Our magnets here at the Magnet Lab use power and we measure that in megawatts. One megawatt is equal to one million watts, or 1,000 kilowatts. One megawatt is enough electricity to power about 600 homes. The average home uses about 120 to 160 kilowatt hours per month. At the MagLab, we use a whole lot more than that. One megawatt also is equivalent to about 1,340 horse power. So that's quite a lot of power. The city of Tallahassee produces a total of 815 megawatts. The laboratory uses about 56 megawatts, so about 7 percent of the city's generating capacity we can consume here. Our magnets consume between 18 megawatts and 33 megawatts of power. So when I put 18 megawatts of electricity into a magnet, that entire amount of energy is eventually turned into heat, and I remove that via a cooling water system, and eventually out to the atmosphere.
To learn more about the systems that feed the magnets, read this Team Tesla: How We Keep the World’s Most Powerful Magnets in Shape.