Measuring 1MWh in Lemon Batteries

By Nate Wennyk | Oct 22, 2016

Helping the average person understand the energy stored by a 1MWh energy storage system can sometime involve making some pretty interesting comparisons. Where more commonly one might see something like “it will power X amount of average households for X amount of hours,” we recently came across a comparison of “the equivalent of over 2 million iPhone batteries” that sent our BMS engineering team  trying to out-do each other in frivolous comparisons of dubious value.

We are pleased to share the winner here with you today, complete with cited sources for accuracy:

1MWh = 1.39 billion lemon batteries

lemon battery 1MWH energy storage system

1MWh energy storage system outputs the equivalent power of 1.39 billion lemon batteries

To put more fun math behind that…



  • 80×23,000,000=1.84 billion lemons produced each year (enough for 1 and a bit 1MWh ESS systems)
  • 1,390,000,000×0.25= 347,500,000 lbs, or 173,750 tons (a 40’ ISO container maximum load is 28.88 tons, so this is 6,017 shipping containers full of lemon batteries)

It would be a huge burden on the US citrus economy as well as a huge site installation to build a 1MWh lemon-battery ESS. Not to mention this ESS is “recharged” organically by replacing the lemons from lemon trees that use the depleted lemons in their compost to grow more lemons.

But you know the saying, “When life gives you 1.39 billion lemons, you make a 1MWh ESS”

Resource: Improving Battery Management System performance and Cost with Altera FPGAs