The Only Inverter Size Chart You’ll Ever Need

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We have created a comprehensive inverter size chart to help you select the correct inverter to power your appliances.

The need for an inverter size chart first became apparent when researching our DIY solar generator build.

Solar generators can be designed from the smallest sizes for short camping trips, to large off-grid power systems for a boat or house. Consequently, the size of the inverter varies greatly.

We found out that the majority of inverters are sized from 300 Watts up to 3000 Watts plus.

In this article, you’ll be guided through the different inverter sizes. Additionally, you will learn what appliances can be powered and how you can select the right inverter size according to your power needs.


How Do I Know What Size Inverter I Need?

You probably already know that inverters convert DC power into AC electricity.

It is always recommended that you choose a pure sine wave inverter.

This type of inverter delivers high-quality electricity similar to your utility company, this way none of your appliances run the risk of being damaged. We explained all of this in our recent article – What is a pure sine wave inverter.

When it comes to sizing your inverter, you always need to check the wattage of your appliances and make sure that the total wattage of your appliances fits into the inverter’s max power output.


What Are The Two Types of Power Loads?

  1. Resistive load: LED lights, TV, mobile phones etc. Resistive loads will only use their rated power.
  2. Inductive load: Electric fans, water pumps, power tools, refridgerators, air conditioners etc. Inductive loads may use up to 40% more than their rated power.
For more information about the different types of load, have a look at this comprehensive article.

We created a formula below which helps you know what size inverter you need based on the appliances you want to power:

Inverter size (Watt) = Total sum of all appliances power (Watt)*1.4

So let’s put this formula into practice.

These are the appliances you want to run:

  • Laptop: 150W
  • LED lights: 7W
  • Small fridge: 75W
  • TV: 150W
  • Phone/Tablet/Drone: 50W

Now add up all the different wattages.

150 + 7 + 75 + 150 + 50 = 432W

432 X 1.4 = 604,8

This means in order to power the above appliances at the same time you will need a minimum inverter size of 600 watts.

Remember the x1.4 is to add extra security in case any of your appliances are inductive loads.


Inverter Size Chart

We have summarized the appliances that inverters can run depending on their rated maximum power from 300W to 3000W.

(Please note that you will need to use our above formula to figure out how many appliances each inverter size can run simultaneously.)

 LED lights (7W)Phone/Tablet (30W)Drone/Camera (40W)Laptop (60 -150W)Electric Fan (80W)TV (150W)Medium size Refrigerator/Freezer (150W)RV water pump (100W)Power tools (1000W)Micro wave oven (1000W)Hair dryer (1000W)Vacuum cleaner (1000W)Air conditioning unit (1500W) 
300W + + + + +         
500W + + + + + + +       
700W + + + + + + + +      
1000W + + + + + + + +      
1500W + + + + + + + + +     
2000W + + + + + + + + + + + +  
3000W + + + + + + + + + + + + + 

What Will A 300W Inverter Run?

  • Size:  7.48*3.93*3.23in
  • Weight: 1.76lb
  • Best for emergency use, charging USB devices in a car

What can this inverter run?

Phone/Tablet/Drone50W
Laptop150W
LED lights7W
Electric fan80W
Cooler60W

A 300W inverter will run all your electronic devices, such as phones, tablets, drones, laptops at the same time. It can also power an electric fan while you are working on your computer. Compact but powerful, It will even run a cooler.


What will A 500W inverter run?

  • Size: ‎8.74 x 6.38 x 2.68 in
  • Weight: 2.2lbs
  • Best for small DIY solar generator, RVs and camping

What can this inverter run?

Phone/Tablet/Drone50W
Laptop150W
LED lights (5*5W)25W
Water circulation pump100W
Electric fan80W
Small refrigerator/freezer75W

A 500W inverter will do a great job at powering your USB devices and laptop, together with LED lights, a water circulation pump, and an electric fan. On top of that, it will easily run a small refrigerator/freezer.


What Will A 700W Inverter Run?

  • Size: 11.75 x 7.38 x 3.32 in
  • Weight: 5.3lbs
  • Best for camper van, boat, camping trip

What can this inverter run?

Phone/Tablet/Drone50W
Laptop150W
LED lights (5*5W)25W
Water circulation pump100W
Electric fan80W
Small refrigerator/freezer60W
TV150W

A 700W inverter will have no problem running basic appliances, such as TV, DVD player, satellite receiver, LED lights, and small refrigerator/freezer. This is the inverter of choice for a short camping trip.


