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300 watt generator

What Can A 300 Watt Solar Generator Run?

A 300 watt solar generator is one of the smallest you can get. 

This range of generator is a good pick if you want a highly portable and affordable solar power station that can keep your electronic devices topped-up and maybe run a few lights at a campsite. 

300 watts is not a lot of power, but it’s enough to run low wattage appliances for short bursts. 

In this post, we discuss what a 300W solar generator can - and cannot - run. In the real world.

What Can I Power With A 300 Watt Solar Generator?

The term ‘300W’ means ‘300 watts’ and refers to the power rating of the solar generator. It’s the maximum amount of power that the built-in inverter can produce for a continuous period. 

So a 300W solar generator can theoretically run any appliance that draws less than 300W of power. Anything that uses more than this will trip the inverter, causing the solar generator to shut down. 

To figure out whether your 300W power station can run a certain appliance, check the appliance label for the wattage. If it’s 300W or less, you are good to go. 

If you can’t find the wattage, but the amperage is indicated, multiply the amperage by the voltage (usually 110/120V) to get the wattage.

The 300W limit means such a solar generator can only run small appliances and electronics. 

It can also recharge most gadgets and devices, and keep a few of LED lights on.


Small Appliances & Electronics

Here’s a list of some appliances you can plug into the AC outlet of a 300W solar generator. 

  • CPAP machine (30-60 watts)
  • Mini fridge (50-65 watts)
  • Desk and tower fans (less than 60 watts)
  • 50” or smaller TV (150 watts or less)
  • Cool mist humidifiers & essential oil diffusers (less than 30 watts)
  • Personal blender (less than 300W)
  • Portable thermoelectric cooler (less than 60W)

This list barely scratches the surface of all the appliances and electronics you can run with a 300W solar generator. 

There are plenty of other sub 300W electronics including internet routers, small hand mixers, small food processors and choppers, small desktop computers and more. 

A 300W solar generator can power most of the appliances you take with you when camping, too. 

You can also use it to run smaller electronics in your RV, boat or at home during a blackout. 

Gadgets & Devices 

300 watt generator

A 300W solar generator can recharge & power most DC-powered devices and gadgets including smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras, drones, bluetooth speakers and more. 

Most devices typically don't draw lot of watts to recharge the battery. A 300W power station is more than enough to get them back up and running. 

That said, for each hour you need a continuous supply of 300 watts, you will need a battery bank capable of storing 300 to 600 watt-hours of energy.  And most 300 watt solar generators only come equipped with 200Wh to 500Wh battery packs.

This makes a 300W solar generator great for emergencies or outdoor activities to keep your essential devices charged. 

Tip: Make sure the solar generator comes with several USB ports — including USB-C and USB-A — where you can plug in charging cables.

Lights 

Most modern lights consume very little power. A 300W solar generator is more than enough to power several LED lights. 

You can use the solar generator to power emergency lighting during a power blackout. You can also run your camping lamps off the power station. 

Tip: The most efficient way to power LED lights is via DC power, which requires purchasing DC lights. The solar generator will last longer. Make sure that the power station you buy has at least one DC outlet.

Which Appliances Can A 300W Solar Generator Not Run?

Generally, a 300W solar generator cannot power most high-wattage household appliances including the microwave, oven, washing machine, portable AC, heater, full size refrigerator or coffee maker. 

Basically anything that draws more than 300W of power. 

This makes a 300W power station less than ideal for home backup. In contrast, the best standby solar generators are powerful enough to power most home appliances.

How Long Does A 300W Solar Generator Last?

300 watt generator

The wattage of a solar generator tells you what it can power, not how long the battery can last. 

For that, check the energy capacity of the solar generator. It’s usually displayed in watt-hours (Wh). 

The Wh rating of a solar generator refers to the number of watts it can provide continuously for an hour before the battery is depleted. 

300W solar generators like the Jackery Explorer 300, the AllPowers portable power station and the RockPals 300W power station have a capacity between 280Wh and 300Wh. 

Exactly how long the solar generator lasts depends on how much power you are drawing. Divide the capacity by the amount of power drawn to estimate battery life.

Say you’ve plugged in a 50W CPAP into the AC outlet. A 300Wh solar generator will run the CPAP for approximately 6 hours (300Wh/50W). 

In reality though, run time will be less than 6 hours. That’s because the inverter is not 100% efficient and you typically cannot use all the capacity of a solar generator (you can only use 80% in most lithium solar generators). 

If you’ve plugged in multiple appliances, add up their wattages to calculate battery life. 

If you are using the solar generator to recharge your phone or some other device, divide solar generator capacity by the battery size of your device to see how many times you can recharge it.

If you have the iPhone 13 Pro (11.97Wh), you can recharge it about 25 times from a 300Wh solar generator (300Wh/11.97Wh). 

You can recharge a 65Wh laptop about four and a half times. 

And if you are using the solar generator for lighting, it’ll power three 10W lights (30W total) for ten hours.


Bottom Line 

While not quite as powerful as some of the larger power stations in the market, a 300W solar generator can be surprisingly useful at home and outdoors. 

It’s perfect for running small appliances and electronics, as well as recharging devices. Use it for power emergencies, for camping, in your RV or camper van and wherever else you need a highly portable solar power station.


Frequently Asked Questions 

Can a 300W solar generator run a refrigerator?

A 300W solar generator can power a mini-fridge and a small to medium size kitchen refrigerator. It can also run most kinds of freezers including chest and upright freezers. 

Can a 300W solar generator power a TV?

Most TVs measuring 65 inches or less have a consumption of less than 300 watts. So you can certainly power a TV using a 300W solar generator. 

Depending on the TV size and capacity of the solar generator, you’ll be able to watch TV for 1-3 hours before the battery runs out 

How long does a 300W solar generator last?

Battery life of a 300W solar generator depends on its capacity and how much power you are using. Generally, 300W solar generators have a 280-300Wh battery that can power small appliances for a few hours. 

About the Author David Roberts

I'm a Mechanical Engineer who's obsessed with solar energy and sustainable living.

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