(Popular Science) What's in your electricity? Like any good consumer, you've filled your home with power-thirsty screens and toasters. And they make your average American abode chug 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity every sing day. (A kilowatt-hour, by the way, is 1,000 watts used over one-hour.) Producing your daily juice requires various amounts of gas, coal, oil, wind, solar, water, or nuclear fuel, depending on your energy sources. But what if your home relied on just one of these? Here's how each of them would measure up:

Solar Panels - 450 square feet
One 300-watt 18-sqare foot solar panel can transform an average day of California sunshine into 1.2 kilowatt-hours. So you'd need to screw about 25 solar panels onto your Hollywood roof to cover one spin of the globe.

Natural Gas - 234 cubic feet
This stuff burns cleaners and cheaper than coal, and it's plentiful thanks to fracking, which is why it recently topped all other electricity sources: 34 percent of what we consume. You would need about 41 bathtubs full each day.

Wind - 54 seconds
Given a strong steady wind, a typical turbine can spin out 2 megawatt hours of electricity per hour. Keeping the lights on and the Netflix streaming for a full 24 hours and it would take less than a minute.

Water - 24,000 gallons
Pouring a 640-square foot swimming pool of water through the Hoover Dam's turbines would produce your daily electrical consumption in less than a second. That makes hydro our most productive renewable.

Coal - 33 pounds
As this dirtiest of fossil fuels loses ground to natural gas, it's used less and less often to generate electricity. To keep the typical home running round the clock on coal, you'd have to set two bowling ball's worth ablaze.

Oil - 3 gallons
This energy dense fuel drives most of our cars, trucks, and jets. In 2016, however, it accounted for the least portion 1 percent, of residential electricity. A house ran on oil would slurp six two-liter soda bottles' worth daily.

Enriched Uranium - 0.02 ounces
Nuclear fission packs an insane energy punch. It would take just a tiny amount of uranium, less than a paper clip weights, to turn water into the steam that spins the turbine that ultimately produces the day's juice.


Popular posts from this blog

City Page Survey

Fall Book Discussion and Movie Series

Book discussion group to meet