Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Solar Omelette

What is to do when it's -32°F. Out of curiosity, I plugged the induction tabletop cooktop into the inverter and proceeded to make a ham, mushroom, onion and cheese omelette as that's what I found in the refrigerator. I am thinking of taking this burner on our trip this summer for use in hot weather. It doesn't generate waste heat like a regular cooktop. In the picture, the display is showing 1100 watts. Once things were cooking, it was turned down to 800 watts then 600 watts. As an example of the efficiency, the burner has been on for maybe 10 seconds at this point and the butter is already melting in the pan. Incredibly fast, convenient cooking.

The Trimetric monitor is showing that I am pulling 84.8 amps from the battery bank. I took two readings of amp-hours immediately before I started and just after I finished. At this time of the morning, there was only about 2 amps from the solar panel so minimal contribution. One three egg omelette used about 7.3 amp-hours from the battery bank including cooking the onions, mushroom and ham. This is only about 1.7% of the total capacity of the battery bank. At this point, I think that the induction burner is definitely going and is useable on battery power. Sorry, no completed omelette food pic. It stuck to the pan so it didn't look very photogenic but tasted good...

Since I like non-stick pans (less water needed for cleaning), I just ordered a non-stick frying pan that works with an induction cooktop. Any cookware used on an induction burner needs a bottom that a magnet will stick to. Most of my pans are Calphalon anodized aluminum and won't work on an induction stove. This portable cooktop included three pans as a set from Sam's Club. I don't remember the brand but it works well. A convenient mode is being able to set a temperature and the cooktop will automatically adjust to maintain that temperature on the bottom of the pan.

Here are the two readings from the Trimetric monitor. The before reading of -13.6 amp-hours and the after of -20.9. There was plenty of sun today and the single 130 watt panel brought the battery bank back up to 100% by mid afternoon.

Before
After



8 comments:

redlegsrides said...

I like the concept of the induction cooker...the problem is you have to buy the special pans. Still, having no excess heat in the summer would be a good thing.

Lynne Goebeler said...

That's a great use of your solar power! And definitely 👍on the induction cook top. I wish ours was removable but even inside it cooks super fast with very little heat.

SonjaM said...

And here I was waiting for a fully prepared meal ;-) I like induction cookers, it seems a very efficient and safe way for a heat source.

Trobairitz said...

That looks like great way to cook in the summer in the RV.

I know a lot of tiny houses use these types of tabletop induction burners for their main cooking.

RichardM said...

I suspect that it'll get more use than the propane stove. Less excess heat and easier to keep clean. The special pan thing isn't a big deal as we were not planning to empty the kitchen into the RV.

RichardM said...

I thought it would be nice to use it outside. Hmmm, time to look for a grill pan. At home I mostly use it for an extra burner. On days like today, excess heat from cooking may be a good thing...

RichardM said...

I like them as well except for the whole "special pan" thing. When we replaced our stove a few years back, I was looking at induction stoves but the cost was ridiculous. This single burner was pretty reasonable especially since it included a selection of pans.

RichardM said...

I think it may be better during the summer. We do have an A/C unit but we won't always have enough power to run it. I'm surprised that Corvallis doesn't have a tiny house community by now. It seems to be an ideal location. Aren't there several in Portland?