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Old 04-15-2019, 08:40 AM   #1
sparkplug
 
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Default Induction hob from just solar

I'm trying to decide on which cooking energy source to use.

I like the idea of diesel as it's a fuel I already have on the vehicle - but the cost of a diesel hob is outrageously over my budget!

I like the idea of a refillable LPG bottle for a gas hob (because it's cheaper than propane bottles and you don't need to have two bottles in the van) - but (at least in Europe) there are not many places that sell this and I think there will be fewer and fewer of them in the future.

I like cooking on a gas flame so it looks like I might end up with a two bottle propane system however....

I do have a 120w solar panel and 2 x 110ah batteries. I could easily put a second panel on and possibly beef up the battery capacity and go with an induction cooker.

I don't normally camp in places with electric hookups and I don't really want to carry a generator so I'd be reliant on the solar and driving to charge the batteries.

Is that a realistically feasible option? Is anyone cooking this way?

I'd love to hear your experiences and what solar / battery combination you have.

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Old 04-15-2019, 12:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Induction hob from just solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkplug View Post



I like the idea of a refillable LPG bottle for a gas hob - but (at least in Europe) there are not many places that sell this and I think there will be fewer and fewer of them in the future.



This is not true for Europe. There are 46,212 lpg stations listed in 56 countries in myLPG.eu

https://www.mylpg.eu/stations/

Gas for cooking lasts such a long time you will easily be able to refill before you run out. Please paste a link to the evidence that LPG availability is reducing in Europe.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Induction hob from just solar

I carry two little 5 LB propane bottles for my outdoor stove and lantern. Not the little green 1 LB bottles, but a 5 LB bottle that can be refilled. Perfect size.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Induction hob from just solar

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Originally Posted by F2ca170 View Post
I carry two little 5 LB propane bottles for my outdoor stove and lantern. Not the little green 1 LB bottles, but a 5 LB bottle that can be refilled. Perfect size.
I use refillable 1# bottles. Local Sports Basement sells them and when empty I take them back to the store and trade the empty for a full one at no cost.

https://shop.sportsbasement.com/prod...nt=34617973840
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Induction hob from just solar

I have posted a bit on this topic. Generally speaking an induction cooktop will use between 150-700 watt-hours to cook a meal. Your solar/charging needs to produce at least that much extra. In sunny conditions, with 11+ hours of daylight, our 640w nominal (flat mounted) solar array produces more than enough for 1 short and 1 medium induction meals per day, plus fridge, lights, laptops etc.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Induction hob from just solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
This is not true for Europe. There are 46,212 lpg stations listed in 56 countries in myLPG.eu

https://www.mylpg.eu/stations/

Gas for cooking lasts such a long time you will easily be able to refill before you run out. Please paste a link to the evidence that LPG availability is reducing in Europe.
Hi Paul - Yes - there are several stations selling LPG and there are websites which help you find them.

I suppose my point was simply that not every filling station will have it (the nearest one to my house is 20 miles away for example).

That isn't a major problem by any stretch of the imagination and the same can be said for finding places which sell gas cylinders (and in fact it will be even harder to find somewhere to exchange an empty cylinder abroad as they often are different). That's why I prefer a refillable system to an exchange system. It's just something to bear in mind when choosing a cooking system.

I have no evidence to link to to support my feeling that LPG filling station will be declining in the future - however the fact that many countries which offered subsidies for LPG conversions of petrol cars have reduced or removed those incentives combined with the fact that the big manufacturers never made a factory LPG car (or if they did, I've certainly not heard of it) is what leads me to believe the industry might not be supporting this option going forward. It feels to me as though there is a shift towards electric vehicles (we have at least half a dozen electric charging points in town compared to zero LPG fuel stations).

I'd be happy to be proved wrong - it's just a feeling. Nothing more.
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Last edited by sparkplug; 04-15-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Induction hob from just solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
I have posted a bit on this topic. Generally speaking an induction cooktop will use between 150-700 watt-hours to cook a meal. Your solar/charging needs to produce at least that much extra. In sunny conditions, with 11+ hours of daylight, our 640w nominal (flat mounted) solar array produces more than enough for 1 short and 1 medium induction meals per day, plus fridge, lights, laptops etc.
I'm still getting the hang of the watt-hours / amp hours...

If I've understood this correctly my 2 x 110ah batteries will give me 2,640 watt hours (of which I can realistically use 1320 if I don't let my batteries drop below 50%)

This should be OK for cooking from.

The challenge then is to get enough sun in the UK which it sounds like I'm not going to achieve even if I double my current 100w capacity.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Induction hob from just solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkplug View Post
I'm still getting the hang of the watt-hours / amp hours...

If I've understood this correctly my 2 x 110ah batteries will give me 2,640 watt hours (of which I can realistically use 1320 if I don't let my batteries drop below 50%)

This should be OK for cooking from.

The challenge then is to get enough sun in the UK which it sounds like I'm not going to achieve even if I double my current 100w capacity.
It is perhaps easier to think in terms of watts and watt - hrs.

(12 volt) x (200 amp-hrs) = ~ 2400 watt-hrs

For AGM, about 50% is available under light loads, so (2400 watt-hrs ) / 2 = 1200 watt -hrs

____________

Under heavy loads, the "effective" output capacity is reduced by about 50% vs very light loads, so:

(1200 watt-hrs) / 2 = ~ 600 watt-hrs effective "out put" capacity

_____________

I honestly don't know why people like induction cooking vs a frying pan, but assuming that you use an 1800 watt induction cooker:

(600 watt-hrs) / (1800 watt) = ~ 15 minutes

if you have really good quality AGM batteries and not discount store ones.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Induction hob from just solar

SparkPlug, Your math is correct....

(2batts*110Ah=220Ah total, times 12v = 2640 Wh, derated to 50%: 1320 Wh)

unless: is that two 12v batteries in parallel (which matches your math) or two 6v batteries in series?
(which is equivalent to *one* 12v 110Ah battery)

--dick (who uses a microwave)
p.s.(the above was written before seeing HarryN's post)
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Induction hob from just solar

Unless you have a huge solar array and big batteries, it is hard to compete with Propane for heating tasks. I recently upgraded my batteries to four 100 Ah Lithiums and they hold about 5 kWh. My solar array generates 300 W in the Arizona sun, so it will take about two days at 8 hours per day to fully charge them. I'm still using Propane for cooking.

Propane has 26.8 kWh per gallon. The energy density is so much higher than what batteries can hold.

Regards,

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