Postdoctoral Fellow Santiago Orrego Designs a “Piezo-flag” to Sustainably Harvest Wind Energy

Jun 13, 2016 | No Comments | By Michelle Pagano

HEMI postdoctoral fellow Santiago Orrego is 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 while also creating a sustainable alternative for powering devices in remote areas.

Orrego constructed a “piezoelectric flag” optimizing 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. He mounted it 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.

Orrego is working in conjunction with Assistant Professor Sung Hoon Kang from the The Kang Group and the Department of Mechanical Engineering and mechanical engineering Professor Rajat Mittal from the Flow Physics & Computational Lab on this project.

Follow the project and check out a sustainable temperature reading here:


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

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