Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Wind Turbines: Effect of Load

Figure from experiment 4 from Wind Energy Explorations


A load is a device that uses electrical energy to accomplish its task. The simplest form of a load is a resistor. In most cases, resistors are used to adjust the amount of energy that reaches another load connected to the circuit by changing a voltage or diverting a current. Additional examples of loads include lights, fans, heaters, and more complicated devices such as televisions or computers. Any device that uses electricity can be considered a load.

In this experiment, you will measure the power output of a wind turbine and determine the optimal load. That is, you will determine the resistance for which the power output is greatest. You will then compare the optimal load to the internal resistance of the generator.


  • Determine how the power output of a wind turbine varies depending on the resistance (load) in the circuit.
  • Compare internal resistance and optimal load.

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 4 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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