Orders of magnitude (power)
Below 1 W
|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.|
|10−20||~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.|
|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|
|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 W
|100||W||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 W
|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 W
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 24th, 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|
|4.4 x 1013||geo: average total heat flux from Earth's interior|
|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 x 1014||tech: power reached by the extremely high-power Hercules laser from the University of Michigan.|
1015 to 1026 W
|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 W
|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.|
|1039||1 × 1039 W||astro: average luminosity of a quasar|
|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|
|1045||1 × 1045 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 Planck power, the basic unit of power in the Planck units|
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