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For many people around the world, breakfast is unimaginable without toast. It is part of our day and we do not think about how many watts it uses. But really, how much inverter power do you need to run a toaster? The answer depends on several factors, and that is what we will explain here.
A standard 2 slice toaster consumes 750 to 1200 watts, so a 1500 watt inverter should be enough to run it. A 3000 watt inverter is required for some 4 slice toasters as they use up to 2500 watts.
Toaster Watts Usage Calculation
How much power a toaster uses depends on the number of slices it can toast simultaneously. The calculation is the same for any toaster and inverter combination you are using.
A 2 slice toaster needs anywhere from 750 to 1200 watts. With a 4 slice model the power consumption can be as much as 2500 watts, though 1500 watt models are available. If you use a 2 slice toaster, we suggest the 1500W Energizer Power Inverter as it can run the toaster without overloading the system.
Either way the calculation formula is as follows:
Toaster watts x operating time = 20% = inverter watts needed
If you use your toaster for less than hour a day, use a decimal. For instance, 30 minutes = 0.5, 20 minutes = 0.2 and so on.
If you have a 1200 watt toaster and use it for 15 minutes a day, that would be:
1200 watts x 0.15 = 180
180 + 20% = 216 watts
Your inverter must supply 216 watts. So for a single person the power consumption is small. But if there were four people in your household, usage can reach an hour a day or 1200 watts.
If you run appliances on solar power your inverter should be large enough to handle any toaster. However your system might not be able to run these appliances at the same time depending on how much power the toaster uses.
These calculations show that toasters do not necessarily use the watts stated on the label. For a single person, power consumption could be just 200 watts a day. For a family of four the number will be higher.
The bottom line is it comes down to personal usage. The info on the label only indicative. Because you only use it for a few minutes a day, the actual power usage will be lower. if you make several toasts throughout the day, the power consumption will be higher.
What Type of Toaster is Best For Inverters?
There are many types of toasters but for home use there are two options: the pop up toaster and toaster oven.
Pop up toasters consume need less inverter power than toaster ovens. Toaster ovens need more watts, but they are larger and allow you to prepare more bread.
If you want to save energy, a 2 slice pop up toaster is the best option. It is compact, available everywhere and is the most energy efficient type. If you only need a couple of slices for breakfast, a 750W 2 slice toaster is ideal.
A 4 slice toaster is more suitable for a family. Watt consumption is at 1000 watts on the low end up to 2500 watts. A 2500 watt toaster needs a 3000 watt inverter and it is quite impractical for off the grid homes. If you have a large solar system though you can make it work.
A toaster oven can hold up to six slices and has several cooking options like baking and broiling. They are similar to microwaves and can be used to make pizzas and other foods.
Toaster ovens are large and versatile, but their power consumption ranges from 1000 watts to 2500 watts. If your inverter has the specs this won’t be a problem, but if you are off the grid, it will require a lot from your battery bank.
Pure Sine Wave vs. Modified Sine Wave Inverter
A pure sine wave inverter is more efficient than a modified sine. Energy loss is lower and it is designed for modern electronics, appliances and motors. It is the best choice not just for toasters but appliances and motors alike.
This does not mean modified sine wave inverters are useless. They work fine too for many appliances, but the energy loss is higher compared to pure sine.
Inverters convert DC energy produced by solar panels into AC so it can be used by your appliances. During this conversion process, some energy is lost. The losses become significant over long time, but if you only use the inverter for short periods a modified sine will do. However it is unlikely you will only use a toaster with your inverter.
It comes down to how much energy loss you are willing to put up with. Are you all right with the inefficiency, or are you willing to pay more for a pure sine? It is up to you. Not that this is only for appliances, because when it comes to motors and power tools you should use a pure sine wave system.
How Many Batteries Do I Need to Run a Toaster?
Once you decide what type of toaster to use, it is time to check if your inverter and battery bank can handle it. inverter power comes from the batteries, which in turn are powered by solar panels in off the grid homes.
A 200ah deep cycle battery can run a 1200 watt toaster on a single charge. 200ah holds 2400 watts, so even with a 50% depth discharge there is enough power available.
Running appliances and devices on batteries can be tricky because of the variables involved. Since a solar inverter needs batteries to run, you have to familiarize yourself with these concepts.
Toaster Amps, Volts, Watts Explained
While a 12V 200ah battery sounds like a lot, keep in mind that you will probably use the toaster for just a few minutes. If you have a 1200 watt toaster and operate it for an average of 12 minutes, watt consumption is:
1200 x .12 = 144 watts
Watts / volts = amps, so your toaster will only draw 12 amps from the battery. If you have a 24V battery the amp draw will be even lower. You are free to use your 200ah battery to run other appliances and devices on your system.
Most inverters run on 24V batteries, but they are also compatible with 12V. Check your system specs and use only the recommended type.
Depth of Discharge Rate
Lead acid batteries like AGM, gel, FLA and SLA have the DOD rate at 50%, For lithium it is 70% minimum up to a full discharge.
Suppose you have a 12V 200ah deep cycle battery like the Renogy AGM with a 50% DOD rate. That is 1200 watts available. If you only use the toaster for a few minutes each morning along with a few lights, you don’t have to worry about running low on power.
But if you run your toaster with a blender or a coffee maker, your inverter has to draw a lot of power from the battery bank. You might need a bigger battery just to run everything. If your system drops to 50% too often, consider adding another battery or switching to lithium.
What Solar Panel Size Do I Need For a Toaster?
You can use solar panels to power a toaster, albeit not directly. You still need an inverter because toasters run on AC power only.
Four 300 watt solar panels are required to run a typical toaster. This assumes the toaster requires 1200 watts. Even if you don’t end up using all that power, it is the amount required to start. For a 4 slice or toaster oven you probably 3000 watts of solar power.
Solar panel output fluctuates throughout the day. But toasters run for only a few minutes so it should not be a problem. The biggest concern here is the time. If you get up at 6:00 AM you are not getting power from your panels.
If you are a late riser then you can use solar panels, but otherwise you are better off with an inverter. This also applies to a 700 watt microwave or other appliances you use in the early morning.
If you have a good sized inverter, there should be no problems running a toaster, whether it is a 2 slice, 4 slice or the oven type. And if like most people you use it only in the morning, power consumption is limited.
I am an advocate of solar power. Through portablesolarexpert.com I want to share with all of you what I have learned and cotinue to learn about renewable energy.