What Solar Generator Can Power a Microwave

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A microwave is a quick non-messy way to warm up your food. This makes them convenient when using them off-grid. The wattage is determined by the size of the microwave and the number of features. A typical microwave oven uses 1,000 to 1,500 watts of power.

You can hook up a microwave to a solar generator through the AC outputs. But what size solar generator will you need?

A 1000 Watt Microwave will need a Solar Generator rated at least 1500 Watts. This solar generator can last an hour when running the microwave. However, you may just need a couple of minutes to warm up your food. This means you can run other appliances like your toaster on the solar generator.

In this article, we take you through the solar generator size to run a microwave and how long it will run your microwave plus other appliances. 

What Solar Generator to Run a Microwave?

To size a solar generator to an appliance you match the inverter rating of the solar generator to the appliance. The inverter rating should be higher than the power rating of the appliance in order to run it. 

To run a 1000-watt Microwave you’ll need a 1500-watt solar generator or higher. 

The capacity of the solar generator will determine how long it will run the microwave. The wattage tells you how much energy the appliance uses, but not how long it will last. 

How Long Will a 1500-Watt Solar Generator Run a 900-Watt Microwave?

The amount of power used by your microwave depends on how much food you’re heating up and how much time it takes for the water inside the food to turn into steam. 

Electrical energy is measured in watt-hours. The amount of power you use depends on the amount of time you run an appliance. 

For example, a 100-watt light bulb running for 2 hours uses 200-watt hours, while a 60-watt bulb running for 4 hours uses 240 watt-hours.

Watt-Hours = Watts X Hours 

So if you are using a 1000 Watt Microwave for 1 hour then you’ll need 1000 Watt-hours which is equal to 1Kwh. 

Unless you are defrosting or making large quantities of food you won’t need to run a microwave in an hour’s time especially if you are off-grid. To run a microwave for 10 minutes you’ll need just 166Wh. 

 A 1500-watt solar generator will typically have a 1500Wh capacity. If you use a microwave for 10 minutes at a time this means the solar generator has enough capacity to run the microwave for over 9 times. 

Let’s calculate the runtime of the microwave on the solar generator

With 1400 watts available the run time for the 1000-watt microwave will be: 

= (1400*0.85)/1000

= 1.19 hrs

A 1500-watt solar generator will run the 1000-watt microwave for 1 hour 11 minutes. This is without a solar panel being hooked to the solar generator. 

This is why hooking up the solar generator to a solar panel is important when using large appliances as the solar panel will replace the power being consumed. 

How Long Will the Solar Generator Run the Microwave with a 400-watt Solar Panel?

A 400-watt Solar panel can fully 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. But because of efficiency losses and overcast periods, this will probably go to five hours. 

You can also use the solar generator while it’s charging as it supports pass-through charging. This allows the 400 watts from the solar panel to be available for use. 

With 400 watts going into the battery:

For example to get the running time for a 1000-watt microwave

= (400*0.85)/1000

= 0.34 hrs

This means that a solar generator when paired with a solar panel can run the 1000-watt microwave for 20 minutes without depleting the solar generator’s capacity.  If you are running it for long periods of time with a solar panel hooked you can run the microwave for 1 hr 31 minutes on the solar generator. 

But as we mentioned before you may not need to run a microwave for this long. Even 2 minutes might be enough and this leaves the solar generator with enough power to run other appliances. 


Alternatively, you can also go for an off-grid 600-watt microwave that will consume less power. 

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