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Project: Build a Wind Farm

Experiment #16 from Renewable Energy with Vernier

Education Level
High School


The need to pump water for human consumption and irrigation is critical in rural communities all over the globe.

The most common technology for off-grid communities, diesel engine pump sets, is also the least sustainable. Diesel engines are attractive to infrastructure developers and donors because they are inexpensive to purchase and they are widely available; but they are also heavy polluters, can be expensive to operate, and their reliability is sensitive to proper operations and regular maintenance. Fuel availability is seldom a problem but the support infrastructure for diesel pumps commonly breaks down, leaving users without safe water for long periods. It is amazing how often diesel pumps are automatically employed in development projects in spite of the overwhelming evidence that they have poor sustainability.

In this project, you will design a wind farm, a collection of wind turbines grouped together to create a single wind power plant. The wind farm you design will provide electricity to one or more KidWind Small Water Pumps with the goal of moving as much water as you can in a set period of time. The more power you provide to the pump, the more water you can move and the higher the pressure you can create. During the project, you will work with your group to design, test, and then optimize the orientation and design of your wind farm. At the end of the project, you will submit the set of deliverables.

Sensors and Equipment

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

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This experiment is #16 of Renewable Energy with Vernier. 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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