I am finishing up building my home and soon it will be time for me to finish out my kitchen, I will be adding a solar system in a year, but I was going to track the 12 month power usage to determine size of my system.
I heard that induction hot plates are very efficient, but it looks like they are pretty high powered. Does anyone have any experience with them or have an idea how practical they are if I want to move to a 100% solar powered option?
induction might be efficient in a 'relative' sense, but for solar, it would be a huge hog. with solar, it is more or less cost prohibitive to try and use photovoltaic power to heat things. solar power works great for fans, lights, motors, etc., but the amount of wattage needed to heat things is very large. your solar array would need to double or triple in size to be able to cook off of solar.
if you are planning to go solar in a year, I would strongly consider using propane for cooking and hot water heating. more green options would be wood, or better still but tricky, biogas. in my off-grid solar cabin, we used a wood stove for all cooking, home heating, and water heating. after a while, and after three babies, we added an on-demand propane hot water heater. compromise the name of the game.
it is good that you are thinking of these details now, and researching your true power needs ahead of time. make sure to factor in a huge cushion, as there are numerous ways that solar loses efficiency in storage and transport of power. consulting with a pro will get you a massive system that will meet your needs and exceed your budget. consulting with a fringe enthusiast will get you a small system that works great half of the time. talk to both but then find a balance that works for you. and dont underestimate how much power you will really use down the road. it all adds up in a hurry.
Ryan Mitchell : Batteries ! Oh my word, batteries will convince you that there is no such thing as a pay-back period, after your panels are up and running, your biggest
expense and your largest eater of man-hours will be your batteries.
Probably the single best thing you could do is get a chance to house sit a Solar System. Someone who will trust that they have taught you how to use their system for 2
weeks while they go away, are putting a LOT of trust in you! My self I would physically unhook the batteries and dump my feed into a resistance load until I got back !
Find someone with a solar system and see if you could live with their life style, and learn as much about their system as you can !
For the Future/Good of the Craft ! As Always, your comments and answers are solicited and welcome ! PYRO AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
Each burner uses about 1500W per hour, so it all depends on how much you cook per day
beans for 1 hours.
root crops for 1hours
veggies for 1/4 hour
meat for 1 hours
staplesrice/flour for 1 hour
So if you have 4 burners going for an 1 each and you only cook once a day. you are using 4.5 to 6kwh on just cooking alone.
And you will have a peak energy usage of at 7000w+.
You might want to consider using a solar oven.
Its a insulated (r-60+) camber filed with salt/bricks/etc with space for pots that is heated on the top by the sun and covered (insulated) at night.
It will keep a temp of 350+ even after 3 days without sunlight.
http://www.webplaces.org/solaroven/design.htm Please build it and tell us how it turns out while you watch your system for a year.
Iterations are fine, we don't have to be perfect
I'm not dead! I feel happy! I'd like to go for a walk! I'll even read a tiny ad: