What is a Joule per Second?
We do need a note about gigawatts and how power is measured to get some context, because it is quite confusing and it’s hard to keep the measures in mind.
What is a joule per second? a Physics teacher may ask, perhaps attempting to make a memorable pun out of the fact that a Watt is a joule per second, (a joule being a measure of power) and it’s in Watts that electrical power is measured.
1 horsepower = 745.699872 watts, so 7.5 KW.
A Kilowatt (KW) is 100 watts (kWh is Kilowatt-hour.) 1 KW would be enough to supply a home. Actually, though, in many different reports about what wattage is needed for a home, this varies from 1 KW to 10 KW. Anyway, a single kite taken out on a field by a couple of bods at Delft University can generate 10 kilowatts, and they reckon that to be enough for 10 homes.
A Kilowatt-hour (kWh) is what your electric bill will be expressed in. This is the power in kilowatts and the time in hours it’s provided for. We’re a bit confused about kWh, since watt already includes a measure of time, it’s a joule per second. So, is this joules per hour? We’ll have to leave this unresolved for now. With abundance of energy, this won’t matter anyway.
A Megawatt (MW) is one million watts. 10000 KW. A little e on the end, like MWe, means it’s electrical energy rather than thermal energy.
A Gigawatt (GW) is one billion watts or 1000 megawatts, this is a strategic unit. UK demand for electricity is about 60 GW, USA generating infrastructure is about 1,200 GW, that kind of figure. Kitegen claim they can deliver 1 GW from 1 Km3.
Beyond that there is Terawatt (TW), one trillion watts (1012, that is,10 with 12 zeroes) and the Petawatt (PW), one quadrillion watts (1015). Apparently, the total amount of mechanical energy in the atmosphere is calculated as 100,000 TWh, continuously renewed. The total power of the Sun that reaches the Earth is estimated at 174 Petawatts, (174,000 TW), continuously renewed.
It’s as plain as obvious can be, there’s an awful lot of energy going begging, that doesn’t need to be dug up and drilled for, rather to be reached out for, reach out for just the tiniest sliver of the energy there is around.