in short, 12v 400ah battery with a 50% DoD limit will last between 20 hours (running a 110-watt AC appliance) to 1 hour (running a 2100-watt AC appliance).
There are many factors that will determine the backup time or how long will your 400Ah battery will last on load.
- Battery Type
- Output AC/DC load
- Inverter efficiency
- Battery life cycle
Which I’m gonna explain this in simple words for you in this post with the help of examples and charts, so stay tuned!
In the end, you’ll have a complete idea about how you can calculate the run time of any size battery in the future.
if you’re in hurry here’s a formula for you that you can use to calculate the backup time of your battery. or use our ” Battery Runtime CALCULATOR ” (given below)
Battery Runtime = Output Load + 15% (85% inverter efficiency) / Battery capacity in Watts
But there are many things to consider before making the calculation. So keep reading for more accurate calculations.
What does 400Ah mean in Watts?
Converting amp-hours (Ah) of your battery in watts will make the calculation stuff easy for you.
Because battery capacity is measured in amp-hours but most of our appliances are rated in watts
Watts = Ah * battery volts
400*12 = 4800 watts or 4.8kWh
400Ah battery is equal to 4800 watts. But you may not be able to use all the 4800 watts depending on your battery which I’m gonna cover in a moment
So if you have a 24V battery then make the calculations accordingly. And also further in this post, I’ll take a 12v 400Ah battery as an example
Video – Battery amp-hour, & watt-hour
Battery Type & Backup Time
The most commonly used battery types are Lead-acid, AGM, and Gel batteries. Which comes at reasonable prices but the drawback is you can’t discharge them 100%.
if you do it will affect the battery life or in some cases maybe you won’t be able to recharge your battery ever again
so the standard discharge limit for these types of batteries is 50%. This means you can only use 50% of their full capacity (depending on the manufacturer)
But the lithium battery type can be fully discharged without compromising on the battery lifespan
Like from this Ampere Time 12V 400Ah Deep Cycle LiFePO4 Battery, you’ll be able to drain 4800 watts of power from it.
Here’s a chart of battery types along with their recommended DOD limits and capacity which you can use in Ah and watts
|400Ah battery Type||DOD limit||useable Ah||Useable watts|
So 400Ah battery never means you can drain 400 amp-hours of power.
Video – AGM vs Lithium-Ion Battery
Output Load & AC vs DC watts
First, let’s talk about AC vs DC watts/load. Most of our household appliances need 220 volts because of home grid voltage which comes in 240 volts.
But our solar batteries come in 12,24, or 48 volts.
So to run the AC appliances you’ll need an inverter and again which are not 100% efficient which I’ll explain in a bit.
So if you’re running DC appliances on your battery you can directly connect it to your battery so there will no power loss.
Examples of DC appliances: Phone chargers, laptop chargers, LED lights, and Bulbs.
Examples of AC appliances: Fridge, Ceiling fan, Coffee maker, washing machine, AC, and much more… in simple words all heavy appliances require Alternating current (AC)
Why is this important? because if you’re running AC appliances with the help of an inverter there will be a power loss which will decrease the backup time of your battery
How long will a 400Ah battery will last with inverter
Most of the inverters are 85% efficient. This means a 100W inverter will consume 115 DC watts from the battery in order to run 100 watts of AC appliances
Make sure to check the efficiency rate of your battery in the product info session for more accurate numbers
So if you’re running appliances with the help of an inverter just simply add that extra 15 % to your total appliances watts
For Example: if you’re running 2000 Watts of AC appliances with an 85% efficient inverter
2000 + 15% = 2300
Your inverter will be draining 2300 DC watts from your battery to 2000 watts of AC appliances
Battery Runtime Calculator
Battery life cycle
After every single cycle, the capacity of your battery will decrease a little bit but after a few 100 cycles, it can make a huge difference.
A battery cycle is charging your battery 100% and then discharging it to its recommended DOD limit (Depth of discharge).
And yes every battery type has different life cycles, So here’s a chart with battery types and their life cycles
|Battery Type||No. of Life Cycles|
So after 500 cycles of lead-acid battery, your battery will lose its 20% of capacity so for example now your 400Ah battery can store only 320 amp-hours.
You may think that your battery is fully charged but in reality, it’s not if that’s an old battery.
This is also the most important point to consider but I was wondering why every other blog post has not mentioned it.
Examples – How long will a 400 amp hour battery last
Here are some examples of running appliances on a 400Ah battery and how long will your battery will last
|Appliance||Wattage required||Run Time on 400Ah 50% DOD limit battery||Run Time on 400Ah 100% DOD limit battery|
|Fridge||300||10 hours||20 hours|
|AC||3500||35 minutes||1.1 hour|
|Washing Machine||800||2.5 hours||5 hours|
|Coffee maker||1000||2 hours||4 hours|
|Microwave||1000||2 hours||4 hours|
|Toaster||850||2.4 hours||4.8 hours|
|Space Heater||1500||1.3 hours||2.7 hours|
|Iron||1200||1.7 hours||3.4 hours|
|Electric Blanket||200||10 hours||20 hours|
The calculation is based on an 85% efficient inverter.
Very Important Disclaimer! All these numbers are based on if your battery is fully charged.