Orders of magnitude (power)
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Below 1 WEdit
|Factor (Watts)||SI prefix||Value (Watts)||Item|
|10−27||1.64×10−27||phys: approximate power of gravitational radiation emitted by a 1000 kg satellite in geosynchronous orbit around the Earth.|
|10−21||Zepto- (zW)||~1×10−21||biomed: lowest recorded power consumption of a deep-subsurface marine microbe |
|10−20||~1×10−20||tech: approximate power of Galileo space probe's radio signal (when at Jupiter) as received on earth by a 70-meter DSN antenna.|
|10−18||Atto- (aW)||1×10−18||phys: approximate power scale at which operation of nanoelectromechanical systems are overwhelmed by thermal fluctuations.|
|10−16||1×10−16||tech: the GPS signal strength measured at the surface of the Earth.[clarification needed]|
|10−15||Femto- (fW)||2.5×10−15||tech: minimum discernible signal at the antenna terminal of a good FM radio receiver|
|10−14||1×10−14||tech: approximate lower limit of power reception on digital spread-spectrum cell phones (−110 dBm)|
|10−12||Pico- (pW)||1×10−12||biomed: average power consumption of a human cell (−90 dBm)|
|10−11||1.84×10−11||phys: power lost in the form of synchrotron radiation by a proton revolving in the Large Hadron Collider at 7000 GeV|
|10−10||1.5×10−10||biomed: power entering a human eye from a 100-watt lamp 1 km away[clarification needed]|
|10−9||Nano- (nW)||2–15×10−9||tech: power consumption of 8-bit PIC microcontroller chips when in "sleep" mode|
|10−6||Micro- (μW)||1×10−6||tech: approximate consumption of a quartz or mechanical wristwatch (−30 dBm)|
|3×10−6||astro: cosmic microwave background radiation per square meter|
|10−5||5×10−5||biomed: sound power incident on a human eardrum at the threshold intensity for pain (500 mW/m2).|
|10−3||Milli- (mW)||5×10−3||tech: laser in a CD-ROM drive|
|5–10×10−3||tech: laser in a DVD player|
|10−2||Centi- (cW)||7×10−2||tech: antenna power in a typical consumer wireless router|
|10−1||Deci- (dW)||5×10−1||tech: maximum allowed carrier output power of an FRS radio|
1 to 102 WEdit
|Factor (Watts)||SI prefix||Value (Watts)||Item|
|100||W||1||tech: cellphone camera light|
|2||tech: maximum allowed carrier power output of a MURS radio|
|4||tech: the power consumption of an incandescent night light|
|4||tech: maximum allowed carrier power output of a 10-meter CB radio|
|7||tech: the power consumption of a typical Light-emitting diode (LED) light bulb|
|8||tech: human-powered equipment using a hand crank.|
|101||Deca- (daW)||1.4 x 101||tech: the power consumption of a typical household compact fluorescent light bulb|
|2–4 x 101||biomed: approximate power consumption of the human brain|
|3–4 x 101||tech: the power consumption of a typical household fluorescent tube light|
|6 x 101||tech: the power consumption of a typical household incandescent light bulb|
|102||Hecto- (hW)||1 x 102||biomed: approximate basal metabolic rate of an adult human body|
|1.2 x 102||tech: electric power output of 1 m2 solar panel in full sunlight (approx. 12% efficiency), at sea level|
|1.3 x 102||tech: peak power consumption of a Pentium 4 CPU|
|2 x 102||tech: stationary bicycle average power output|
|2.9 x 102||units: approximately 1000 BTU/hour|
|3–4 x 102||tech: PC GPU Nvidia Geforce Fermi 480 peak power consumption|
|4 x 102||tech: legal limit of power output of an amateur radio station in the United Kingdom|
|5 x 102||biomed: power output (useful work plus heat) of a person working hard physically|
|7.457 x 102||units: 1 horsepower|
|7.5 x 102||astro: approximately the amount of sunshine falling on a square metre of the Earth's surface at noon on a clear day in March for northern temperate latitudes|
|9.09 x 102||biomed: peak output power of a healthy human (non-athlete) during a 30-second cycle sprint at 30.1 degree Celsius.|
103 to 108 WEdit
|103||Kilo- (kW)||1-3 x 103 W||tech: heat output of a domestic electric kettle|
|1.1 x 103 W||tech: power of a microwave oven|
|1.366 x 103 W||astro: power per square metre received from the Sun at the Earth's orbit|
|1.5 x 103 W||tech: legal limit of power output of an amateur radio station in the United States|
|up to 2 x 103 W||biomed: approximate short-time power output of sprinting professional cyclists and weightlifters doing snatch lifts|
|2.4 x 103 W||geo: average power consumption per person worldwide in 2008 (21,283 kWh/year)|
|3.3–6.6 x 103 W||eco: average photosynthetic power output per square kilometer of ocean|
|3.6 x 103 W||tech: synchrotron radiation power lost per ring in the Large Hadron Collider at 7000 GeV|
|104||1–5 x 104 W||tech: nominal power of clear channel AM|
