Amazing Map: Total Solar Panels To Power The United States

total-solar-panels-to-fulfill-electricity-demands-of-united-states
square area = 44 miles per side

This amazing map illustrates the total area of solar panels that would be needed to fulfill the electricity demands of the United States.

Here are the facts that I used, and the caveats to the map illustration…


 
The United States Energy Information Association (eia.gov) reveals in their December-2013 ‘Electrical Power Annual’ report, in Table 8.6.A, that the peak load for all interconnections of electricity during the summer of 2012 was 767,762 Megawatts within the contiguous United States.

It is also reported that total electricity consumption for the United States during 2012 was 3,694,650 million kWh (million kilowatt-hours).

3,694,650,000,000 kWh Total 2012
3,694,650,000,000,000 Wh Total 2012
10,122,328,767,123 Wh Daily Average
421,763,698,630 W Hourly Average
767,762,000,000 W Peak Load

 
I chose a 250-watt Sharp ND-250QCS solar panel (made in the USA) 65″x39″ each.

767,762,000,000 watts / 250 watts per panel
3,071,048,000 total panels

PER PANEL
2,535 sq.”
17.6 sq.’

TOTAL NEEDED
54,063,240,833 sq.’
1,939 sq. miles
44 miles per side of square

 
I chose the location near White Sands Desert in New Mexico because the geographic area there receives an abundant amount of sunshine.

total-area-square-miles-of-solar-panels-for-united-states-electricity

It is very interesting to visualize equivalents, such as the total theoretical area required to supply the total demands of electricity for the United States.

 
Now the caveats…

CAVEATS AND PROBLEMS

That is a-lot of solar panels! 3 billion of them. However it is an interesting thought to consider the total approximate cost of these panels compared with what the United States government spends every year on everything else… If one approximates each panel to cost $250, the total cost would be $767 billion. To put it in perspective, the government spent 3,600 billion in 2012.

The raw materials and manufacturing capability would be enormous to build that many panels.

The infrastructure and additional equipment needed would be tremendous.

It’s dark at night – no solar power generation… so traditional power would required during those times. A battery storage bank would be unimaginably huge for night storage at these power levels…

Solar panels and inverters are not 100% efficient.

There will be cloudy days.

Less sun during the winter months unless this was built on the equator.

 
A SOLUTION

While it may not be doable to build a central location for our nation’s electricity needs, it is very doable to augment one’s own electricity needs with solar photovoltaic panels. Even building an off-grid system is entirely within the realm of possibilities for many people.

In any event, it was an interesting exercise to determine how much total area of solar panels would fulfill the nation’s electricity demands. It’s a smaller footprint than I initially thought it would be…

Share this article!
SHARE This! by Email
SHARE This! Facebook
SHARE This! Twitter
SHARE This! Google+
SHARE This! Pinterest

This Page - Unique Human Visits
5 (today) 18 (week) 59 (month)

Related Posts That You Might Like:



46 Comments

  1. Sean 12/23/2013
    • Bob 10/01/2016
    • Fred 03/29/2018
      • Ken Jorgustin 03/29/2018
  2. Ancona 12/23/2013
  3. SidDavis 12/23/2013
    • Ceph 01/03/2014
    • Remmy700P 08/02/2015
      • JJ 04/21/2016
    • shutterspeed 12/08/2015
      • Todd 12/03/2016
  4. poorman 12/23/2013
    • Remmy700P 08/02/2015
      • Bob 10/01/2016
  5. GoneWithTheWind 12/23/2013
    • Jack 12/23/2013
      • GoneWithTheWind 12/24/2013
        • Herbertificus 12/01/2016
  6. Beano 12/24/2013
    • Ken Jorgustin 12/25/2013
  7. Will Manning 12/30/2013
  8. tannim 12/30/2013
    • Ken Jorgustin 12/30/2013
  9. Ceph 01/03/2014
  10. Mr. Jim T 05/29/2014
  11. mark the spark 10/25/2014
  12. Corey 12/02/2014
  13. ds 04/27/2015
  14. Peter Andersen 07/02/2015
  15. Krjohns 07/04/2015
  16. Stovk 07/29/2015
    • Bryce 04/23/2016
  17. 1234unknown 09/18/2015
    • Lance 11/29/2016
      • Herbertificus 12/01/2016
  18. WeAreSmart 10/19/2016
    • Robert Weekley 01/15/2017
    • Savvy Shopper 07/23/2017
  19. NRP 12/01/2016
  20. Canshow 12/20/2016
    • Ken Jorgustin 12/20/2016
    • Robert Weekley 01/15/2017
  21. CR 04/04/2017
  22. Michael N 05/14/2017
  23. jim 08/08/2017
    • Ken Jorgustin 08/09/2017

Leave a Reply

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!