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Devices Power Supported By Portable Power Stations

When powering home appliances using portable power stations, it is of utmost importance to know how much power our appliances require in order to operate properly and to avoid issues of overloading the portable power stations.

Our appliances chart includes the most common appliances, tools, gadgets used at homes, RVs, on the boats/yachts, during camping, etc.


Before listing how much watts appliances actually need, it is important to explain few things first:

Running Watts vs. Starting Watts

Every portable power stations (usually powered by gas, diesel, propane, or natural gas) features both running watts and starting watts. Running watts are watts that the portable power stations is able to provide continuously, while starting watts is the power that the portable power stations is able to provide for short periods of time, preventing power issues when spikes occur.

Starting watts are very important when powering appliances and tools with electric motors – when starting, electric motors require more power than during normal operation.


Portable Power Generators vs. Power Stations

The Power generators feature internal combustion engines which burn fuel (gas, diesel, propane, natural gas, etc.), converting chemical energy into the mechanical energy and then using alternators (‘electric generators’), they convert mechanical energy into electric energy, which is then filtered/converted using onboard electronics into the actual electricity with stable voltage and as less distortions as possible (THD preferably less than 3%).

On the other hand, power stations use onboard batteries (mostly lightweight but powerful lithium-ion batteries) and electronics to convert chemical energy in the batteries into the electric energy.


Outdoor vs Indoor Power Generators

There is no such thing as ‘indoor power generator’. End of discussion. In order to generate energy, power generators use oxygen from the air and burn fuel, creating fumes rich in carbon dioxide, but fumes that contain other gases, including very dangerous carbon monoxide (no smell, no taste, no color …).

Some power generators feature an option of connecting their mufflers with longer exhaust tubes for extracting fumes directly outside, but if there is any issue with such systems, exhaust fumes can quickly fill the room and harm (and kill) everybody inside. This is a serious warning!

If you need a power generator during really bad weather, take your power generator outside and protect it from the elements like rain, snow, wind, and similar. And if the indoor power source is absolutely required, use lithium-powered power stations as indoor power sources.


Appliances Wattage Charts

Here is the list of most common household appliances, tools, and gadgets, often being powered by home, RV, camping, boat, etc. power generators.

Note: for actual power requirements of your devices, the best practice is to check the device itself – power requirements are usually written using ‘small’ letters on the back or at the bottom, usually in the form ‘Running Watts/Starting Watts’ (both values given in watts), or just ‘Running Watts’ (given in watts).


1、Home Devices

Appliance/Tool Running Watts Starting Watts
Aquarium 200 250
Blender 300 800
Box Fan 20″ 200 350
Ceiling Fan 100 300
Central AC 10.000 BTU 1500 2400
Central AC 24.000 BTU 3800 5000
Central AC 40.000 BTU 6000 7500
Clothes Dryer – Electric 5000 7000
Clothes Dryer – Gas 700 1800
Coffee Maker 1000 0
Curling Iron 1500 0
Deep Freezer 500 1500
Dishwasher 1300 1800
Electric Can Opener 170 220
Electric Grill 1.6 kW 1600 0
Electric Stove 2kW 2000 0
Electric Water Heater 4 kW 4000 0
Food Processor 400 0
Furnace Fan 1/3 HP 700 1400
Furnace Fan 1/2 HP 800 2350
Garage Door Opener 1/2 HP 900 2400
Hair Dryer 1.5 kW 1500 0
Heat Pump 4700 5500
Humidifier 13 gal. 175 0
Iron (Clothes) 1500 0
Iron (Waffles) 1200 0
Light Bulb 60 W 60 0
Light Bulb 75 W 75 0
Light LED Bulb 10 W 10 0
Microwave Oven 600 W 600 0
Microwave Oven 1000 W 1000 0
Refrigerator/Freezer 700 2200
RV Air Conditioner
 7.000 BTU 900 1700
RV Air Conditioner
10.000 BTU 1200 2000
RV Air Conditioner
13.500 BTU 1600 2500
RV Air Conditioner
15.000 BTU 1700 2700
Security System 500 0
Space Heater 2 kW 2000 0
Sump Pump 1/3 HP 800 1300
Sump Pump 1/2 HP 1050 2200
Television 27″ 500 0
Toaster 900 0
Toaster Oven 1200 0
Vacuum Cleaner 12 Amps 1440 2500
VCR 100 0
Washing Machine 1200 2300
Well Pump 1/2 HP 1000 2100
Window AC 5.000 BTU 600 900
Window AC 10.000 BTU 1200 1800
Window AC 12.000 BTU 1500 2300
Window AC 15.000 BTU 1900 2900