|1.00 x 104 W||eco: average power consumption per person in the United States in 2008 (87,216 kWh/year)|
|1.4 x 104 W||tech: average power consumption of an electric car on EPA's Highway test schedule|
|1.6–3.2 x 104 W||eco: average photosynthetic power output per square kilometer of land|
|3 x 104 W||tech: power generated by the four motors of GEN H-4 one-man helicopter|
|4–20 x 104 W||tech: approximate range of peak power output of typical automobiles (50-250 hp)|
|5–10 x 104 W||tech: highest allowed ERP for an FM band radio station in the United States|
|105||1.67 x 105 W||tech: power consumption of UNIVAC 1 computer|
|2.5–8 x 105 W||tech: approximate range of power output of 'supercars' (300 to 1000 hp)|
|4.5 x 105 W||tech: approximate maximum power output of a large 18-wheeler truck engine (600 hp)|
|106||Mega-(MW)||1.3 x 106 W||tech: power output of P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft|
|2.0 x 106 W||tech: peak power output of GE's standard wind turbine|
|2.4 x 106 W||tech: peak power output of a Princess Coronation class steam locomotive (approx 3.3K EDHP on test) (1937)|
|2.5 x 106 W||biomed: peak power output of a blue whale|
|3 x 106 W||tech: mechanical power output of a diesel locomotive|
|7 x 106 W||tech: mechanical power output of a Top Fuel dragster|
|8 x 106 W||tech: peak power output of the MHI Vestas V164, the world's largest offshore wind turbine|
|107||1 x 107 W||tech: highest ERP allowed for an UHF television station|
|1.03 x 107 W||geo: electrical power output of Togo|
|1.22 x 107 W||tech: approx power available to a Eurostar 20-carriage train|
|1.6 x 107 W||tech: rate at which a typical gasoline pump transfers chemical energy to a vehicle|
|2.6 x 107 W||tech: peak power output of the reactor of a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine|
|7.5 x 107 W||tech: maximum power output of one GE90 jet engine as installed on the Boeing 777|
|108||1.4 x 108 W||tech: average power consumption of a Boeing 747 passenger aircraft|
|1.9 x 108 W||tech: peak power output of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier|
|5 x 108 W||tech: typical power output of a Fossil fuel power station|
|9 x 108 W||tech: electric power output of a CANDU nuclear reactor|
|9.59 x 108 W||geo: average electrical power consumption of Zimbabwe in 1998|
The productive capacity of electrical generators operated by utility companies is often measured in MW. Few things can sustain the transfer or consumption of energy on this scale; some of these events or entities include: lightning strikes, naval craft (such as aircraft carriers and submarines), engineering hardware, and some scientific research equipment (such as supercolliders and large lasers).
For reference, about 10,000 100-watt lightbulbs or 5,000 computer systems would be needed to draw 1 MW. Also, 1 MW is approximately 1360 horsepower. Modern high-power diesel-electric locomotives typically have a peak power of 3–5 MW, while a typical modern nuclear power plant produces on the order of 500–2000 MW peak output.
109 to 1014 WEdit
1.3 x 109
|tech: electric power output of Manitoba Hydro Limestone hydroelectric generating station|
|2.074 x 109||tech: peak power generation of Hoover Dam|
|2.1 x 109||tech: peak power generation of Aswan Dam|
|3.4 x 109||tech: estimated power consumption of the Bitcoin network in 2017|
|4.116 x 109||tech: installed capacity of Kendal Power Station, the world's largest coal-fired power plant.|
|8.21 x 109||tech: capacity of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, the world's largest Nuclear power plant.|
|1010||1.07 x 1010||tech: estimated energy production of Costa Rica for 2015|
|1.17 x 1010||tech: power produced by the Space Shuttle in liftoff configuration (9.875 GW from the SRBs; 1.9875 GW from the SSMEs.)|
|1.26 x 1010||tech: electrical power generation of the Itaipu Dam|
|1.27 x 1010||geo: average electrical power consumption of Norway in 1998|
|1.83 x 1010||tech: peak electrical power generation of the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydroelectric power plant of any type.|
|2.24 x 1010||tech: peak power of all German solar panels (at noon on a cloudless day), researched by the Fraunhofer ISE research institute in 2014|
|5.027 x 1010||tech: peak electrical power consumption of California Independent System Operator users between 1998 and 2018, recorded at 14:44 Pacific Time, July 24, 2006.|
|5.5 x 1010||tech: peak daily electrical power consumption of Great Britain in November 2008.|
|7.31 x 1010||tech: total installed power capacity of Turkey on December 31, 2015.|
