What Will a Solar Generator Power? (200-2,000W)

Solar generators come in all kinds of sizes with varying power outputs. In this post, I’ll be going over individual classes of solar generators based on their power output and show you what kind of appliances and devices they can power.

A solar generator can power small devices like smartphones and portable fans as well as large appliances like drills, fridges, and even microwaves. However, not all solar generators output the same amount of power. The AC inverter specification dictates what a solar generator can and cannot power.

The AC inverter (to power the AC ports) tends to get more powerful as a portable power station’s battery capacity increases.

For example, the Yeti 200X has an inverter rated at 120W continuous (200W surge) and a battery capacity of 187Wh. On the other end of the spectrum, the Bluetti AC200P has an inverter rated at 2,000W continuous (4,800W surge) with a 2,000Wh battery capacity.

If you’re looking to run your solar generator daily, its battery capacity and recharging times should be analyzed in addition to its power output.

I recommend checking out my post on this topic, where I compare three different solar generators to each other and give some tips on what to look for in your research: Can You Use a Solar Generator Every Day? (Models Compared).

What will a solar generator power?

Desk fan, microwave, and blender illustrations

A 200-300W solar generator will power box fans, speaker systems, as well as most modern TVs. A 500W solar generator can power most CPAP machines and mini-fridges for extended periods of time. A 1,000-2,000W system can power most microwaves and full-size fridges.

It’s important to distinguish between a solar generator’s battery capacity and its AC port output. Some portable power stations have a small battery but high AC output and vice versa.

For example, you may want to power a 1,000W space heater with a capable power station like the EcoFlow River Max. This system is rated at 576Wh of battery capacity, and even though it can power the space heater, you will likely get only about 30 minutes of running time. This is because the River Max has a smaller battery than most solar generators that are capable of 1,000W of output power.

The better option for this space heater example would be the Bluetti AC200P mainly because it has a 2,000Wh battery, which can run the space heater for about two hours.

As I show you specific models and what they can power, the bullet points below show you a basic understanding of how running times are calculated for varying appliances when paired with a solar generator.

  • Watt-hour (Wh): Measurement of the solar generator’s battery capacity
  • Watt (W): In this article, watts are used to measure the maximum power output from a solar generator’s AC ports
  • 1Wh of battery capacity = 1W of power running for one hour

What can a 2,000-watt solar generator power?

Most 2,000W solar generators can power microwaves, space heaters, full-size refrigerators, electric stoves, and even power tools like circular saws. The running times for these appliances vary depending on the exact wattage of each appliance and the battery capacity of the solar generator.

Below are three solar generators capable of 2,000W of continuous output power from their AC ports. Take note of what they can power and the amount of time they can run each listed appliance for.

ModelGoal Zero Yeti 1500XBluetti AC200PJackery Explorer 2000

Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station, 1516Wh Portable Lithium Battery Emergency Power Station, 2000W Portable AC Inverter Generator, Outdoor Portable Generator, Portable Solar Generator for Solar Panels

BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC200P, 2000Wh LiFePO4 Battery Backup w/ 6 2000W AC Outlets (4800W Peak), Solar Generator for Outdoor Camping, RV Travel, Home Use (Solar Panel Not Included)

jackery 2000
AC Inverter Output2,000W continuous (3,500W surge)2,000W continuous (4,800W surge)2,200W continuous (4,400W surge)
Battery Capacity1,516Wh2,000Wh2,060Wh
What Can It Power?CPAP (65W): 22 hrs (using DC car port)
Full-Size Refrigerator (66W): 19.5 hrs
TV (42" LED) (100W): 12.9 hrs
Microwave (1,000W): 1.3 hrs
Circular Saw (1,500W): 0.86 hrs (51 mins)
CPAP (40W): 47.5 hrs (using DC car port)
Car Fridge (70W): 27 hrs (using DC car port)
Electric Grill (1,100W): 1.5 hrs
Air Conditioner (1,800W): 0.94 hrs (57 mins)
Coffee Maker (550W): 3.2 hrs
Microwave (1,000W): 1.7 hrs
Electric Stove (1,150W): 1.5 hrs
Air Conditioner (1,800W): 0.97 hrs (58 mins)
Hairdryer (2,000W): 0.87 hrs (52 mins)
Please note: All solar generator/portable power station running times are calculated at an 85% inverter efficiency and 95% DC output port efficiency (both to 0% battery capacity). These percentages may vary slightly depending on each model as well as each appliance.

