Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Exploring Wind Turbines

Figure from experiment 3 from Wind Energy Explorations

Introduction

For thousands of years, people have been harnessing wind energy to do work—from traveling around the world on sailing ships to grinding grain into flour using windmills. Today, wind is becoming more common as a renewable energy source through the use of wind turbines.

Wind turbines have four basic parts—a tower, turbine blades, a gear box, and a generator—that function together to convert kinetic energy from the wind into electrical energy. The amount of electrical energy that can be generated by a wind turbine is affected by many variables, which must all be taken into consideration by engineers who design the turbine.

In this experiment, you will use data-collection equipment to quantitatively investigate the effect of fan speed on the power output of a wind turbine.

Objectives

  • Explore how wind turbines turn.
  • Predict variables that affect how fast a wind turbine turns.
  • Investigate the effect of fan speed on the power output of a wind turbine.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

Graphical Analysis 4

Wind Energy Explorations

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Energy Transformation
2Measuring Wind Energy
3Exploring Wind Turbines
4Wind Turbines: Effect of Load
5Blade Variable: Pitch
6Blade Variable: Quantity
7Blade Variable: Area
8Blade Variable: Shape
9Engineering Project: Max Power

Experiment 3 from Wind Energy Explorations Lab Book

<i>Wind Energy Explorations</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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