Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Exploring Wind Turbines

Figure from experiment 8 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


What is wind? Most simply, wind can be defined as moving air. Although this may seem like a very basic explanation, wind is a phenomenon that can be interesting to explore because you cannot actually see it.

Wind turbines have four basic parts–a tower, blades, a gear box, and a generator–that function together to convert kinetic energy from the wind into electrical energy. As the blades turn, they cause the gear box to turn, via a shaft. The turning gear box causes the generator to turn via a second shaft. The turning of the generator generates electricity.

The amount of electricity that can be generated by a wind turbine is affected by many variables. In this experiment, you will explore variables that affect how a turbine turns. You will then investigate the effect of fan speed on the power output of a wind turbine.


  • 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

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

Experiment 8 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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