# Orders of magnitude (power)

This page lists examples of the power in watts produced by various sources of energy. They are grouped by orders of magnitude from small to large.

## Below 1 W

Factor (watts) SI prefix Value (watts) Value (decibel-milliwatts) Item
10−50 5.4 × 10−50 −463 dBm astro: Hawking radiation power of the ultramassive black hole TON 618.[1][2]
10−27 ronto- (rW) 1.64×10−27 −238 dBm phys: approximate power of gravitational radiation emitted by a 1000 kg satellite in geosynchronous orbit around the Earth.
10−24 yocto- (yW) 1×10−24 −210 dBm
10−21 zepto- (zW) 1×10−21 −180 dBm biomed: approximate lowest recorded power consumption of a deep-subsurface marine microbe[3]
10−20 1×10−20 −170 dBm 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 −150 dBm phys: approximate power scale at which operation of nanoelectromechanical systems are overwhelmed by thermal fluctuations.[4]
10−16 1×10−16 −130 dBm tech: the GPS signal strength measured at the surface of the Earth.[clarification needed][5]
10−16 2×10−16 −127 dBm biomed: approximate theoretical minimum luminosity detectable by the human eye under perfect conditions
10−15 femto- (fW) 2.5×10−15 −116 dBm tech: minimum discernible signal at the antenna terminal of a good FM radio receiver
10−14 1×10−14 −110 dBm tech: approximate lower limit of power reception on digital spread-spectrum cell phones
10−12 pico- (pW) 1×10−12 −90 dBm biomed: average power consumption of a human cell
10−11 1.84×10−11 −77 dBm phys: power lost in the form of synchrotron radiation by a proton revolving in the Large Hadron Collider at 7000 GeV[6]
2.9×10−11 −72 dBm astro: power per square meter received from Proxima Centauri, the closest star known
10−10 1×10−10 −68 dBm astro: estimated total Hawking radiation power of all black holes in the observable universe.[7][8][9]
1.5×10−10 −68 dBm biomed: power entering a human eye from a 100-watt lamp 1 km away
10−9 nano- (nW) 2–15×10−9 −57 dBm to −48 dBm tech: power consumption of 8-bit PIC microcontroller chips when in "sleep" mode
10−6 micro- (μW) 1×10−6 −30 dBm tech: approximate consumption of a quartz or mechanical wristwatch
3×10−6 −25 dBm astro: cosmic microwave background radiation per square meter
10−5 5×10−5 −13 dBm biomed: sound power incident on a human eardrum at the threshold intensity for pain (500 mW/m2).
10−3 milli- (mW) 1.55×10−3 −4.7 dBm astro: power per square meter received from the Sun by Sedna at its aphelion
5×10−3 7 dBm tech: laser in a CD-ROM drive
5–10×10−3 7 dBm to 10 dBm tech: laser in a DVD player
10−2 centi- (cW) 7×10−2 18 dBm tech: antenna power in a typical consumer wireless router
10−1 deci- (dW) 1.2×10−1 21 dBm astro: total proton decay power of Earth, assuming the half life of protons to take on the value 1035 years.[10][11]
5×10−1 27 dBm tech: maximum allowed carrier output power of an FRS radio

