How Many Batteries for a 5,000 Watt Inverter?

If you plan to boondock or perhaps need a silent power solution to use with your tools when working at remote sites or power your appliances off-grid then an inverter can come in handy.

A 5000 watt inverter is one such inverter you can use. It has a large enough capacity to run several large home appliances and light-duty power tools.

However, before you take out your credit card to buy one, it’s worthwhile taking the time to understand what components you need, what investment you’ll likely need and alternative power solutions.

So, read on to learn what kind of electrical setup you need to get a 5,000 watt inverter up and running- the number of batteries, fuses, wire gauges and solar panels so that you can make an informed decision.

Quick answer. There are several possible battery combinations you can use with a 5000 watt/ 12V inverter.

One such configuration you can consider is 5 x 200 Ah AGM batteries connected in parallel.

The number of batteries you use depends on the inverter voltage and the desired runtime of the inverter when on full load.

The Number of Batteries for a 5,000 watt Inverter

For a 1,000 Ah 12V battery bank that will power the 5,000 watt inverter for an hour at full load, you’ll need 5 x 200 Ah batteries connected in parallel.

How many lithium batteries?

You can use 5 x 100 Ah 12V Lithium batteries connected in parallel for a 1,000 Ah 12V battery bank.

This will power the 5,000-watt inverter for an hour at full load.

How Many amps does a 5,000 watt Inverter Draw?

At full load (5000 watts), the inverter draws an estimated 416 amps from a 12V battery bank.

You can draw lower and safer current levels by connecting to a higher voltage bank.

For example, at 24V, the current draw reduces by 50% to 208 amps. You could also reduce this further by using a 48V battery bank.

The current draw, in this case, will reduce to about 104 amps.

You can work out the current draw from the formula, current draw (amps) = power consumption of the inverter (watts)/ battery bank voltage, i.e. 416 amps = 5,000 watts/12V.

Note: These current draws are peak draws, the current drawn by the inverter will be lower with appliances that have a lower current draw.

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What Size of Battery for a 5,000 watt Inverter?

At full load (5000 watts), a 1,000 Ah battery bank made up of AGM batteries will only power the inverter for about an hour only.

Using such a large inverter at full load for an extended period requires a large investment in the battery bank beyond the cost of the inverter.

Even then, you’d have to confirm that there is enough space in the RV, or truck for such a large battery bank.

Note: This assumes that the inverter is being run at full load (5,000 watts).

What DC Fuse Size to Use?

The fuse’s rating depends on the battery bank voltage and the combined short-circuit rating of the battery banks.

For example, assuming the 5,000 watt inverter is connected to a 1,000 Ah battery bank made up of 5 x 200Ah batteries, then the estimated combined short-circuit rating of the battery bank will be 5 x 500 amps or 2,500 amps.

This assumes the short-circuit current of one battery is 500 amps.

DC fuse rating used should be 2,500 amps, 16V.

This fuse or circuit breaker should be connected to the positive battery cable running from the positive terminal of the battery bank to the positive terminal of the battery post as close as possible to the battery.

For a 12V battery system, use a 16V fuse, with a current rating not exceeding the combined short-circuit rating of the individual batteries.

If the batteries are connected in parallel, add up the short circuit rating otherwise for series-connected batteries, the short-circuit rating should be for one battery.

What Can a 5,000 watt Inverter Run?

You can power a range of appliances for as long as their combined continuous power consumption does not exceed 5,000 watts and surge power draw is less than 10,000 watts.

Examples of appliances that you can connect to a 5,000 watt inverter.

Note: This list is not exhaustive.

LightsPower toolsMicrowave ovenSelected pumps
3 ton AC or lowerCPAPCoffee makerWashing machine

You may also be interested in this post: What can a 2,000 watt inverter run?

What Size of Wire (Gauge)?

You can use a single 4/0 wire for the positive battery cable and a single 4/0 wire for the negative cable.

If using the thinner 1/0, you can combine two 1/0 wires for the positive battery cable and two 1/0 wires for the negative cable.

How Many Solar panels to Use with a 5,000 watt Inverter?

If planning to use solar to keep the batteries charged, you can use a 3,000 watt solar system to keep the 1,000Ah battery bank topped up.

This assumes that the location receives approximately 5 hours of sunshine.

A larger battery bank or an area that receives considerably fewer hours of sunshine will require a larger solar system.

You can achieve this solar system size by combining 10 pcs of 300 watt solar panels or 15 pcs of 200 watt solar panels.

Alternatively, you can purchase an inverter charger that uses the grid to charge the battery bank.

Alternatives to Using an Inverter

You can also use a 5,000 watt generator instead of the inverter.

The initial investment cost for the generator is lower if you combine the cost of batteries with the inverter.

However, generators are noisy and require regular maintenance.

Final Word

The number of batteries to use with a 5,000 watt inverter largely depends on the inverter voltage and the desired runtime of the inverter.

There are several battery setups that you can use with a 5,000 watt/12V inverter.

One such configuration includes 5 x 200 AGM batteries connected in parallel, for a 1,000 Ah battery bank.

This will give a runtime of about 1 hour when a 5,000 watt load is connected to the inverter.

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