How Much Energy Does It Take to Watch the Big Game on a Big Screen?
Tom Lombardo posted on February 02, 2017 |
With large screen televisions drawing anywhere from 70 to 200 watts apiece, a lot of electrical ener...

Rumor has it that there's a pretty big football game happening this weekend. Whether they're interested in the game itself or just the commercials, over 100 million people will gather in bars, living rooms, and man-caves to watch the spectacle. With big screen televisions drawing anywhere from 70 to 200 watts apiece, a lot of electrical energy will be expended that day.

You might be wondering, how much electricity does it take to watch a four-hour game on a 60-inch TV? And how can that much energy be generated using various sustainable energy sources?

KDM Engineering produced this infographic, showing a dozen renewable energy generators and how much of each you would need to produce enough electricity to watch the game.

Image courtesy of KDM Engineering

KDM calculated that it takes about 0.65 kWh (650 Wh) to watch a four-hour game on a 60-inch TV. That's based on a TV that consumes 163 watts, which is typical for a plasma display. If you have the same sized LCD or LED TV, then your consumption is probably half that number.

I've covered some of the renewable energy sources in previous articles. See which of the methods are practical and which ones are simply novelties.

Wind Power

Here's my analysis of small wind turbines suitable for home consumer (not utility) use. That article was based on horizontal axis wind turbines. If you're interested in vertical axis wind turbines like the one shown in the infographic, take this one for a spin.

Solar Power

Check out this net-zero energy house whose solar array generates as much electricity as the house uses. You might think it's in the Sunshine State, but it's actually in the Great White North, not far from's headquarters.

On a larger scale, the Market One building is Iowa's first commercial net-zero energy facility. The interesting thing about its solar array is the combination of string inverters and microinverters. The article describes the need for both.

And if you're wondering how long those solar panels will last, this will shed a little light on the subject.

Waste to Energy

Will you be enjoying a beverage or two while watching the game? Some beer makers, like the Kona Brewing Company, are increasing their sustainability by using waste products to produce energy. And while we often hear about cutting waste in Washington DC, the city itself is saving money and resources through a waste-to-energy process in its water treatment facility.

People Power

So you overindulged on beer and wings at the pre-game party. You can burn off those extra calories while powering your TV to watch the event. Find out how hard you'll have to pedal.

Tired of biking? I suppose you could jump up and down on floor tiles that generate electricity.

Fired Up

Stuck in the woods with a tiny TV? Well, you'll need to build a very big bonfire and use a few Power Pots, but thermoelectric energy might be enough to get you through the game.

To The Future

However you decide to watch the event, remember that the electricity has to come from somewhere. Renewable energy will help assure a sustainable future, so our children and grandchildren can watch games that have really long Roman numerals. For myself, I'd like to be around to see # LXXXV.


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