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How Efficient Are Today's Solar Panels?

JUST HOW POWERFUL ARE TODAY'S SOLAR PANELS? We did the math on the amount of power the most efficient solar panels of our time are able to produce annually in average environmental circumstances in the United States, and compared it to some fun & interesting uses of power. We calculateda single, tilted panel to produce 507 kWh annually (find out more about our calculations on our website). The unit of measurement used is the kilowatt hour (kWh), which is equivalent to the energy expended by 1,000 watts for one hour. H = 1 panel 500 kWh/yr 125 SMARTPHONES 875 kWh/yr 1 HEALTHY BIKER ON A BICYCLE GENERATOR, NON-STOP 3,500 kWh/yr AN INTERNET SERVER 10,932 kWh/yr %3D That would cover a total area of just over 400 square feet, a size that most American homes can accommodate AN AVERAGE AMERICAN HOME = 100 panels 181,564 kWh/yr At a speed of 70mph, that would take a total of 142 days of non-stop driving, and roughly 900 charges of the Model S's 85kWh battery pack TO THE MOON & BACK IN A TESLA MODEL S 286,532 kWh/yr A NYC SUBWAY CAR That amounts to over 261000 person trips in a single year! 852,500 kWh/yr THE WHITE HOUSE = 1000 panels 3,370,000 kWh 5 MILLION MILES That Prius could drive around the Earth 200 times DRIVEN IN A TOYOTA PRIUS with that amount of energy! 9,663,578 kWh/yr THE ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS FOOTBALL STADIUM 11,309,607 kWh/yr ALL OF AMERICA This 2011 estimate took into account over 158.5 million viewers, with the average television showing the big game for 5 hours, WATCHING THE SUPER BOWL 13,512,800 kWh/yr THE INDIANAPOLIS ZOO 17,534,247 kWh THE COUNTRY OF JAMAICA FOR A DAY 19,000,000 kWh/yr THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE Note: in order to truly power these various uses of energy, a form of energy storage would be needed, given the differing intervals of energy use. Wondering how we made all these different calculations? Checkout all the details and a behind-the-scenes look of how we put this graphic together at: DE SaveOn PAENERGY Special thanks to Professor John W. Mitchell of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Solar Energy Lab (SEL).

How Efficient Are Today's Solar Panels?

shared by lauren8 on Feb 22
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In collaboration with John W. Mitchell of the University of Wisconson-Madison's Solar Energy Lab (SEL), we calculated the numbers behind SolarCity's new solar panel to see the impact of its new effici...


Lauren Holton


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