supports, so I would no longer need to use alligator clips when testing.  Here is an example, where you can see the power outputs (+ and -) on the outside supports, and the "ground" connection (approximately equivalent to a "neutralizer" on a Wimshurst machine) on the center support.

As the generators oscillate very quickly, whenever one wouldn't work I often couldn't tell what the problem was. For troubleshooting, I built a "stroboscope" by hacking into an automotive timing light and adjusting the strobe timing with an arduino.  With my stroboscope, I could turn out the lights, and adjust the frequency of the strobe light to be close to the oscillating frequency of the FLAG.  This would create the optical illusion of the FLAG moving in slow motion to help me troubleshoot it.  The light beam was a little too narrow to make the illusion perfect, but it was good enough to be helpful.

The slow-motion on the newer iPhone models has become so good, the stroboscope was quickly retired.