2, Job Site Devices

Appliance/Tool Running Watts Starting Watts
Air Compressor 1/4 HP 900 1600
Air Compressor 1 HP 1600 4500
Airless Sprayer 600 1200
Belt Sander 1200 2400
Circular Saw 7 1/4 inch 1400 2300
Electric Drill 3/8 inch 4 Amps 450 700
Electric Drill 1/2 inch 5.4 Amps 600 900
Halogen Work Light 300 W 300 0
Halogen Work Light 500 W 500 0
Halogen Work Light 1 kW 1000 0
Hammer Drill 1.2 kW 1200 3500
Miter Saw 10 inch 1800 2500
Planer/Jointer 6 inch 1800 2500
Reciprocating Saw 900 1300
Table Saw 10 inch 2000 2800


3, Office Devices

Appliance/Tool Running Watts Starting Watts
Copy Machine 1600 0
Fax Machine 70 0
Inkjet Printer 80 0
Laptop 200 0
Laser Printer 900 0
PC w/21″ Flat Screen 800 0


4, Recreation/Outdoor Devices

Appliance/Tool Running Watts Starting Watts
AM/FM Radio 100 0
CD/DVD Player 100 0
Cell Phone Charger 25 0
Electric Trolling Motor
12V 55 lbs 800 1300
Electric Trolling Motor
12V 30 lbs, Kayak 450 700
Hedge Trimmer (Corded, 4 Amps) 500 900
Inflator Pump 50 150
Mower (Corded, 14 Amps) 1700 3000
Outdoor Light String 250 0
Outdoor LED Light String 35 0
Stereo 250 0
X-Box, Wii, Playstation 40 0


Note: power requirements change over time – some appliances/tools/devices get stronger, while others become more efficient. Again, it is the best practice to check the power requirements labeled directly on the appliance/tool/device.


When trying to calculate what appliances and tools your power generator may run, always use the worst-case scenario, just in case.


Power station feature many safety systems, including overload protection, but abusing overload protection system may result in damaged or even destroyed power station – not to mention possible issues due to the lack of electric power for the most important appliances that satisfy essential human needs, especially during power outbreaks, natural disasters and similar.


We can look at the power station to see how much power it takes to boil water.

A solar Generator/Power Station can be used to power a microwave oven or electric kettle if the output power of the power station is stronger than the microwave oven/electric kettle’s required power.

Boil Water in Microwave

A microwave oven is one of the most efficient means of boiling water, but one has to be very careful.

Note: before boiling water in a microwave, it is highly recommended to read the microwave’s Owner’s Guide, especially Safety Issues and Boiling Water/Liquids, just in case.

When boiling water in a microwave, always use microwave-safe pots/cups – never use metal ones and never use lids.

Another very interesting but also very dangerous issue is – water overheating.

The microwave heats water very quickly and usually one uses cups with very smooth surfaces – steam bubbles usually need some surface imperfection to cling to when forming.

All of this leads to superheated water – water with the temperature above its boiling point, but with no steam bubbles.

But, as soon as the user touches the pot/cup with the superheated water, a large number of bubbles may form almost instantly – hot steam bursts, causing burns on the unprotected skin.

For short, be very careful when boiling the water with a microwave.

But, on average, in order to boil water, it takes 1500W microwave 1-1.5 min to boil a cup (250 ml) of water, and 700-800W microwave 2.5-3 min to boil a cup (250 ml) of water.

Boil Water in Electric Kettle

Electric kettles are designed to boil water as quickly as possible.

On average, in order to boil 1 liter of water, 1500W kettle requires ~4 min and 2500W kettle requires 2-3 min.

An electric kettle is not as an efficient heater as a microwave oven, since there is a large “parasite” mass to be heated, but there is no danger of superheating the water.

Personally, if You have the need to quickly boil various amounts of water for coffee, tea, and similar, an electric kettle is the way to go.

This means that power stations in the 1500-2000 watts range can be used to power microwaves and electric kettles in the 1200-1500 watts range.

In order to boil a cup of water (250 ml) 1500W electric kettle requires ~1 minute, while 1500W microwave requires 1-1.5 minutes.

Since power stations feature an average energy efficiency of ~85%, boiling a cup of water using 1500W electric kettle requires ~30 Wh of energy:

E(electric kettle) = 1500W * 60s = 90000 Ws = 25 Wh

E(battery) = E(electric kettle) / 0.85 = 29.4 Wh (~30 Wh)

Most power stations/solar generators in the 1500-2000W range feature internal batteries being able to store 500 – 2000 Wh of energy.

For example, a power station having a 900Wh internal battery is able to boil 30 cups (250 ml) of water – having warm tea, coffee, soup or similar drink/food can be extremely important in emergencies, or when camping, hiking, and similar.

Similarly to power stations, one can use a large, deep discharge battery and power inverter to power a microwave oven or electric kettle to boil water, as long as the output power of the power inverter is stronger than the required power of microwave oven and/or electric kettle.

Portable power generators may be used directly to power microwave oven and/or electric kettle in order to boil water, as long as the output power of the power generator is stronger than the microwave oven and/or electric kettle.

Visit our website to learn more about portable power station or please leave information to us.








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