Introduction

A wind turbine generally consists of a two- or three-bladed propeller made of aluminum or fiberglass mounted on the top of a tall tower. It converts energy from the mechanical energy of moving air to electrical energy by means of a generator. The wind causes the shaft of the turbine to spin which in turn causes a generator to produce electricity.

In this experiment, you will measure the power output of a wind turbine, investigate the relationship between power output and wind speed, and determine the relationship between power output and rotor shape.

You will use a small motor as a generator and a pinwheel as the turbine. The power output of the pinwheel can be determined by measuring the current and voltage produced by the motor. Power is determined using the relationship

P = VI {\text{Power}} = {\text{voltage}} \times {\text{current}}

Objectives

In this experiment, you will

  • Use a Current Probe to measure current output.
  • Use a Voltage Probe to measure voltage output.
  • Calculate power output.
  • Determine the relationship between power output and wind speed.
  • Determine the relationship between power output and rotor shape.