Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

David W. Murphy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rasim Guldiken, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andres E. Tejada-Martinez, Ph.D.


flag with frame, omnidirectional, regular flapping, renewable energy, wind harvesting


Renewable energy sources are vital to reduce dependence on fossil fuels that are harmful for the environment and release greenhouse gases causing global warming. Wind energy is a natural source of energy that is abundant in the environment. While wind turbines are most popular, convenient, and used to harvest energy at large scales, there have been recent studies focusing on harvesting energy from the wind for microdevices. Such micro wind energy harvesters can decrease dependence on batteries.

In this study, a novel, framed flag micro wind harvester was designed and tested, and its behavior at three different wind speeds was experimentally examined in a wind tunnel. The main purpose of this study is to determine the geometric and wind speed conditions under which regular flapping occurs in the flag material.

A high-speed camera was used to visualize the motion of the harvester at different wind speeds and at various parametric ratios of the flag material length to the frame length. The movies taken by the camera are analyzed using Image J software to find the flapping frequency, flapping angle, and the amplitude. Nondimensional parameters such as the Re number and St number also are calculated.

This study finds that parametric ratios of 1.1 and 1.2 with the medium wind speed condition of 5 m/s are optimal flapping conditions. These optimal conditions would conveniently allow the use of piezoelectric material as the flag material in order to harvest energy. Further, an advantage of this novel design over previous designs is that the wind harvester naturally aligns with the wind direction and is thus omnidirectional.