The Yeti 1500X has a smaller battery than the AC200P and Explorer 2000 power stations, so it has shorter running times.

When it comes to larger and more powerful solar generators like these options, it’s usually best to get ones with larger battery capacities. Although they’re heavier, you’ll get longer running times, which means you won’t have to recharge it as often as a smaller system.

When using high-powered appliances with the power station’s AC ports, it’s important to factor in each one’s running time, but what’s more important is how often you think you’ll use it. For example, you may only use a microwave for five minutes every day, whereas a space heater may be used for an hour a day.

Most space heaters work with 2,000W solar generators because they tend to have a maximum of 1,500W of output power. My article on using space heaters with solar generators dives into more detail on this topic.

There are solar generators that produce over 2,000W of continuous power, and you can find a list of these large solar generators in my blog post found here: Top 3 Most Powerful Solar Generators (Overview + Analysis).

What will a 1,000-watt solar generator run?

A 1,000-watt solar generator can run 100W TVs from 8-13 hours and 35W mini-fridges for over a day. For high-powered appliances like coffee makers and microwaves, make sure to check their wattage before using them with a 1,000W generator (they can be rated for over 1,000W).

Below I have some 1,000W portable power stations and compare appliances they can run.

ModelBluetti EB150Jackery Explorer 1000OUPES 1200W

MAXOAK Portable Power Station EB150 1500Wh AC110V/1000W Camping Solar Generator Lithium Emergency Battery Backup with 2 AC outlet Pure Sinewave,DC12V,USB-C for Outdoor Road Trip Travel Fishing

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000, 1002Wh Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) with 3x110V/1000W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Emergency

Portable Power Station 1200W, OUPES Solar Generator 992Wh(310,000mAh ) , Upgarde LiFePO4 Battery Backup Solar Powered Generators Quick Charge Pure Sine Wave 110V AC Outlet Powerbank for Home Use Camping Outdoors Travel

AC Inverter Output1,000W continuous (1,200W surge)1,000W continuous (2,000W surge)1,200W continuous (2,200W surge)
Battery Capacity1,500Wh1,002Wh992Wh
What Can It Power?CPAP (60W): 24 hrs (using DC car port)
LCD TV (100W): 13 hrs
Blender (300W): 4.3 hrs
Refrigerator (800W): 1.6 hrs
Mini Fridge (35W): 27 hrs (using DC car port)
CPAP (65W): 14.6 hrs (using DC car port)
Refrigerator (800W): 1.1 hrs
Microwave (900W): 0.95 hrs (57 mins)
CPAP (65W): 14.5 hrs (using DC car port)
LCD TV (100W): 8.4 hrs
Coffee Maker (550W): 1.5 hrs
Pressure Cooker (900W): 0.94 hrs (56 mins)
Please note: All solar generator/portable power station running times are calculated at an 85% inverter efficiency and 95% DC output port efficiency (both to 0% battery capacity). These percentages may vary slightly depending on each model as well as each appliance.

The Bluetti EB150 has a bigger battery than the Jackery 1000 and OUPES 1,200W models, which allows for longer running times. However, the EB150 only has a 1,200W surge limit from its AC ports, which is almost half of the surge rating on the other two models.

A 1,000W solar generator with at least a 1,000Wh battery capacity is ideal for powering mini-fridges or camping fridges since they can run them for over a day.

Although they can also be used for partial home backup power, most cannot power high-powered appliances for long periods of time.

I recommend checking out my review of the Jackery Explorer 1000 for more details on what it can power as well as its recharging speed: Jackery Explorer 1000 Power Station Review – Complete Value Analysis.

