Profs. Sung Hoon Kang and Rajat Mittal Explore Ways to Harvest Wind Energy with Piezoelectric Flag

June 17, 2016

Professor Sung Hoon Kang and Professor Rajat Mittal, along with Assistant Research Scientist Kourosh Shoele and postdoctoral fellow Santiago Orrego, are currently exploring how to harness wind energy with the hopes of one day replacing traditional batteries in small-scale sensors, biomedical devices, and wearable electronics. This advancement will also create a sustainable alternative for powering devices in remote areas.

The team is using a multidisciplinary approach that combines experimental testing and computational modeling to answer key questions regarding the performance and optimization of the piezoelectric Energy Harvesting systems for these applications. With assistance from undergraduate students Brett Caggiano ’18, Kyle Doran ’18, and Andre Ruas ’18, Oreggo constructed a piezoelectric flag that optimizes the flexible and conductive properties of piezoelectric material to make a nano-generator that could provide energy for time-spans extending over months and even years. This flag has been mounted to the roof of Garland Hall on Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus and is using it to power a temperature sensor. Using this method to harness the wind’s mechanical energy, he provides a durable power source that can be deployed in extremely remote locations without access to an electric grid.

The project is supported by a 2015-2016 E²SHI seed grant. Learn more about the project here and view a live feed from the sensor here.

Santiago Orrego tests his flag on the rooftop of Garland Hall at Johns Hopkins University. Photo: Jay Gould, 2016 HEMI/MICA Artist in Residence

Santiago Orrego tests his flag on the rooftop of Garland Hall at Johns Hopkins University. Photo: Jay Gould, 2016 HEMI/MICA Artist in Residence

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