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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/ToolRunning WattsStarting Watts
Box Fan 20″200350
Ceiling Fan100300
Central AC 10.000 BTU15002400
Central AC 24.000 BTU38005000
Central AC 40.000 BTU60007500
Clothes Dryer – Electric50007000
Clothes Dryer – Gas7001800
Coffee Maker10000
Curling Iron15000
Deep Freezer5001500
Electric Can Opener170220
Electric Grill 1.6 kW16000
Electric Stove 2kW20000
Electric Water Heater 4 kW40000
Food Processor4000
Furnace Fan 1/3 HP7001400
Furnace Fan 1/2 HP8002350
Garage Door Opener 1/2 HP9002400
Hair Dryer 1.5 kW15000
Heat Pump47005500
Humidifier 13 gal.1750
Iron (Clothes)15000
Iron (Waffles)12000
Light Bulb 60 W600
Light Bulb 75 W750
Light LED Bulb 10 W100
Microwave Oven 600 W6000
Microwave Oven 1000 W10000
RV Air Conditioner
 7.000 BTU9001700
RV Air Conditioner
10.000 BTU12002000
RV Air Conditioner
13.500 BTU16002500
RV Air Conditioner
15.000 BTU17002700
Security System5000
Space Heater 2 kW20000
Sump Pump 1/3 HP8001300
Sump Pump 1/2 HP10502200
Television 27″5000
Toaster Oven12000
Vacuum Cleaner 12 Amps14402500
Washing Machine12002300
Well Pump 1/2 HP10002100
Window AC 5.000 BTU600900
Window AC 10.000 BTU12001800
Window AC 12.000 BTU15002300
Window AC 15.000 BTU19002900


2, Job Site Devices

Appliance/ToolRunning WattsStarting Watts
Air Compressor 1/4 HP9001600
Air Compressor 1 HP16004500
Airless Sprayer6001200
Belt Sander12002400
Circular Saw 7 1/4 inch14002300
Electric Drill 3/8 inch 4 Amps450700
Electric Drill 1/2 inch 5.4 Amps600900
Halogen Work Light 300 W3000
Halogen Work Light 500 W5000
Halogen Work Light 1 kW10000
Hammer Drill 1.2 kW12003500
Miter Saw 10 inch18002500
Planer/Jointer 6 inch18002500
Reciprocating Saw9001300
Table Saw 10 inch20002800


3, Office Devices

Appliance/ToolRunning WattsStarting Watts
Copy Machine16000
Fax Machine700
Inkjet Printer800
Laser Printer9000
PC w/21″ Flat Screen8000


4, Recreation/Outdoor Devices

Appliance/ToolRunning WattsStarting Watts
AM/FM Radio1000
CD/DVD Player1000
Cell Phone Charger250
Electric Trolling Motor
12V 55 lbs8001300
Electric Trolling Motor
12V 30 lbs, Kayak450700
Hedge Trimmer (Corded, 4 Amps)500900
Inflator Pump50150
Mower (Corded, 14 Amps)17003000
Outdoor Light String2500
Outdoor LED Light String350
X-Box, Wii, Playstation400


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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