What Can a 2000-Watt Generator Run?
2000-watt portable power generators are a very popular class of power generators, offering reliable and stable electric energy for longer periods of time during off-the-grid activities like camping or fishing, but also during emergencies when utility services, power supply, for example, are not working as usual.
Thus, many people wonder what will a 2000-watt generator run?
Appliances Wattage Charts
The following charts list general values of required running and starting watts of commonly used appliances and devices.
In real life, these values can differ greatly - the best practice, if possible of course, is to check actual power requirements of each required appliance and write it down.
For example, modern AC units are using more and more efficient heat pumps, fans, and inverters, requiring less electric power to provide the same heating/cooling effect.
But, just in case, if unsure about actual power values, always assume that slightly more power is required and go for stronger power source (generator, inverter, and/or power station) - it can cost more initially, but may safe money in the long run.
For example, very popular Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator (Amazon link, opens in the new window) features 2200 starting watts and 1800 running watts and is thus able to power:
- Window AC 10.000 BTU unit: 1200W/1800W,
- Laptop: 200W/0W.
On average, these electric loads require ~1400W of running (constant) power.
But, if the laptop is turned On and the AC unit is turned from Off to On, this combination will require 2000W (1800W + 200W) of power for a short period of time, which is still within the Starting rating (2200W) of Honda EU2200i.
Again, this is just an example - one has to check actual values of required appliances in order to be sure about powering them during power outages.
2000-Watt Generators, Power Stations and Backup Power Inverters
2000 watts of electric energy can be provided by power generators, by some power stations and using power inverters combined with deep-cycle lead-acid or lithium batteries.
Note: solar panels and wind turbines are also used for providing electric energy, but only under certain conditions - during the daylight and during windy conditions. Thus, in most situations, solar panels and wind turbines are used to charge the batteries that provide energy when the energy is required via power inverters.
Power stations combine lightweight but powerful lithium batteries with power inverters in one unit, offering simple backup power for off-the-grid situations.
While lithium batteries store large amounts of energy considering their weight (compared with lead-acid batteries), the stored energy is still far smaller than the chemical energy stored in fossil fuels.
Thus, power stations in the 2000-watts range are rare not because of the inability of lithium batteries to provide such output, but because of their inability to provide 2000-watts of power for longer periods of time while keeping the batteries at an acceptable price.
But, power stations may be used indoors since they don't emit any deadly fumes and are rather quiet during operation.
Backup power inverters come in various sizes, 2000-watt inverters being very popular.
Backup power inverters use external battery or battery banks for storing the energy for emergencies.
These batteries are commonly deep-cycle lead-acid batteries (AGM and Gel-Cell, rarely flooded lead-acid batteries), with more expensive lithium-ion batteries being used for mobile applications, like RV house batteries and similar.
For power inverter to be able to produce 2000 watts of energy for one hour, the user needs at least one 12V 350 Ah battery, assuming 90% efficiency of the power inverter, and ~60% capacity drop of the nominal capacity of the lead-acid battery.
2000 watts * 1h = ~12V * 350Ah * 0.60 * 0.90
Note: yes, during this 1h this inverter will NOT drain this battery down to 100% DoD - by avoiding discharges down to 100% DoD, operating lifetime of lead-acid batteries may be prolonged significantly.
Long Story Short: 2000-watt power generators are able to power most household appliances individually, but when more than one appliance is used, actual power consumption may trigger an overload event, forcing the power generator's built-in circuit breaker to pop-out.
If unsure, always go for a slightly stronger power generator or at least go for a power generator that is Parallel Ready.
Note: Never, but really never operate power generator indoors - power generators burn fuel (gas, diesel, propane gas, etc.) releasing exhaust fumes that contain dangerous carbon-monoxide (gas that features no smell or color, but is very deadly!).