Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology


Figure from experiment 7 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


How is electrical energy made? Electricity is seen in nature on a large scale as lightning, but lightning is not “harvested” to light buildings, run air conditioning, or power computers and mobile devices. Instead, electricity has to be generated by converting it from another form of energy.

A device called a generator is often used in the process of converting energy from one form to another. Generators can vary in size and shape, but all generators are composed of a few essential parts: a coil of wire, one or more magnets, and a frame to hold everything in place. To produce electricity, the generator is designed so the magnet and/or coil moves (either the coil is stationary and the magnet moves, or the magnet is stationary and the coil spins).

In this activity, you will build a your own generator and then explore how different variables affect how much electricity you can produce.


  • Generate electricity using magnets and coils of wire.
  • Compare the voltages produced by spinning magnets within different numbers of turns of wire.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Renewable Energy with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Renewable Energy: Why is it So Important?
2What is Energy?
3Project: Energy Audit
4Voltage and Circuits
5Current and Resistors
6Mechanical Power
8Exploring Wind Turbines
9Effect of Load on Wind Turbine Output
10Blade Variables and Power Output
12Turbine Efficiency
13Power Curves
14Power and Energy
15Project: Maximum Energy Output
16Project: Build a Wind Farm
17Exploring Solar Panels
18AEffect of Load on Solar Panel Output
18BFill Factor and IV Curve of a Solar Panel
19Variables Affecting Solar Panel Output
20Effect of Temperature on Solar Panel Output
21Project: Build a Solar Charger
22Exploring Passive Solar Heating
23Variables Affecting Passive Solar Heating
24Exploring Solar Collectors
25Variables Affecting Solar Collectors
26Project: Solar Cooker

Experiment 7 from Renewable Energy with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Renewable Energy with Vernier</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.

Buy the Book

Go to top