Variables Affecting Wind Turbine Power

US DOE WInd Turbines
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Intended Grade Level(s):
Learning Goal(s):

• Students will be able to identify and explain at least three variables that affect the efficiency of wind turbines • Students will conduct a scientific investigation to determine which wind turbine configuration will generate the most power

Lesson Number:
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours
Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

Now that students are familiar with how mechanical electricity generation works, they will build a wind turbine powered by a box fan. Different teams will test different turbine variables to see how the amount of electrical power is affected. After each team completes testing their chosen variable, the highest wind turbine configurations from each team will tested against one another. The turbine that generates the most power from this lesson will then compete with a photovoltaic cell of approximately equivalent cost to see whether wind or solar is the most economical (in the next lesson). 

Science Kit Material(s) Used:
Advanced Wind Turbine Kit
Other Material(s) Used:
Paper handouts