Power from the wind is an increasingly popular option for electricity generation. Unlike traditional energy sources such as coal, oil, and gas, which contribute large quantities of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, wind power relies on a non-polluting and renewable resource—the wind. In recent years, the cost of harnessing energy from the wind has become more affordable, making it a viable alternative for many communities.
A wind turbine generally consists of a two- or three-bladed propeller made of fiberglass, mounted on the top of a tall tower. It converts the kinetic energy of moving air to electrical energy by means of a generator. The wind causes the shaft of the turbine to spin, which in turn causes a generator to produce electricity. In many cases there is a gearbox between the blades and the generator to increase the RPM at the generator.
In this experiment, you will measure the power output of a wind turbine and determine the relationship between optimal resistance and internal resistance. You will do this by operating the turbine under load, which means you will hook up a device with a specific electrical resistance to the turbine output.
Determine how power output varies depending on the resistance (load) in the circuit.
Explore the relationship between internal resistance and optimal resistance.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.