Wind Turbine Power Measurement
1. Introduction
2. Hardware Check
3. Experiment
4. Results
1. Introduction

If you haven't already, follow the steps in the Wind Turbine Power Measurement project to setup your sensors and turbine.

In order to test and compare different wind turbine designs, we need a way to measure their output. We can do that with an Arduino and a current sensor. The current sensor can tell us the current and voltage produced by the wind turbine and using those we can calculate power. This gives us an effective way to compare different designs.

We also need similar testing conditions to make sure the changes we see in the data come from the changes you make to your turbine. You can use a box fan as the wind source. Just make sure that the turbine is always placed the same distance from the fan.

While it may be tempting to make a lot of changes at once, you should be careful to only change one variable at a time. Otherwise it's hard to tell which change had which effect. Select the variable you're testing or, if yours isn't listed, select Other and then enter it below. If you're testing blade shape, label your different shapes with a number so that you can plot them in the next section.


What changes do you expect see when you modify the variable you've chosen? For instance, do you expect the voltage to increase? Or maybe the current will decrease?
2. Hardware Check
In the next section we'll use an Arduino with a current sensor to measure the power output of your wind turbine. Make sure it's connected now.
Place your turbine in front of the fan and turn it on. Enter a value for the variable you chose in the Variable Value box. For instance, if you chose Blade Length, then you would enter the length of the blades for this data point. Then, when the sensor readings show mostly stable values, click Record Data Point. This will add the data to the Data Lab below.

Change your variable at least 5 times and record a data point each time. Undo Last Data Point will remove the most recent data point, while Clear All Data Points will remove all recorded points.
Sensor Readings
Variable Value
Power (W)
Voltage (V)
Current (A)
Wind Speed (m/s)
Data View Modes
Data View Actions
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Show All Columns
    Enter a name for the data feed:
    Select a type for the data feed:
    Enter the Access Id for the feed:
    Enter the Access Code for the feed:

    You can save your data by clicking the More Actions button above and selecting Save/Share from the menu. Then give your data set a name and description, select if it will be shared with anyone, and click Ok.

    What changes did you observe in the output of your wind turbine when you changed your variable?
    What do you think might cause the changes you observed?
    How could you use this new information to improve your turbine design?
    5. Lesson Done