## 1 to 102 W

Factor (watts) SI prefix Value (watts) Item
100 W 1 tech: cellphone camera light[12]
1.508 astro: power per square metre received from the Sun at Neptune's aphelion[13]
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.[14]
101 deca- (daW) 1.4 × 101 tech: the power consumption of a typical household compact fluorescent light bulb
2–4 × 101 biomed: approximate power consumption of the human brain[15]
3–4 × 101 tech: the power consumption of a typical household fluorescent tube light
6 × 101 tech: the power consumption of a typical household incandescent light bulb
102 hecto- (hW) 1 × 102 biomed: approximate basal metabolic rate of an adult human body[16]
1.2 × 102 tech: electric power output of 1 m2 solar panel in full sunlight (approx. 12% efficiency), at sea level
1.3 × 102 tech: peak power consumption of a Pentium 4 CPU
2 × 102 tech: stationary bicycle average power output[17][18]
2.76 × 102 astro: fusion power output of 1 cubic meter of volume of the Sun's core.[19]
2.9 × 102 units: approximately 1000 BTU/hour
3 × 102 tech: PC GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 peak power consumption[20]
4 × 102 tech: legal limit of power output of an amateur radio station in the United Kingdom
5 × 102 biomed: power output (useful work plus heat) of a person working hard physically
7.457 × 102 units: 1 horsepower[21]
7.5 × 102 astro: approximately the amount of sunlight falling on a square metre of the Earth's surface at noon on a clear day in March for northern temperate latitudes
9.09 × 102 biomed: peak output power of a healthy human (non-athlete) during a 30-second cycle sprint at 30.1 degree Celsius.[22]

## 103 to 108 W

 103 kilo- (kW) 1–3 × 103 W tech: heat output of a domestic electric kettle 1.1 × 103 W tech: power of a microwave oven 1.366 × 103 W astro: power per square meter received from the Sun at the Earth's orbit 1.5 × 103 W tech: legal limit of power output of an amateur radio station in the United States up to 2 × 103 W biomed: approximate short-time power output of sprinting professional cyclists and weightlifters doing snatch lifts 2.4 × 103 W geo: average power consumption per person worldwide in 2008 (21,283 kWh/year) 3.3–6.6 × 103 W eco: average photosynthetic power output per square kilometer of ocean[23] 3.6 × 103 W tech: synchrotron radiation power lost per ring in the Large Hadron Collider at 7000 GeV[6] 104 1–5 × 104 W tech: nominal power of clear channel AM[24] 1.00 × 104 W eco: average power consumption per person in the United States in 2008 (87,216 kWh/year) 1.4 × 104 W tech: average power consumption of an electric car on EPA's Highway test schedule[25][26] 1.45 × 104 W astro: power per square metre received from the Sun at Mercury's orbit at perihelion 1.6–3.2 × 104 W eco: average photosynthetic power output per square kilometer of land[23] 3 × 104 W tech: power generated by the four motors of GEN H-4 one-man helicopter 4–20 × 104 W tech: approximate range of peak power output of typical automobiles (50-250 hp) 5–10 × 104 W tech: highest allowed ERP for an FM band radio station in the United States[27] 105 1.67 × 105 W tech: power consumption of UNIVAC 1 computer 2.5–8 × 105 W tech: approximate range of power output of 'supercars' (300 to 1000 hp) 4.5 × 105 W tech: approximate maximum power output of a large 18-wheeler truck engine (600 hp) 106 mega- (MW) 1.3 × 106 W tech: power output of P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft 1.9 × 106 W astro: power per square meter potentially received by Earth at the peak of the Sun's red giant phase 2.0 × 106 W tech: peak power output of GE's standard wind turbine 2.4 × 106 W tech: peak power output of a Princess Coronation class steam locomotive (approx 3.3K EDHP on test) (1937) 2.5 × 106 W biomed: peak power output of a blue whale 3 × 106 W tech: mechanical power output of a diesel locomotive 4.4 × 106 W tech: total mechanical power output of Titanic's coal-fueled steam engines[28] 7 × 106 W tech: mechanical power output of a Top Fuel dragster 8 × 106 W tech: peak power output of the MHI Vestas V164, the world's largest offshore wind turbine 107 1 × 107 W tech: highest ERP allowed for an UHF television station 1.03 × 107 W geo: electrical power output of Togo 1.22 × 107 W tech: approx power available to a Eurostar 20-carriage train 1.5 × 107 W tech: electrical power consumption of Sunway TaihuLight, the most powerful supercomputer in China 1.6 × 107 W tech: rate at which a typical gasoline pump transfers chemical energy to a vehicle 2.6 × 107 W tech: peak power output of the reactor of a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine 7.5 × 107 W tech: maximum power output of one GE90 jet engine as installed on the Boeing 777 108 1.04 × 108 W tech: power producing capacity of the Niagara Power Plant, the first electrical power plant in history 1.4 × 108 W tech: average power consumption of a Boeing 747 passenger aircraft 1.9 × 108 W tech: peak power output of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier 5 × 108 W tech: typical power output of a Fossil fuel power station 9 × 108 W tech: electric power output of a CANDU nuclear reactor 9.59 × 108 W geo: average electrical power consumption of Zimbabwe in 1998 9.86 × 108 W astro: approximate solar power received by the dwarf planet Sedna at its aphelion (937 AU)

