You must hear about the robust popularity of inverter generators.
Due to its efficiency and quiet performance, the inverter generator has become the top choice in the market.
So many people are curious to know, can an inverter generator power a refrigerator?
Well, here we will answer your query and share every detail of using the inverter generator safely. Let’s jump into the article.
Can an inverter generator power a refrigerator?
Yes, an inverter generator can indeed power a refrigerator. The compatibility depends on the refrigerator’s power needs and the generator’s capacity. Match the generator’s output with the refrigerator’s wattage requirements to ensure efficient operation, considering both starting and running wattages.
Size chart of inverter generators for refrigerators:
|Inverter Generator||Wattage||Efficiency||Suitable Refrigerator Sizes|
|Honda EU2200i||2200 W||8.1 hours at 25% load||Compact, Top Freezer, Bottom Freezer|
|WEN 56203i||2000 W||7 hours at 50% load||Compact, Top Freezer|
|Champion 3400-Watt||3400 W||7.5 hours at 25% load||Compact, Top Freezer, Bottom Freezer, Side-by-Side|
|Westinghouse iGen4500||4500 W||18 hours at 25% load||Compact, Top Freezer, Bottom Freezer, Side-by-Side, French Door|
|Generac GP3000i||3000 W||5.8 hours at 50% load||Compact, Top Freezer, Bottom Freezer|
Types of Refrigerators and Their Power Needs
Here are some of the most common types of refrigerators and their average power needs:
These are small refrigerators that can fit under a counter or in a corner. They are ideal for dorm rooms, offices, or small apartments.
They usually have a single door that opens to reveal a freezer compartment on top and a fridge compartment below.
They can consume between 100 to 250 watts of power.
Top Freezer Refrigerators:
These are medium-sized refrigerators that have a freezer compartment on top and a fridge compartment below.
They are the most common type of refrigerator in households. They have two doors that open from the middle. They can consume between 300 to 500 watts of power.
Bottom Freezer Refrigerators:
These are similar to top freezer refrigerators, but they have the freezer compartment on the bottom and the fridge compartment on top.
They are more convenient for accessing fresh food but less convenient for accessing frozen food. They also have two doors that open from the middle.
They can consume between 400 to 600 watts of power.
These are large refrigerators that have two vertical compartments side by side: one for freezing and one for cooling. They have two doors that open from the center.
They offer more storage space and more options for organizing food, but they also take up more floor space and use more energy.
They can consume between 500 to 800 watts of power.
French Door Refrigerators:
These are similar to side-by-side refrigerators, but they have a third compartment on the bottom that can be used as a freezer or a fridge.
They have three doors that open from the center. They offer the most storage space and flexibility, but they also cost the most and use the most energy.
They can consume between 600 to 1000 watts of power.
These are refrigerators that are designed to fit flush with the counter or the cabinets.
They can have any of the above shapes, but they are usually narrower and shallower than standard refrigerators.
They offer a sleek and modern look, but they also have less storage space and higher price tags. They can consume between 400 to 700 watts of power.
Calculating Power Needs for a Refrigerator
Wattage measures power use. It’s counted in watts (W). Appliances with higher wattage use more power. Each refrigerator has a label.
It lists the wattage, voltage (V), and current (A). For example, a label might read “120 V, 5 A, 600 W”. This means it uses 120 volts and 5 amps.
So, it has a wattage of 600 W. Sometimes, the label only shows voltage and current. Then, you can find wattage by multiplying them.
For instance, 120 V times 5 A equals 600 W.
Starting and Running Wattage
Appliances like refrigerators need different wattages at times. They need starting and running wattage. The starting wattage is high.
It’s the power needed to start the appliance. Running wattage is lower. It’s the power needed to keep it running.
A refrigerator might have a running wattage of 600 W and a starting wattage of 1800 W. This means, at start-up, it requires 1800 W but then runs on 600 W.
Often, labels don’t show the starting wattage. You might find it online or by asking the manufacturer.
Additional Appliance Considerations
Calculating power needs means considering all appliances. You add up the wattages of every appliance you want to run.
All of these might have different starting and running wattages. For example, a microwave might need 3000 W to start but runs on 1000 W.
So, when adding up, use the highest wattage of each appliance. If you want to run a refrigerator, a microwave, a coffee maker, and a laptop, you calculate it as follows:
- Refrigerator: 1800 W
- Microwave oven: 3000 W
- Coffee maker: 900 W
- Laptop: 200 W
- Total: 5900 W
This total is the minimum wattage your inverter generator must provide. To be safe, choose a generator with more wattage than your total.
A good rule is to choose a generator with 1.5 times your total wattage. So, for a total of 5900 W, look for a generator that provides at least 8850 W.
How to Choose the Right Inverter Generator for a Refrigerator?
Assessing Your Refrigerator’s Power Consumption
Knowing your refrigerator’s power consumption is crucial. First, find your refrigerator’s starting and running wattage.
Note the type and size of your refrigerator. Use these details to find a suitable inverter generator.
For a compact refrigerator with 1800 W starting and 600 W running wattage, choose a generator with at least 1800 W capacity.
A French door refrigerator requires one with at least 3000 W capacity due to higher starting wattage.
Evaluating Inverter Generator Capacity
The inverter generator’s capacity is the second factor. It must power your refrigerator and other appliances. A safety margin is also important.
A good tip is to multiply the minimum wattage by 1.5 to find the recommended wattage. So, 5900 W of power needs a generator providing at least 8850 W.
Consider both surge wattage and rated wattage. The generator’s surge wattage should be higher than the total starting wattage of all appliances.
Its rated wattage should be above the total running wattage of all appliances.
For instance, for a refrigerator and microwave oven needing 4800 W surge wattage and 1600 W rated wattage, choose accordingly.
Consideration of Additional Appliances
List other appliances you need to run. Know the starting and running wattage of each.
Knowing their usage frequency and duration helps in estimating power consumption. Prioritize your appliances.
A refrigerator is a high priority and a coffee maker is a low priority. Balancing appliance usage helps in saving fuel and power and extending the run time of your generator.
For example, with a generator of 4800 W surge wattage and 1600 W rated wattage, running a refrigerator and a laptop simultaneously is manageable, but a coffee maker needs to be turned off.
Importance of Fuel Efficiency and Run Time
Consider the generator’s fuel efficiency and run time. It should run long on a single fuel tank and adjust its speed to the load demand.
Check the generator’s fuel tank capacity and fuel consumption rate. Opt for a generator with a large fuel tank, low fuel consumption rate, long run time, and variable load percentage.
For a generator with a 3.4 gallons tank and 0.17 gallons per hour consumption rate at 25% load, expect around 20 hours of run time on a single tank, depending on the power usage of your appliances.
FAQs About Inverter Generator To Power A Refrigerator
Will An Inverter Generator Run A Refrigerator?
Yes, a powerful inverter generator can run a refrigerator safely.
Do you still need surge capacity for refrigerator startup?
Yes, allow for an initial 1500-2000 watt surge when the compressor first kicks on. Runtime power needs are much lower.
Can an inverter generator be used to power other appliances too?
Yes, within the rated wattage limits, you can safely use an inverter generator to simultaneously power additional appliances, lights, etc.
Is gasoline or propane better for powering a refrigerator?
Propane provides continuous power without refueling, making it preferable for refrigerator runtimes.
You can power your refrigerator using an inverter generator. Choose a generator with adequate wattage to avoid any hiccups.
You’ll ensure a steady power supply, keeping your perishables safe.
Remember, picking the right generator makes all the difference in maintaining energy efficiency and reliability.