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MW is the wrong unit to use for that comparision. TWh/year is more appropriate.



Out of curiosity, why do people use Watt-hours instead of Joules for this purpose?

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Which is more practical?

A: "Hi, can you please supply us with 50MW for the next 12 hours?"

B: "Hi, can you please supply us with 2.16Tj at a rate of 50MW?"

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It would be much nicer to get 2.16Tj in a bucket.

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Joules (or watts) is a measure of capacity. Electricity generating capacity, especially with intermittent sources like wind is almost meaningless. Who cares about capacity if the actual generation is zero.

Watt-hours, Megawatt-hours, and terawatt-hours are used because that's the descriptive term of energy actually produced.

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Tradition. Same reason we use centralized banks and sovereign currency instead of bit-coin and other independent currencies, or miles per gallon instead of gallons per mile.

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Or for that matter, kilometres per litre.

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I think MW is a reasonable unit. It's the power output of the wind farm.

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No. MW-hours is the reasonable unit of power output. MW is a description of the capacity, but it says nothing of actual generation.

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I understand the number is an ideal, maximum number, but I'm talking about the units. Are you saying power should be reported in megawatt-hours per year? That might be convenient, but it's the same as megawatt-years per year, which reduces to megawatts which is what I said.

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MW tells us the scale of the plant. TWh/year tells us the production of the plant.

I've got a good gut sense for what a 3 MW wind turbine looks like, so when I read "50 MW Plant" - I can already envision about how large, and about how many turbines it will have (approx 15-30).

TWh/year doesn't tell me as much, because the plant might be located in a very windy place. Or maybe not in a windy place at all - the data is still useful, but I prefer MW when people are talking about a plant's "physicality".

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