One potato, two many will it take to power your home?

By Annali Smith
Online Editor

We all know about the kid’s science experiment of creating batteries out of potatoes, one American real estate company has taken it a step further by creating a calculator which tells you how many potatoes it would take to power your home.

Movoto Real Estate contributor, Natalie Grigson, tackled the question - how many potatoes would it take to power the average American home? Is that even possible?

Firstly she looked at if it is was even possible to provide power to a home with just potatoes. It is possible to create power for smaller gadgets for sure but as Grigson noted most homes needs AC power and potatoes only provides DC.

The other hurdle in this potato dream is that you would have peel and boil over 200 potatoes to create batteries out of them. She estimated that it would cost you 660 times more to power your home with potatoes than it would if you stuck with your current energy plan.

The average American household currently uses about 11,280 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, with an average of 940 kWh per month. With the magic of math she calculated that the average home uses approximately 1.29 kW per hour, or 1290 Volts per hour.

So how many potatoes would she need if she wanted to power the average American home?

  • Raw potatoes: If one un-boiled potato generates .5 volts, it would take 2,580 potatoes to power a house for just an hour.
  • Boiled potatoes: To save some money, though, how about just boiling your taters? Boiling the potatoes allows an increase in energy of about 10 times! So, that’s five volts per potato—a huge difference. It would only take 258 potatoes to power your entire house for an hour.

This potato powered utopia is not really a practical or cheap plan, but it is still an interesting experiment.

So how many potatoes would it take to power your home? Use the calculator below to find out!

(A 100 square foot is 9.2 square meters)

By Movoto

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