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

 109 giga- (GW) 1.3 × 109 tech: electric power output of Manitoba Hydro Limestone hydroelectric generating station 2.074 × 109 tech: peak power generation of Hoover Dam 2.1 × 109 tech: peak power generation of Aswan Dam 3.4 × 109 tech: estimated power consumption of the Bitcoin network in 2017[29] 4.116 × 109 tech: installed capacity of Kendal Power Station, the world's largest coal-fired power plant. 5.824 × 109 tech: installed capacity of the Taichung Power Plant, the largest coal-fired power plant in Taiwan and fourth largest of its kind. It was the single most polluting power plant on Earth in 2009.[30][31] 7.965 × 109 tech: installed capacity of the largest nuclear power plant, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, before it was permanently shut down in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. 1010 1.17 × 1010 tech: power produced by the Space Shuttle in liftoff configuration (9.875 GW from the SRBs; 1.9875 GW from the SSMEs.)[32] 1.26 × 1010 tech: electrical power generation of the Itaipu Dam 1.27 × 1010 geo: average electrical power consumption of Norway in 1998 2.25 × 1010 tech: peak electrical power generation of the Three Gorges Dam, the power plant with the world's largest generating capacity of any type.[33] 2.24 × 1010 tech: peak power of all German solar panels (at noon on a cloudless day), researched by the Fraunhofer ISE research institute in 2014[34] 5.027 × 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.[35] 5.22 × 1010 tech: China total nuclear power capacity as of 2022.[36] 5.5 × 1010 tech: peak daily electrical power consumption of Great Britain in November 2008.[37] 7.31 × 1010 tech: total installed power capacity of Turkey on December 31, 2015.[38] 9.55 × 1010 tech: United States total nuclear power capacity as of 2022.[36] 1011 1.016 × 1011 tech: peak electrical power consumption of France (February 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm) 1.12 × 1011 tech: United States total installed solar capacity as of 2022.[39] 1.41 × 1011 tech: United States total wind turbine capacity in 2022.[39] 1.66 × 1011 tech: average power consumption of the first stage of the Saturn V rocket.[40][41] 3.66 × 1011 tech: China total wind turbine capacity in 2022.[39] 3.92 × 1011 tech: China total installed solar capacity as of 2022.[39] 7 × 1011 biomed: humankind basal metabolic rate as of 2013 (7 billion people). 8.99 × 1011 tech: worldwide wind turbine capacity at end of 2022.[39] 1012 tera- (TW) 1.062 × 1012 tech: worldwide installed solar capacity at end of 2022.[39] 2 × 1012 astro: approximate power generated between the surfaces of Jupiter and its moon Io due to Jupiter's tremendous magnetic field.[42] 3.34 × 1012 geo: average total (gas, electricity, etc.) power consumption of the US in 2005[43] 1013 2.04 × 1013 tech: average rate of power consumption of humanity over 2022.[44] 4.7 × 1013 geo: average total heat flow at Earth's surface which originates from its interior.[45] Main sources are roughly equal amounts of radioactive decay and residual heat from Earth's formation.[46] 8.8 × 1013 astro: luminosity per square meter of the hottest normal star known, WR 102 5–20 × 1013 weather: rate of heat energy release by a hurricane[citation needed] 1014 1.4 × 1014 eco: global net primary production (= biomass production) via photosynthesis[47] 2.9 × 1014 tech: the power the Z machine reaches in 1 billionth of a second when it is fired[citation needed] 3 × 1014 weather: Hurricane Katrina's rate of release of latent heat energy into the air.[48] 3 × 1014 tech: power reached by the extremely high-power Hercules laser from the University of Michigan.[citation needed] 4.6 × 1014 geo: estimated rate of net global heating, evaluated as Earth's energy imbalance, from 2005 to 2019.[49][50] The rate of ocean heat uptake approximately doubled over this period.[51]

