Vernier Software and Technology - Celebrating 35 years
Vernier Software & Technology
Innovative Uses

simpleGEN: A Better Generator Experiment

The new KidWind simpleGEN is an easy-to-build electric generator that can be powered by hand or by the wind. Experienced KidWind customers may recall that the simpleGEN housing used to consist of a rectangular cross-section of PVC fence post. The new housing allows the generator to be mounted on a turbine tower, and additional holes for hex shafts allow for experimentation with the KidWind Gear Set with Spool.

Students wrap enameled copper wire around the housing and sand the enamel off the wire ends to make an electrical connection. Turning the shaft spins a set of magnets inside the housing, and the interaction between the moving magnets and the electrons within the copper wire induces an alternating current and voltage in the wire. For a quick measurement of the AC voltage, connect the wire ends to the Bridge Rectifier included on the KidWind Power Output Board and connect the Bridge Rectifier to the Visual Voltmeter. The more potential difference induced, the more LEDs will glow

Voltage and power produced by a simpleGEN powered by wind, starting from rest

Use the Vernier Energy Sensor to measure the power produced by generators with differing numbers of wire coils, experiment with different wind turbine blade designs, and compare power generated by different gear ratios. Instructions can be found at

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