Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Effect of Load on Wind Turbine Output

Figure from experiment 9 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


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.

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 9 from Renewable Energy with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Renewable Energy with Vernier</i> book cover

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