Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology


Figure from experiment 7 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


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

Generators have three main components–coils of wire, magnetic fields, and motion. The wire or the magnets have to move relative to one another to induce electrons in the wires to move.

In this activity, you will build a simple generator and explore how these variables affect generator performance. It is easy to generate small amounts of electricity, but it can be challenging to generate enough power to light a bulb, turn a motor, or power a house.


  • Generate electricity using magnets and coils of wire.
  • Distinguish between direct current and alternating current.
  • Compare generators and motors.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

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
18Effect of Load on Solar Panel Output
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.

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