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Blade Design: Quantity

Experiment #8 from Investigating Wind Energy

Education Level
Elementary School


Do all wind turbines have the same number of blades? There are other devices that have blades, too, such as box fans and ceiling fans. How many blades do these fans have? Is it always the same?

The truth is that engineers face many challenges in designing devices that are blade driven. The number of blades can vary for several reasons.

In this experiment, you will explore the design variable “blade quantity.” You will discover the optimal number of blades to use for your particular blade design in order to generate the greatest power output.


  • Measure wind turbine power output with a Vernier Energy Sensor.
  • Investigate how the number of wind turbine blades affects the power output of a wind turbine.
  • Determine the optimal number of blades for maximum power output.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #8 of Investigating Wind Energy. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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