## 1015 to 1026 W

 1015 peta- ~2 × 1.00 × 1015 W tech: Omega EP laser power at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. There are two separate beams that are combined. 1.4 × 1015 W geo: estimated heat flux transported by the Gulf Stream. 5 × 1015 W geo: estimated net heat flux transported from Earth's equator and towards each pole. Value is a latitudinal maximum arising near 40° in each hemisphere.[52][53] 7 × 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)[54] 1016 1.03 × 1016 W tech: world's most powerful laser pulses (claimed on October 24, 2017, by SULF of Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics).[55] 1–10 × 1016 W tech: estimated total power output of a Type-I civilization on the Kardashev scale.[56] 1017 1.73 × 1017 W astro: total power received by Earth from the Sun[57] 2 × 1017 W tech: planned peak power of Extreme Light Infrastructure laser[58] 4.6 × 1017 W astro: total internal heat flux of Jupiter[59] 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.[60] 1021 zetta- (ZW) 1022 5.31 × 1022 W astro: approximate luminosity of 2MASS J0523−1403, the least luminous star known.[61] 1023 4.08 × 1023 W astro: approximate luminosity of Wolf 359 1024 yotta- (YW) 5.3 × 1024 W tech: estimated peak power of the Tsar Bomba hydrogen bomb detonation[62] 9.8 × 1024 W astro: approximate luminosity of Sirius b, Sirius's white dwarf companion.[63][64] 1026 1 × 1026 W tech: power generating capacity of a Type-II civilization on the Kardashev scale.[56] 1.87 × 1026 W astro: approximate luminosity of Tau Ceti, the nearest solitary G-type star. 3.828 × 1026 W astro: luminosity of the Sun,[65] our home star 7.67 × 1026 W astro: approximate luminosity of Alpha Centauri, the closest (triple) star system.[66] 1027 ronna- (RW) 9.77 × 1027 W astro: approximate luminosity of Sirius, the visibly brightest star as viewed from Earth.[67] 1028 6.51 × 1028 W astro: approximate luminosity of Arcturus, a solar-mass red giant[68]

