Download Full Text (1.2 MB)


Mitigating global climate change is a major contemporary topic of research and is of major interest to today’s societies. Developed countries the top contributors to the destruction of the climate with buildings in these countries being one of the reasons. Buildings in developed countries account for 20-40% of the total primary energy consumption. This high-energy consumption produces approximately 36% of the total CO2 emissions since fossil-fuels are the primary source of energy in almost all developed countries. To combat this, researchers have investigated wind energy harvesting technologies that produce electricity while also being considered “green”, or low carbon dioxide emitters. One of these technologies utilizes aeroelastic flutter to induce a current in conducting coil to produce electricity. This study examines a prototype that uses this principal with the intent to apply it in the built environment thus, offering a better alternative to conventional urban wind turbines.

From previous work in this area it was found that the inclination angle of these harvesters has not been evaluated. This study address this using a wind tunnel and a prototype while also attempting to characterize the motion of the fluttering membrane of the harvester. It is found that at non-perpendicular wind flows the voltage output of the conducting coils is decreased through all investigated windspeeds and is exaggerated in as speed increases. Analogies are discovered at Θ = -15° in which voltage dramatically decreases. It is also found that displacement and voltage increase as windspeed increases. Lower speeds produce more stable oscillations with higher speeds causing the oscillations to be unstable. The magnets tended to contact the conducting coil spool at higher windspeeds causing the instability.

Publication Date


Document Type



Grand Forks, ND


Dynamic Façade, aeroelastic flutter, flutter, energy harvester


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Presented at the Fall 2017 Undergraduate Showcase Grand Forks, ND, December 7, 2017.

Dynamic façades towards greener energy efficient buildings