Last week’s question: The TESLA Powerwall is considered state-of-the-art technology. How much energy can one, 250 pound, Powerwall battery store?
- About the same number of BTUs as in a Die Hard car battery
- About the same number of BTUs as is in 50 gallons of home heating oil
- About the same number of BTUs as in a full BBQ size LP gas tank (a full 20-pound tank contains about 4 gallons)
- About the same number of BTUs as in 10 gallons of 87 octane gasoline
- About the same number of BTUs as in an almost empty BBQ size LP tank.
The answer is “5”. Half a gallon of LP gas, about what is left in a typical tank when it is “almost empty”, contains 45,000 BTUs, about the same amount of energy as a fully charged, 13.5 kW Tesla Powerwall battery. For those who like math: one watt = 3.41 BTUs. 13.5 kilowatts = 13,500 watts. 13,500 watts x 3.41 BTUs/watt = 46,035 BTUs.
Fossil fuels, particularly oil and gasoline, have an extremely high “energy density”. 200 gallons of home heating oil weighs about 1,600 pounds and contains the same amount of energy as about 580 (five hundred and eighty) Tesla Powerwall batteries! 580 batteries would weigh about 145,000 pounds and cost over half a MILLION dollars!
This week’s question: There will be no debt ceiling crisis in Augusta. That is because, by law, the Maine legislature must pass a balanced budget. In other words, our State government can only spend as much money as it raises thru Maine taxes and Maine fees plus, the amount of money the State receives from the Feds. (The State can borrow some money by issuing bonds, but bonds must be approved by the voters). There are about 1.3 million Maine residents. How much did the State spend per resident last year? (Remember, you pay your real estate taxes to the town. So, these dollars are not part of the pot of money the State gets to spend.)
- About $2,000 per person
- About $5,000 per person
- A little less than $10,000 per person
- About $15,000 per person
- Over $20,000 per person