The Only Inverter Size Chart You’ll Ever Need

We’ve 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 discovered that most inverters are sized from 300 Watts up to over 3000 Watts.

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

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How Do I Know What Size Inverter I Need?

Before we go any further, we highly recommend 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.

Now, 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, refrigerators, 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


Let’s Put This Formula To Work

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 to power the above appliances simultaneously, you’ll need a minimum inverter size of 600 watts.

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


Inverter Size Chart

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

Please note: Use the above formula to determine 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 of your small electronic devices such as phones, tablets, drones, and laptops simultaneously. It can also power an electric fan while you’re 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 generators, 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.

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What Will A 1000W Inverter Run?

  • Size: 10.5 * 5.9 * 3.7 in
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs
  • Best for medium size DIY solar generators, 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 multiple basic appliances smoothly at the same time, such as a refrigerator, TV, projector, video games, printer, and 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, boats, 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 during an off-grid trip. Aside from all of your electronic devices (phones, tablets, cameras, etc) and basic appliances (LED lights, electric fans, and TVs), it’ll 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 outages, and 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, etc). In addition, it can be a lifesaver in case of a power outage – 2000W is enough to run all of your 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, and 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 can run all the electric equipment in an off-grid cabin. It’s 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 my personal experience (as part of 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 - inverter size chart.
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
Personal refrigerator/freezer - inverter size chart.
Refrigerator/freezer (100W)
Personal pressure pump - inverter size chart.
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 — 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 For Selecting 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

Romain Metaye

Dr Metaye has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Ecole Polytechnique, France. He is a renewable energy expert with more than 11 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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Kevin

This was an awesome article. Thank you for your time and efforts. I get confused by electrical labels as there’s so much info on them I get distracted. Thanks for putting in two examples. On the water pump there is a Vmax of 950. I would have thought that was the rating I would choose. How do you know what to look at when there’s multiple voltage things on a label?

Kyle Browning

Hi Kevin, thanks for reaching out.

Could you be a bit more specific as to what the label of your water pump says?

Axel Corsa

I loved this article. Thank you for listing out the great content in order from smallest to larger inverter. This was exactly what I am looking for to implement for a family of 5. I will go with a 3500W inverter and 12 panels of approx 250Watt each for our needs.

Kyle Browning

You are very welcome Axel, do keep us updated on how the installation process goes.

Saartjie

Hi Kyle, Thanks for providing all this information! This is extremely helpful! Now, as far as installation goes, how much does it typically cost? I know that I’ll be getting the 3500W inverter, 12 panels too for a family of 7. I’m guessing this is in S.A, correct?

Kyle Browning

Hey Saartjie,

Thanks for reaching out to us!

I recommend posting your comment on the Climatebiz Community, here you will have access to the Climatebiz experts.

Go ahead and post your question as a new topic.

Annemarie

Hi I live in a rural area and would like to go offgrid (Mpumalanga South Africa), I work from home, because we are on a farm I have 6 x 30w lights to light up the farm area around the houses (for security). To be safe I would like to go for a 8kwh system, what would you recommend; I cannot afford to buy a system outright and therefore would like to buy a 1 x battery, 1 x solar panel, charge controller and inverter to start…. Hopefully by buying another battery and solar panel as and when I can afford to build up the system to 8kwh. I have a gas stove…donkey for geyser but do have a .75 water pump that distributes water to the households x 5. Internal use is a medium fridge/freezer, wifi, router, 4 x cell phones to charge and maybe 3 internal low wattage lights. What sizes should I be looking at per solar/inverter/charge controller/battery and which battery size and type is ideal…

Kyle Browning

Hey Anne Marie, thanks for reaching out to us, we are happy to assist you.

Please could you share with us exactly how much electricity you consume each month? That would be in kWh. Also, your town in Mpumalanga, this way we can get accurate GHI data to advise you on your recommended system size.

Chris Foxwell

I built up my own system using 4 330watt solar panels connected to 2 charge converters connected to a bank of 8 110Ah batteries connected to supply 12 volts to a 5000w peak 2500w continuous (claimed) inverter. This system could supply a few appliances separately, even power an 1800watt mitre saw but a 1100watt kettle and 800watt microwave together was too much and overloaded the inverter.
Can you recommend a better inverter that can run the kettle, fridge and microwave together estimated 2100watts combined plus the secondary use of power tools as previously mentioned above?

Kyle Browning

Hello Chris, thanks for your comment/question, your system looks good but you’ll need to upgrade to a 24V or 48V system (battery and inverter) to power up to 2500W with a 5000W peak.

It is all about the size of your wires (from the battery bank to inverter) and the max current they can carry. For a safe domestic use, wires carrying more than 150Amps continuously (Wire size: AWG0) are not advisable.

With a 12V system, you are limited to 1500W continuous, the maximum current is 125Amps.

With a 24V battery/inverter you’ll be able to reach 3000W continuous (125Amps), and with a 48V system up to 6000W, the same current 125Amps.

In the end I would recommend this POWMR 3000W hybrid/off-grid inverter that I am currently using. It is a good entry/budget level all-in-one inverter. And it will have no problem for 2500W. Make sure to use AWG0 wires to connect your battery and inverter.

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