What Is An Inverter?
A power inverter is an electrical device used to convert direct current (dc) power into alternating current (ac) power. Common uses include converting solar (photovoltaic) system-generated power and 12 V battery power into power usable by standard appliances.
Typical Power Draws
According to Solar Energy International, here are some representative possible combinations adding up to 1,500 watts:
(a) One window air conditioner (1,000 W) and a refrigerator (475 W).
(b) Four 100 W light bulbs (400 W), a laptop computer (120 W), a refrigerator (475 W), a gas clothes dryer (300 W), a 25 inch TV (130 W), and a stereo system (50 W).
A 1,500-watt inverter will not supply enough power for certain appliances, such as electric clothes dryers (4,000 W). Also, for appliances with electric motors, make sure the surge capacity of your inverter is at least three times the regular rating, because electric motors temporarily draw much higher currents when they are started (for example, a 1,500 W inverter should have a minimum surge rating of 4,500 W).