## Over 1027 W

 1030 quetta- (QW) 1.99 × 1030 W astro: peak luminosity of the Sun in its thermally-pulsing, late AGB phase (≈5200x present)[69] 4.1 × 1030 W astro: approximate luminosity of Canopus[70] 1031 2.53 × 1031 W astro: approximate luminosity of the Beta Centauri triple star system[71] 3.3 × 1031 W astro: approximate luminosity of Betelgeuse, a highly-evolved red supergiant 1032 1.23 × 1032 W astro: approximate luminosity of Deneb 1033 1.26 × 1033 W astro: approximate luminosity of the Pistol Star, an LBV which emits in 10 seconds the Sun's annual energy output 1.79 × 1033 W astro: approximate luminosity of R136a1,[72] a massive Wolf-Rayet star and the most luminous single star known 2.1 × 1033 W astro: approximate luminosity of the Eta Carinae system,[73] a highly elliptical binary of two supergiant blue stars orbiting each other 1034 4 × 1034 W tech: approximate power used by a type III civilization in the Kardashev scale.[56] 1036 5.7 × 1036 W astro: approximate luminosity of the Milky Way galaxy[74][75] 1037 2 × 1037 W astro: approximate luminosity of the Local Group, the volume enclosed by our gravitational cosmic horizon[76][77] 4 × 1037 W astro: approximate internal luminosity of the Sun for a few seconds as it undergoes a helium flash.[78][79] 1038 2.2 × 1038 W astro: approximate luminosity of the extremely luminous supernova ASASSN-15lh[80][81] 1039 1 × 1039 W astro: average luminosity of a quasar 1.57 × 1039 W astro: approximate luminosity of 3C273, the brightest quasar seen from Earth[82] 1040 5 × 1040 W astro: approximate peak luminosity of the energetic fast blue optical transient CSS161010[83] 1041 1 × 1041 W astro: approximate luminosity of the most luminous quasars in our universe, e.g., APM 08279+5255 and HS 1946+7658.[84] 1042 1.7 × 1042 W astro: approximate luminosity of the Laniakea Supercluster[85][86] 3 × 1042 W astro: approximate luminosity of an average gamma-ray burst[87] 1043 2.2 × 1043 W astro: average stellar luminosity in one cubic gigalight-year of space 1045 1046 1 × 1046 W astro: record for maximum beaming-corrected intrinsic luminosity ever achieved by a gamma-ray burst[88] 1047 7.519 × 1047 W phys: Hawking radiation luminosity of a Planck mass black hole[89] 1048 9.5 × 1048 W astro: luminosity of the entire Observable universe[90] ≈ 24.6 billion trillion solar luminosity. 1049 3.6 × 1049 W astro: peak gravitational wave radiative power of GW150914, the merger event of two distant stellar-mass black holes. It is attributed to the first observation of gravitational waves.[91] 1052 3.63 × 1052 W phys: the unit of power as expressed under the Planck units,[note 1] at which the definition of power under modern conceptualizations of physics breaks down. Equivalent to one Planck mass-energy per Planck time.

## Notes

1. ^ ${\displaystyle {\frac {c^{5}}{G}}}$

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2. ^ Calculated using M_BH = 4.07e+10 M_sol.
3. ^
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75. ^ Calculated: 1.5e+10 L_sol * 3.828e+26 W/L_sol = 5.7e+36 W
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77. ^ Estimated to have an absolute magnitude of -22.
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79. ^ Peak helium flash luminosity ≈ 100 billion times normal energy production.
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82. ^ Calculated as: Solar luminosity × 10^(0.4 × (Sun absolute magnitude - 3C 273 absolute magnitude)) = 3.828e+26 × 10^(0.4 × (4.83 - (- 26.73))) = 3.828e+26 × 4.1e+12 = 1.57e+39 W.
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86. ^ Calculated. Estimated assuming Laniakea to be a sphere 160 Mpc in diameter, according to p.4 of cited paper: Observable universe luminosity × (Laniakea Supercluster diameter / Observable universe diameter)^3 = 9.466e+48 W × (160 Mpc / 28.5 Gpc)^3 = 1.675e+42 ≈ 1.7e+42 W.
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88. ^ Frederiks, D. D.; Hurley, K.; Svinkin, D. S.; Pal'shin, V. D.; Mangano, V.; et al. (2013). "The Ultraluminous GRB 110918A". The Astrophysical Journal. 779 (2): 151. arXiv:1311.5734. Bibcode:2013ApJ...779..151F. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/779/2/151. ISSN 0004-637X. S2CID 118398826.
89. ^
90. ^ Calculated. Assuming isotropicity in composition and identical age since Big Bang within cosmological horizon, expressed as: Ordinary [baryonic] mass of observable universe / Ordinary mass of Milky Way × Luminosity of Milky Way. L_total = 1.5e+53 kg / 4.6e+10 M_sol * 1.5e+10 L_sol = 9.466e+48 W ≈ 9.5e+48 W.
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