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A 2000W inverter provides anyone the means to run appliances on solar energy. The cost is dropping so they are more appealing than ever before. One question that comes up often though is how much amps this inverter uses. If you have a battery bank connected to your system or your appliance consumption is listed in amps, knowing the answer is a must.
A 12V 2000W inverter running at maximum load draws 166.6 amps an hour. Divide the watts consumed per hour by the voltage and you get the amps. In this example, 2000 watts an hour divided by 12 volts equals 166.6 amps.
How to Calculate Inverter Amp Usage
The following calculations assume you have a high quality inverter that can draw maximum power. If not, we recommend this 2000W inverter by Renogy as it works well with solar panels and deep cycle batteries.
To calculate inverter amp consumption, divide the inverter load by its voltage. The result is amps usage per hour.
Example 1: a 2000W 12V inverter is running at maximum load, that is, 2000 watts. The formula is:
2000 / 12 = 166.6
In one hour, the inverter will draw 166.6 amps.
If your inverter is a 24V system, it will draw 83.3 amps
2000 / 24 – 83.3
We will use 12V for some of the other examples in this guide. But if yours is 24V, just replace 12 with 24 and the results will be accurate.
Example 2. Let us take the same inverter but this time it carries only a 1300 watt load. You use the same formula but the results will be different.
1300 / 12 = 108.3
The inverter pulls 108.3 amps in an hour. As you can see, the calculation is pretty straightforward. Just replace 1300 watts with whatever load your inverter is carrying.
To find out how many amps are drawn for half an hour, repeat the formula above and divide the result by two. If the inverter is running a 1300W load and pulls 108.3 amps per hour, that would be 54.1 amps per half hour.
This calculation focused on 200W inverters, but it can also be applied to other inverter sizes. You can also use the examples above to determine how many amps your inverter uses over two hours or any duration period.
How Long Will a 2000W Inverter Last?
An inverter will keep running as long as there is a power source. If the inverter is hooked up to an electric outlet, it will run continuously. If the inverter is plugged to a battery bank, it will keep running until the battery capacity can no longer support it.
Most solar powered homes connect their inverter to a battery bank, so the running time depends entirely on the power left in the battery. It also depends on how much load the inverter is carrying. Calculations for inverter load are based on the load it is carrying, not the capacity.
If the inverter is carrying the maximum load of 2000 watts and runs on a 200ah battery bank, it will stop in an hour or so. Batteries lose charge faster when more amps are drawn, so the running time for the inverter will be less than an hour.
If we are talking about how long an inverter will last physically, the warranty is usually from 10-15 years. The warranty does not tell the whole story however.
If you take care of the inverter it can last much longer than whatever the warranty says. The warranty period simply states its coverage for repair, etc. If you maintain the inverter properly, it can last for many more years. But once the warranty has expired, it does mean the repairs and maintenance will cost you.
Of course if the inverter is poorly maintained or not at all, it will not last long. This is applicable to other parts of your solar system including the panels, batteries and charge controllers.
The best way to make an inverter last is to follow the manufacturer guidelines. Use it only as directed and do not run the inverter under extreme conditions. That alone will go far in making your system serve you longer.
How Many Batteries Does a 2000W Inverter Need?
To run a 2000W at maximum power, it requires 2 x 100ah deep cycle lithium batteries. We recommend the Vatrer 100ah LiFePO4 since it is one of the most dependable deep cycle batteries.
Use the following to determine how many batteries a 2000W inverter needs.
Inverter power load x running time / battery volts = battery capacity in amps required
Example. You have a 2000W 12V inverter and you want to run an 1800W load for 3 hours. How many batteries are needed?
1800 watts x 3 hours / 12 volts = 450
You need 450 amps to run an 1800 watt load for 3 hours. That is about 5 x 100ah or 2 x 200ah 12V lithium ion or LiFePO4 batteries.
If you have a 24V inverter, we use the same calculations but use 24 instead of 12. That cuts the amp requirement by half to 225.
1800 x 3 hours / 24 volts = 225
In this case you need 3 x 100ah batteries to run the inverter. A 24V inverter requires a 24V battery, but you can get away with using 3 x 100ah 12V batteries. You just have to wire the batteries in a series to add their voltages together. But if you can get a 24V battery that is just as good.
Notice that in these examples we are using lithium batteries. That is because you can discharge them down to 85 or 100%. With a lead acid battery, you can only use 50% of the capacity before it has to be recharged.
Going back to those numbers, if you have 5 x 100ah 12V lead acid batteries, you can only use up to 250ah before the batteries have to be charged up. If you need to use all 500 amps, you have to buy double the number of batteries.
With lithium cycle batteries, you have access to almost full power. While they are more expensive than lad acid, they are also more practical and offer more value for your money. Another good option is AGM which also has a long lifespan.
What Can I Run on a 2000W Inverter?
There are a lot of appliances you can run. Fans, TVs, laptops, several lights, etc. You can also run a refrigerator with a 2000W inverter.
Some more examples:
- Microwave 1000-2000W
- 50 inch TV 50W
- Laptops 200W
- Freezer 600-700W
- Coffee machine 500-1200W
- Washing machine 1500W
- Heater 800-1500W
- Pump 800-1500W
- Toaster 1500W
Depending on the power source, your inverter can keep running these appliances for as long as necessary. Whether you are using electrical power or batteries however, you have to know the difference between surge watts and running watts.
Surge and continuous watts. Inverters have two power specifications, the surge or starting watts and the running watts.
The surge watts refers to the brief surge of power needed by an appliance to start up. The running or continuous watts indicates the power needed to keep the appliance running.
Take a refrigerator for example. A typical fridge consumes 800 watts a day, but it needs up to 2000 watts to start up. So its running watts is lower than its starting watts. Microwaves and other appliances also have a higher starting watt requirement.
When buying an inverter, check the capacity. If it says 2000 watts, is it the running watts or starting watts? Usually the starting watts of an inverter is two times higher than its running watts.
If you want to run a 2000 watt load continuously, the inverter running watts must be 2000 watts. In this cas,, the surge watts will probably be 4000 watts or so. But if the surge watts is 2000 watts, its running watt capacity is probably 800-1000 watts, which is not enough for a refrigerator.