What Will A 1000W Inverter Run?

  • Size: 10.5 * 5.9 * 3.7 in
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs
  • Best for medium size DIY solar generator, camping trips and RVs

What can this inverter run?

Phone/Tablet/Drone50W
Gaming console150W
Laptop150W
LED lights25W
Water circulation pump100W
Electric fan100W
Medium size refrigerator/freezer100W
TV150W

A 1000W inverter works great in combination with lithium batteries (up to 1kWh). It will run smoothly multiple basic appliances at the same time, such as refrigerator, TV, projector, video games, printer, small stereo equipment.


What Will A 1500W Inverter Run?

  • Size: 14.49 x 7.99 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 8.69 lbs
  • Best for solar systems in RVs, boat and camping

What can this inverter run?

Phone/Tablet/Drone50W
Laptop150W
LED lights (5*5W)25W
Water circulation pump100W
TV150W
Electric fan100W
Large size refrigerator/freezer200W
Deep well pump 0.75Hp560W

A 1500W inverter is powerful enough to cover most of your needs in an off-grid trip. Aside from all electronic devices (phones, tablets, cameras…) and basic appliances such as LED lights, electric fans, and TVs, it will run a large fridge and a 0.75Hp water pump all at the same time.


What Will A 2000W Inverter Run?

  • Size: 14.56 x 6.49 x 3.35 in
  • Weight: 11.86 lbs
  • Best for field work, power outage, small off-grid cabins

What can this inverter run?

Phone/Tablet/Drone50W
Laptop150W
LED lights25W
Electric fan100W
Large refrigerator/freezer200W
Deep well pump 1Hp750W
Power tools1200W

A 2000W inverter is a reliable source of continuous power for your most demanding equipment such as power tools (driller, grinder, jigsaw…). In addition, it can be a lifesaver in case of a power outage – 2000W is enough to run all basic domestic appliances including a large fridge/freezer.


What Will A 3000W Inverter Run?

  • Size: 19.53 x 10.31 x 5.43 in
  • Weight: 15.37 lbs
  • Best for off-grid cabins, aircon units

What can this inverter run?

Phone/Tablet/Drone50W
Laptop150W
LED lights25W
Electric fan100W
Medium size refrigerator/freezer100W
Deep well pump 0.5HP375W
AC Unit 1.5HP1250W
TV150W
Kitchen equipment500W

A 3000W inverter is an ideal size to run all the electric equipment of an off-grid cabin. It is even powerful enough to run a 1HP AC unit together with a refrigerator, TV, electric fan, led lights, and kitchen equipment.


Real Life Experience – What Will A 3500W Inverter Run?

In this part, I would like to relate our personal experience as a family of 4, living Off-the-grid with a 3500W solar inverter. To power our house, we rely 100% on an off-grid solar system.

Our 3500W solar inverter

Based on our experience the 3500W inverter can easily run these appliances at the same time:

Pressure pump (1Hp)750W
Deep well pump (2Hp)1400W
Medium size refrigerator/freezer100W
Electric fan80W
Led lights (6 pcs*5W)30W
Gaming Laptop250W
Phone/Tablet/Drone60W
Wifi Router15W
Refrigerator/freezer (100W)
1 Hp (750W) pressure pump

With all OF our appliances plugged in at the same time, we never exceeded 75% of the inverter’s capacity, and the most powerful pumps never run for a long time (perhaps 1 hour per day at max). With such an example, we can conclude that a 3500W inverter is a perfect size for the needs of a family.


Final tips to select the correct inverter size

Here is our last bit of advice on how to select the correct inverter size:

  • Check our inverter size chart
  • List all your appliances in function of their power output
  • Apply our inverter size formula
  • Do not exceed 85% of your inverter maximum power continuously
  • Oversize your inverter for extra appliances in the future
  • Choose a pure sine wave inverter

Romain Metaye, PhD

Dr Metaye has a PhD in chemistry from Ecole Polytechnique, France. He is a renewable energy expert with more than 10 years of experience within the research world. During his career, he supervised more than 150 projects on clean energy. Off-grid smart systems, solar energy, battery and the hydrogen economy are among his specialties.

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