Similar to the Matrix movie where humans were used as a source of electricity but different by using electric eels. Farmed like tuna what would be the electricity exchange to the food they eat?

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I don't have the math at hand for the actually energy efficiency, but let's just start from the storage capacity.

Basically, an electric eel wouldn't make a very good battery. They could be a decent, albeit fairly inefficient capacitor, but they actually store little energy. Using data from Wikipedia on Electric Eels it works out to something less than 2 joules (less than 1kilowatt over 2 ms), whereas an AA battery is around 12000 joules.

You're going to need a very, very big tank to store any appreciable amount of energy, before you even worry about how much food it will take you, let alone the animal welfare concerns with forcefully discharging a tank of eels at your whim.

  • $\begingroup$ What if they where grown like farmed tuna? $\endgroup$ – Muze Mar 7 '17 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ (side note: this could make an excellent question for Randall Munroe at XKCD's What If if you phrased it in the form of "how much would I have to feed a tank of electric eels sufficient to power the world's energy grid") $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Mar 7 '17 at 21:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Muze How you farm them doesn't change the basic math that you will need 6000 of them to equal a single AA battery. (and by the way, tuna is probably not the best example for farming - it is quite difficult to farm tuna and only recently achieved) I think it's off-topic to discuss here the sustainability of AA battery production but I am confident I can get one from the local supermarket for less cost than you will ever be able to feed and house 6000 fish. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Mar 7 '17 at 21:31

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