What Size Solar Generator to Run High Wattage Appliances

A solar generator is a great option when you don’t have access to grid power for running your appliance at home. But is a Solar Generator reliable for running high-wattage appliances that require more than 1000 watts of power to operate?

These include air conditioners, electric heaters, refrigerators, washing machines, power tools, and large entertainment systems. These appliances typically demand a significant amount of electrical energy to function effectively.

In this article, we will explore the concept of solar generators and how they can provide a viable solution for running high-wattage appliances. From understanding their functionality to choosing the right inverter rating, battery capacity, and solar panel, we will delve into the essentials of powering your high-wattage devices with solar-powered power stations in your home.

How to Size a Solar Generator for High-Wattage Appliances

A solar generator harnesses the power of the sun to generate electricity, which is then used to charge a battery. This stored energy can be converted into usable AC power through an inverter, enabling the operation of high-wattage appliances. The inverter rating of a solar generator will determine whether it can run your appliance. 

Solar Generator Power Rating

To determine the suitable solar generator for an appliance you need to match the power requirements of the appliance to the inverter rating of the solar generator. In this case, if you are powering an appliance that requires more than 1000 watts of power you need a solar generator with a higher rating than 1000 watts. 

We recommend 1500-watt and 2000-watt Portable Power Stations paired with 400-Watt and 600-Watt Solar Panels respectively for powering these appliances.  

Capacity Rating

The power rating determines if a solar generator power station can run your appliance. The capacity rated in Watt-hours will determine how long it can run your appliance. A 2000-watt solar generator with a good power ratio will have a 2000Wh capacity and a 1500-Watt solar generator will have a 1500 Watt-hour capacity. 

How Long Will a 2000-Watt Solar Generator Run an Appliance?

Electrical energy is measured in Watt-Hours. The amount of time you run an appliance determines how much power it uses. Therefore with the watt-hours consumption, you can choose the right capacity that can run your appliance. 

To calculate Watt-Hours you multiply the Wattage of the device or appliance and multiply by the number of hours you use the device. 

Watt-Hours = Watts X Hours 

The duration of a solar generator’s operation for a specific appliance depends on its watt-hour capacity and the power consumption of the appliance. 

Watt-hours (Wh) represents the energy consumed over time. By dividing the solar generator’s watt-hour capacity by the appliance’s power consumption, you can estimate how long it will run. 

For example, if a solar generator has a capacity of 2000 Wh and an appliance consumes 1000 watts, it will last for approximately 

= (2000*0.85)/1000 

=  1.70 hrs

WattageRuntime
1000 Watts1.70
1100 Watts1.55
1200 Watts1.42
1300 Watts1.31
1400 Watts1.21
1500 Watts1.13
1600 Watts1.06
1700 Watts1.00
1800 Watts0.94
1900 Watts0.89

If you want to use an 1800-Watt air fryer for 1 hour, you will need 1800 Wh of energy. You can also choose to run your appliance for a couple of minutes of time. 

How Long Will a 2000-Watt Portable Power Station Run with a Solar Panel?

A 2000-watt portable solar generator will have a recommendation of between 500 and 600-watt Solar panels. This can fully charge the power station in around four hours. This will depend on the availability of sunlight. 

4 hours of sunlight in an ideal situation should provide 2400Wh is enough to fully recharge a depleted 2000-watt solar generator.  The 600-watt solar panel also will recharge the solar generator in around 5 hours. 

The solar generator supports pass-through charging. This means that you can use it while it’s being charged. Because Lithium-ion batteries have a high efficiency when charging and a high discharge rate you can use the 600 watts being produced to power your appliances. This is what we call the solar generator effect.

How Long Will a 1500-Watt Portable Power Station Run an Appliance?

Just like our previous example to calculate Watt-Hours you multiply the Wattage of the device or appliance and multiply by the number of hours you use the device. 

Watt-Hours = Watts X Hours 

The duration of a solar generator’s operation for a specific appliance depends on its watt-hour capacity and the power consumption of the appliance. 

= (1500*0.85)/1000 

=  1.28 hrs

WattageHrs
1000 Watts1.28 hrs
1100 Watts1.16 hrs
1200 Watts1.06 hrs
1300 Watts0.98 hrs
1400 Watts0.91 hrs

A 1500-Watt Solar Generator will have a shorter runtime compared to a 2000-watt solar generator. 

How Long Will a 1500-Watt Solar Generator Last with a Solar Panel?

A 400-watt Solar panel can provide 15 amps to charge the battery in around four hours. This will depend on the availability of sunlight. 4 hours of sunlight in an ideal situation should provide 1600Wh enough to fully recharge the solar generator. 

The good news is that the solar generator supports pass-through charging meaning you can use it while it’s getting charged. 

With an extra 400 watts going to the battery, this should add a couple of minutes to the run time. 

A 400-watt solar panel should add an extra 20 minutes per hour to the run time when running a 1000-watt appliance. 

Features to Look out for

AC Outlets

Look for a solar generator that provides AC outlets compatible with the plug types used in your region. Common AC outlet types include standard household outlets or universal outlets that accommodate multiple plug types. Ensure that the generator has enough AC outlets to connect all your appliances simultaneously.

Battery Type

LiFePO4 batteries have excellent power capabilities. They can deliver high discharge currents without significant voltage drops, making them suitable for solar generators. LiFePO4 batteries offer a longer cycle life compared to other lithium-ion battery chemistries. They can typically handle thousands of charge and discharge cycles before experiencing significant capacity degradation. This extended lifespan makes them suitable for applications that require frequent or daily cycling, such as solar energy storage or electric vehicles.

Safety Features

Ensure that the solar generator incorporates safety features such as overload protection, short-circuit protection, and temperature monitoring to prevent damage to the generator or connected appliances

Charging Options

In addition to solar panels, there are other options to charge solar generators. These include AC power outlets, car charging ports, or even using a generator as a backup power source. 

Having multiple charging options adds flexibility and ensures continuous power availability, especially during extended periods of low sunlight.

Recommendation

We recommend the Blueetti AC200P 2000 Watt Solar Generator. It has 6 120V outlets that can handle 2000W.  It uses a LiFePO4  battery and weighs 60 lbs. 

Leave a Comment