Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Real World Estimation of Land Use per Watt - Sunpower

Sunpower gives us an idea of a realistic value for Land Area per Watt of 2-3 Hectares per MW.

Convert Units:

2.5 hectare = 6.2 acres per MW.

Determine Total Peak Power Output:

1.5 Million Acres / 6.2 Acres/MWp = 241935 MWp = 241,935,000,000 Wp = 242 GWp

Calculate Average Annual Energy Output:

242 GWp * 18.75% Average Annual Insolation = 45.4 GW*Year = 3974 GWh = 397 Billion kWh

This is about 4 times less than the ideal number calculated in this Ideal Situation. Not a problem at all, IMO, considering that you don't actually want to cover every square inch of a chunk of land with flat panels. Tracking is sure a nice option.

Follows: Solar vs Coal, Land Area Comparison.

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