What will a 500-watt solar generator run?

A 500-watt solar generator will run low-powered appliances (30-100W) for 4-12 hours depending on the appliance. For example, TVs can run for 4-7.5 hours and mini/car fridges can run for 10-12 hours. Higher-powered appliances like a blender can also be used with these types of solar generators.

For camping purposes, 500W models can be versatile for several different appliances. They can also be used for recharging several devices at the same time, such as camera batteries, drones, and laptops.

These solar generators are relatively lightweight (10-15 lbs) and can be carried with one hand to and from campsites or from room to room in your home.

ModelBigBlue Cellpowa500Rockpals Rockpower 500Jackery Explorer 500

BigBlue LiFePO4 Portable Power Station 537.6Wh, Recharge 0-80% Within 2Hrs, Cellpowa500 Solar Generator with MPPT, 4.0IN Large Screen, 2x500W AC, 2x Regulated DC, 2xPD 60W USB-C for Camping, Off-Grid

ROCKPALS Portable Power Station 500W - 505wh (140400mAh) Solar Generator with 12V Regulated Power Supply, 750W Peak 2 Pure Sine AC Outlet, Pass-Through Charging PD 45W & DC 120W

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, 518Wh Outdoor Solar Generator Mobile Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/500W AC Outlet (Solar Panel Optional) for Road Trip Camping, Outdoor Adventure

AC Inverter Output500W continuous (1,000W surge)500W continuous (750W surge)500W continuous (1,000W surge)
Battery Capacity537Wh505Wh518Wh
What Can It Power?Light/Lamp (10W): 46 hrs
CPAP (40W): 12.7 hrs (using DC port)
MacBook Air (50Wh): 9 recharges
LCD TV (110W): 4.1 hrs
Smartphone (10Wh): 48 recharges (using DC (USB) port)
Car Fridge (40W): 12 hrs (using DC port)
Laptop (45Wh): 10 recharges
CPAP (60W): 8 hrs (using DC port)
Mini Fridge (35W): 14 hrs (using DC port)
32" TV (60W): 7.3 hrs
Heated Blanket (65W): 6.8 hrs
Blender (360W): 1.2 hrs
Please note: All solar generator/portable power station running times are calculated at an 85% inverter efficiency and 95% DC output port efficiency (both to 0% battery capacity). These percentages may vary slightly depending on each model as well as each appliance.

All of the examples above have similar 500-540Wh battery capacities, so they can power devices and appliances for similar times.

The Rockpals 500 model has a limited surge rating of 750W compared to the other models’ 1,000W surge limit. This can be an issue when powering heavy-duty appliances.

I own both the BigBlue and Rockpals power stations in the table, and I’ll link to my individual reviews of these models below:

If you think you’ll need a system with a higher power output than 500W, I recommend the EcoFlow River Max. It’s around the same size as the previously mentioned models (576Wh) but can output 600W continuously.

It can even power 1,200W appliances with a function EcoFlow calls “X-Boost”. For more information, you can read my review of it here: EcoFlow River 600 Review – Testing My River Max + Comparisons.

What can a 300-watt solar generator run?

A 300-watt solar generator can run appliances like dehumidifiers (280W) and standard desktop computers (200W) for 1-2 hours depending on the model’s battery capacity. Most 300W models’ batteries are either around 300Wh or 500Wh, which alters the running times of similar appliances.

However, most 300W portable power stations are best used for lighter power needs (100W or less) because you can run appliances for longer durations.

Check out the solar generator models below for what they can power and for how long. I have two 300Wh models and two 500Wh models – all of which have a 300W continuous power output from their AC ports.

