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If you have an off-grid cabin or need a backup power supply for your home, a 10000 watt inverter is a good choice. They are affordable, easy to set up and run a lot of appliances and devices. But what exactly can you do with this system? How long can it last? Those are the questions this post will answer.
A 10000 watt inverter can be used as a home backup power system or off-grid locations. You can run water heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, heat pumps and other power hungry appliances without any trouble.
Note: this guide focuses on 10000 watt inverters, but you can get the same result by connecting multiple inverters. You could for instance, connect two 5000 watt Moonfree inverters and get 10000 watts.
What Appliances Can You Run on a 10000W Inverter?
With a continuous watt capacity of 10000 watts and surge limit of 20000 watts, this inverter can run just about every appliance, power tool or device. The only limitation is how many of these you can load simultaneously and for how long. Some examples:
- Central AC 10000 BTU 1500W
- Electric heater 2000W
- Desktop computer 300-500W
- Electric water heater 4000W
- LED bulbs 10W
- Space heater 1800-2000W
- Microwave 600-1800W
- Refrigerator 200W
Laptops, TVs, fans, video game consoles and others consume less than a 1000 watts. Even kitchen appliances and power tools will not pose any problems for a 10000 watt inverter. If you only need power to run basic appliances, a 10000 watt inverter is more than enough.
Even appliances with surge requirements pose no trouble. A 600W microwave might need 1200 surge watts to start up, or a fridge might require 2000 watts. With 20000 watts capacity you can run a fridge, a microwave, heater and a central air conditioner at the same time.
If you want to run appliances on solar power or set up an off grid cabin, a 10000 watt inverter is something to consider. But the question is how long can you keep this inverter going? That is what we will answer in the next section.
How Long Will a 10000W Inverter Last?
It depends on how much battery power is available and the size of the load. There is a simple formula to work out its estimated runtime. We say estimate because due to the way batteries work it is difficult to be exact.
The calculation is:
Battery amp hour (ah) x voltage (v) / inverter power load (w) = inverter running time
Inverters use deep cycle batteries for power. The most widely used are lithium, gel and AGM. Older batteries are called lead acid. The capacity of all batteries is measured in amp hours (ah).
Next we have the voltage. The inverter and batteries must have the same voltage. If the inverter is 12V the battery must also be 12V.
Lastly is the inverter load, which is the total watts loaded onto the inverter. Since we are dealing with 10000W inverters, the maximum capacity is 10000 watts.
With these in mind we can use the following example to demonstrate how to figure out the inverter running time.
Inverter Runtime Calculation Sample
Suppose you have a 10000W inverter and 5×200ah 12v lithium batteries. You put a total load of 6500 watts on the system. How long will it last?
Using the calculation given earlier:
A 10000W inverter running a 6500W load on 5×200ah batteries is going to run for about 1.5 hours.
This is how we arrived at that number in detail.
A 200ah 12V battery has a capacity of 2400 watts (200×12 = 2400)
Lifepo4 batteries have a depth of discharge of up to 100%, but manufacturers suggest a limit of 80-85% to prolong battery life. There are also batteries like the LiTime LifePO4 batteries which have a better DOD rate.
We use 85% in this example.
2400×85% = 2040
Out of the 2400 watt capacity, up to 2040 is usable on a single charge. Since we have 5 of these, that would be 10200 watts.
2040×5 = 10200
We loaded 6500 watts onto the inverter, so that would be:
10200 / 6500 = 1.56
A 1000 watt inverter with a 6500 watt load is good for about 1.5 hours. This assumes the system is powered by 5×200ah 12V batteries with an 85% DOD rate.
How Many Batteries Does a 10000W Inverter Need?
The answer depends on how long you need to run the inverter. Since 10000W inverters are often used as power backup systems, that is what we will go with here.
Suppose you need to back up 9500 watts of power for 8 hours on a 10000W inverter. How many batteries would that require?
The formula is:
Watts / system voltage = ah
ah x runtime = batteries required
Battery capacity is measured in amp hours (ah). To convert to watts, multiply ah by the voltage.
200ah x 12v = 2400
So a 200ah 12v battery is equal to 2400 watts. But as explained earlier, batteries should not be fully discharged. For most lithium batteries the DOD is 85-90%. If your battery has a 90% DOD:
2400×90% = 2160
Out of the 2400 watts, 2160 are usable.
Going back to our example: you need to back up 9500 watts and run it for 8 hours. You have a 12V 10000W inverter.
9500 / 12 = 791
You need a battery bank of 791 amp hours (ah) or rounded off, 800ah.
Now you need to calculate storage. To store 800ah for 8 hours:
800×8 = 6400
That is 6400 amp hours. You will need at least 32×200ah batteries.
Keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements. If you want to be safe you can get 34 batteries instead. The larger the battery bank the longer you can run the inverter. The extra power also provides cushion in case of a surge.
If your inverter is of a different voltage, i.e. 24 or 48v, use that instead of 12. We just used 12 in this example but the formula works for any. Remember that the inverter and battery voltage should be compatible.
Why is the inverter not running any load?
Check the connections for any loose wires. If that is not the problem, check the total load as it might be over the system capacity. If that still does not work, try running the appliance from a different power source. This will confirm if the appliance or inverter has a problem.
Can you leave an inverter on all the time?
Yes. Inverters are designed to run continuously. If you leave it without any load, the system might still consume a bit of power because it is in standby mode. It is also possible to completely turn off an inverter.
Can a 10000 watt inverter a central AC and a refrigerator at the same time?
You can run any appliance or power tool on an inverter as long as it does not exceed its load capacity. Its runtime is only limited by the number of batteries you have.
How many amps is a 10000 watt inverter?
A 12v 10000 inverter is 833.3 amps. Divide the watt capacity by its voltage and you get the amps. This can be useful when computing how much battery life the system is consuming.
Do solar inverters need a charge controller?
It is highly recommended that you use a charge controller. The controller ensures only the right amount of current flows into the batteries from the solar panels. Without the controller, there is a risk the battery gets too much current. This could damage the battery and the inverter as well.
Is a 10000W inverter enough to power a house?
It depends on how much power you consume. For a typical American home it is not enough. But if you are in an RV, a cabin or off the grid, it should be sufficient. Check your power requirements first.