Orders of magnitude (power)

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This page lists examples of the power in watts produced by various different sources of energy. They are grouped by orders of magnitude, and each section covers three orders of magnitude, or a factor of one thousand.

Contents

1 yoctowatt

(10-24 watt)

1 zeptowatt

(10-21 watt)

1 attowatt

(10-18 watt)
  • 1 aW - Phys: approximate power scale at which operation of nanoelectromechanical systems is overwhelmed by thermal fluctuations. [1] (http://physicsweb.org/article/world/14/2/8)

1 femtowatt

(10-15 watt)
  • 2.5 fW - Tech: minimum discernable signal at the antenna terminal of a good FM radio receiver
  • 10 fW (-110 dBm) - Tech: approximate lower limit of power reception on digital spread-spectrum cell phones

1 picowatt

(10-12 watt)
  • 1 pW - BioMed: average power consumption of a human cell
  • 2.5 pW - BioMed: Sound intensity per square centimeter for average human threshold of hearing at 1000Hz; 1 phon or 0 dB SPL
  • 150 pW - BioMed: Power entering a human eye from a 100 watt lamp 1 km away

1 nanowatt

(10-9 watt)

1 microwatt

(10-6 watt)

1 milliwatt

(10-3 watt)
  • 5 mW - Tech: laser in a CD-ROM drive [2] (http://sharp-world.com/products/device/ctlg/laser/)
  • 5-10 mW - Tech: laser in a DVD player
  • 100 mW - Tech: laser in a CD-R drive

1 watt

  • 5 W - Tech: maximum power output of a CB or hand-held radio transmitter
  • 20-40 W - BioMed: approximate power consumption of the human brain
  • 30 W - Tech: the power of the typical household tube light
  • 60 W - Tech: the power of the typical household light bulb
  • 100 W - BioMed: approximate average power used by the human body
  • 290 W - Units: approximately 1000 BTU/hour
  • 745.7 W - Units: 1 horsepower
  • 750 W - Astro: the amount of sunshine falling on a square metre of the Earth's surface on a clear day

1 kilowatt

(103 watt)
  • 1.36 kW - Astro: power received from the Sun at the Earth's orbit by one square metre
  • up to 2 kW - BioMed: approximate short time power output of sprinting professional cyclists
  • 1 kW to 2 kW - Tech: heat output of a domestic electric kettle.
  • 2.2 kW - Geo: per capita average power use of the world in 2001
  • 11.4 kW - Geo: per capita average power use in the U.S. in 2001
  • 40 kW to 200 kW - Tech: approximate range of power output of typical automobiles
  • 50 kW to 100 kW - Tech: ERP of clear channel AM stations
  • 250 kW - Tech: highest allowed ERP for an FM band radio station in the United States.

1 megawatt

(106 watt)

1 gigawatt

(109 watt)
  • 1.3 GW - Tech: electric power output of Manitoba Hydro Limestone hydroelectric generating station
  • 2.074 GW - Tech: peak power generation of Hoover Dam
  • 3 GW - Tech: approximate peak power generation of the world's largest nuclear reactor
  • 12.6 GW - Tech: electrical power generation of the Itaipu Dam, the world's largest hydroelectric power plant
  • 12.7 GW - Geo: average electrical power consumption of Norway in 1998
  • 18.2 GW - Tech: electrical power generation of the Three Gorges Dam in China when complete
  • 424.3 GW - Geo: average electrical power consumption of the U.S. in 2001

1 terawatt

(1012 watt)
  • 1.7 TW - Geo: average electrical power consumption of the world in 2001
  • 3.327 TW - Geo: average total power consumption of the U.S. in 2001
  • 13.5 TW - Geo: average total power consumption of the world in 2001

1 petawatt

(1015 watt)

1 exawatt

(1018 watt)

1 zettawatt

(1021 watt)

1 yottawatt

(1024 watt)
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