Avatar image for digiskull
#1 Posted by DigiSkull (8 posts) - - Show Bio

So, according to Superman Unchained #2 Page 12 Panel 3, Superman (his New 52 incarnation, at least) can pull in 140 gigawatts of solar energy at any given moment.

No Caption Provided

It's past midnight and I'm bored so I decided to calculate how much solar energy Superman absorbs in a year, just for anyone trying to reference his power level or something of that nature, be it for versus forums, general discussion, etc.

140 gigawatts at any given moment. A "moment" is generally described as 90 seconds.

So Superman can absorb 140 gigawatts of solar energy every 90 seconds.

There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year.

31,536,000 divided by 90=350,700

140 x 350,700=49,098,000 gigawatts of solar energy a year that Superman absorbs.

Is this accurate? Sorry if it isn't, I'm exhausted (and using Google). If it is accurate, can anyone find out how much gigawatts of solar energy the world uses annually in comparison? I've searched everywhere but I can't find anything. Also, to DC Comics, how quickly can we get Superman powering up a city? XD

Also, my apologies if this post is in the wrong section, violates any rules somehow, etc.

Given this, how much energy do you guys think Superman needs to fly, shoot lasers, and enhance his natural abilities? How much do you think he uses daily? How much would he need to take on any given villain? How quickly does kryptonite drain his powers? I think this invokes so much geeky discussion, so happy analyzing!

Avatar image for heavenlydarkdragon
#2 Edited by HeavenlyDarkDragon (2219 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey man. Nice work.

Ok so here's a little help.

The world annual consumption of energy is about 0.5 ZJ (zettajoules)

That's 0.5X10^21 Joules.

Now to convert this to Watts... It's roughly about 1.59X10^13 Watts of power. Or 0.159 Terawatts in a single year.

So not nearly enough to explain Superman powers levels.

I'm gonna skip some equations, but taking into account, that feat of Superman training for 5 days straight in a machine that simulated the entire mass of the Earth. That's in the Sextillion (10^21) tons range.

Superman body would have to produce roughly about 1.4 Yottajoules (1.4X10^24) of energy at any given moment or every 90 seconds.

Also there's no way in hell or heaven, that he can get so much energy, in either case, from the sun in the form of sunlight at every 90 seconds.

The Earth receives in optimal conditions (clear sky's and closest to the sun) around 7KeV for square meter in an entire day. So not nearly enough to keep those solar cells fed and charged.

Avatar image for segamarvel
#3 Posted by segamarvel (991 posts) - - Show Bio

@heavenlydarkdragon: Isn't marvel's Superman (Hyperion) able to process solar energy akin to that of nuclear fusion? So would it be wrong to assume Supes is doing something similar?

Avatar image for spikedpsycho
#4 Posted by spikedpsycho (4 posts) - - Show Bio

The fact is he's doing more mechanical work than whats physically possible in terms of energy to absorb.

Avatar image for paragonxxx
#5 Posted by ParagonxXx (3962 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe Superman super metabolizes sunlight at any given moment and that's why he is able to absorb enough solar energy to do what he can do because he's a sponge. He's essentially soaking up sunlight really fast. Either that or Superman relies, and absorbs, more than one source of energy but sunlight is the catalyst.

Avatar image for thekinfing
#6 Edited by TheKinfing (11698 posts) - - Show Bio

I always interpreted "any given moment" as 1 second(s).