|1011||1.016 x 1011||tech: peak electrical power consumption of France (February 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm)|
|1.66 x 1011||tech: average power consumption of the first stage of the Saturn V rocket.|
|4.33 x 1011||tech: total installed wind turbine capacity at end of 2015.|
|7 x 1011||biomed: humankind basal metabolic rate as of 2013 (7 billion people).|
|1012||Tera- (TW)||2 x 1012||astro: approximate power generated between the surfaces of Jupiter and its moon Io due to Jupiter's tremendous magnetic field.|
|3.34 x 1012||geo: average total (gas, electricity, etc.) power consumption of the US in 2005|
|1013||1.81 x 1013||tech: average total power consumption of the human world in 2013|
|3.0 x 1013||geo: average total natural energy output from radioactive decay within Earth's interior.|
|4.4 x 1013||geo: average total heat flux from Earth's interior, i.e. the total rate at which Earth naturally radiates thermal energy into space less the rate at which the Earth absorbs solar energy. The current net rate at which geothermal heat is naturally lost to space is this number less the aforementioned replenishment from radioactive decay, i.e. ~1.4 x 1013 W.|
|7.5 x 1013||eco: global net primary production (= biomass production) via photosynthesis|
|5–20 x 1013||weather: rate of heat energy release by a hurricane|
|1014||2.9 x 1014||tech: the power the Z machine reaches in 1 billionth of a second when it is fired|
|3 × 1014||weather: Hurricane Katrina's rate of energy production over its lifetime|
|3 x 1014||tech: power reached by the extremely high-power Hercules laser from the University of Michigan.|
1015 to 1026 WEdit
|1015||Peta-||~2 x 1.00 x 1015 W||tech: Omega EP laser power at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. There are two separate beams that are combined.|
|1.4 x 1015 W||geo: estimated heat flux transported by the Gulf Stream.|
|4 x 1015 W||geo: estimated total heat flux transported by Earth's atmosphere and oceans away from the equator towards the poles.|
|7 x 1015 W||tech: worlds most powerful laser in operation (claimed on February 7, 2019 by Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) at Magurele, Romania)|
|1016||1.03 x 1016 W||tech: world's most powerful laser pulses (claimed on October 24, 2017 by SULF of Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics).|
|1–10 x 1016 W||geo: estimated total power output of a Type-I civilization on the Kardashev scale.|
|1017||1.740 x 1017 W||astro: total power received by Earth from the Sun|
|2 x 1017 W||tech: planned peak power of Extreme Light Infrastructure laser|
|1018||Exa- (EW)||In a keynote presentation, NIF & Photon Science Chief Technology Officer Chris Barty described the "Nexawatt" Laser, an exawatt (1,000-petawatt) laser concept based on NIF technologies, on April 13 at the SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics 2015 Conference in Prague. Barty also gave an invited talk on "Laser-Based Nuclear Photonics" at the SPIE meeting.|
|1023||1.35 x 1023 W||astro: approximate luminosity of Wolf 359|
|1024||Yotta- (YW)||5.3 x 1024 W||tech: estimated power of the Tsar Bomba hydrogen bomb detonation|
|1025||1–10 x 1025 W||geo: estimated total power output of a Type-II civilization on the Kardashev scale.|
|1026||3.846 x 1026 W||astro: luminosity of the Sun|
Over 1027 WEdit
|1031||3.31 × 1031 W||astro: approximate luminosity of Beta Centauri|
|1032||1.23 × 1032 W||astro: approximate luminosity of Deneb|
|1033||3.0768 × 1033 W||astro: approximate luminosity of R136a1|
|1036||5 × 1036 W||astro: approximate luminosity of the Milky Way galaxy.|
|1038||2.2 × 1038 W||astro: approximate luminosity of the extremely luminous supernova ASASSN-15lh|
|1039||1 × 1039 W||astro: average luminosity of a quasar|
|1040||5 × 1040 W||astro: approximate peak luminosity of the energetic fast blue optical transient CSS161010|
|1041||1 × 1041 W||astro: approximate luminosity of the most luminous quasars in our universe, e.g., APM 08279+5255 and HS 1946+7658.|
|1042||1 × 1042 W||astro: approximate luminosity of the Local Supercluster|
|3 × 1042 W||astro: approximate luminosity of an average gamma-ray burst|
|1046||1 × 1046 W||astro: record for maximum beaming-corrected intrinsic luminosity ever achieved by a gamma-ray burst|
|1047||7.6 × 1047 W||phys: Hawking radiation luminosity of a Planck mass black hole|
|1049||3.6 × 1049 W||astro: approximate peak power of GW150914, the first observation of gravitational waves|
|1052||3.63 × 1052 W||phys: the coherent unit of power in the Planck units[note 1]|
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