ModelFanttik EVO 300Jackery Explorer 300Bluetti AC50SGoal Zero Yeti 500X

Fanttik Portable Power Station EVO 300, 299Wh Backup Lithium Battery with Ultra Large Digital Screen, 2 AC 110V/300W(Peak 600W) Pure Sine Wave Outlets, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting RV Home Emergency

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300, 293Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/300W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Blackout

BLUETTI Portable Power Station AC50S 500Wh Solar Generator Lithium Battery Backup with 2x110V/300W AC Outlets Power Generator for Outdoor Camping RV Home Use Emergency

Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station, 505-Watt-Hours Portable Lithium-Battery Emergency Power Station, Solar-Powered Generator

AC Inverter Output300W continuous (600W surge)300W continuous (500W surge)300W continuous (450W surge)300W continuous (1,200W surge)
Battery Capacity299Wh293Wh500Wh505Wh
What Can It Power?Camera (14Wh): 18 recharges
iPhone (11Wh): 26 recharges (using DC (USB) port)
MacBook Air (50Wh): 5 recharges
Mini Cooler (60W): 4.7 hrs (using DC port)
iPhone (11Wh): 25 recharges (using DC (USB) port)
MacBook Air (50Wh): 5 recharges
Desk Fan (20W): 12.4 hrs
Mini Cooler (60W): 4.6 hrs (using DC car port)
LED Lamp (20W): 21 hrs
LCD TV (75W): 5.6 hrs
Refrigerator (90W): 4.7 hrs
Electric Stewing Pot (200W): 2.1 hrs
Light Bulb (11W): 39 hrs
Portable Fridge (25W): 19 hrs (using DC car port)
CPAP (65W): 7.4 hrs (using DC car port)
TV (42" LED) (100W): 4.3 hrs
Please note: All solar generator/portable power station running times are calculated at an 85% inverter efficiency and 95% DC output port efficiency (both to 0% battery capacity). These percentages may vary slightly depending on each model as well as each appliance.

Ideally, the solar generators rated around 500Wh from the table should be used mainly for items that need to pull consistent power for several hours (portable fridges, CPAP machines, etc.).

A major benefit of the 300Wh models is their weight, which is typically between 7-10 lbs. Their dimensions are also smaller than the 500Wh systems, so they can be stored and carried more easily than the larger portable power stations.

I can actually fit my Jackery Explorer 300 in my backpack easily, which I showed in my YouTube review video.

Calculating running times from AC ports

A good way to measure how long you can run an appliance for (from a solar generator’s AC ports) is by using the following calculation:

(Battery capacity (Wh) x 0.85) / Appliance wattage (W) = Appliance running time (hours)

For example, using a 65W portable camping fridge with a 500Wh portable power station would look something like this:

(500 x 0.85) / 65 = 6.5 hours of running time

I use “0.85” in this calculation because most solar generators’ AC ports are powered by an inverter with about an 85% efficiency. In other words, the inverter uses about 15% of the power station’s battery capacity when powering appliances.

For an estimation of the power consumption of your appliances, you can use this list from Unbound Solar as a guide. However, be sure to review your own appliances’ wattages as they may differ.

Some appliances, such as a CPAP machine, can run on either AC or DC power. In these scenarios, the best option is using the DC ports instead of AC power because they don’t use an inverter and are therefore more efficient. This allows you to run the same appliance for a longer period of time.

Battery capacity & power output – equally important

Battery capacity graphic and output power graphic

Whether you’re in need of a high-powered solar generator for big appliances or just one to charge small devices, its battery capacity determines the length of time you can run or charge them for.

Think of the hours of running time your appliance may need, and then determine how big of a battery you will need by factoring in the appliance’s wattage. This can help you determine which system fits your power needs best.

Another factor to consider is the power station’s recharging time from solar panels. As a solar generator’s battery capacity increases, its solar input capabilities should be able to recharge it in a short period of time.

I have an article that can help you gauge solar recharging, which can be especially useful if you’d like to run your solar generator daily. You can read it here: Can You Use a Solar Generator Every Day? (Models Compared).

Max Peters

Hi! I'm Max and I am passionate about off-grid solar technology and adventure! I'm using my knowledge of solar generators, solar panels, and everything in between to provide you with the best tools to keep you powered while off the grid. Read more about me here: About Max Peters."

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