Induction cooking with solar power in 2022
By Diana Gosper
The consensus here at RPC is that gas cooking is still CURRENTLY the best way to go with off grid solar power systems.
However here is some extra info from our research;
The only real suggestion we currently have is to try an Induction Cook top (not oven), though there are limitations with these.
There is a possibility to use a portable induction cook-top like the Westinghouse WHIC01K
But we believe there are variations in quality and the technique for producing heat, I know we, a couple years back, only paid $45 for the one we originally tested, but it broke within 6 months and we certainly wouldn't recommend it- we will do more research on the best models, buy another one to test, and another article will follow with a report on our findings.
The main issue we have seen is some models 'pulse' which can create a rapid switching of the load 2000w on-off-on -off-on etc.
The inverters don't like this rapid change in output.
There may be some models that use a different technique to regulate the heat and if so those may be an option.
There are some articles that might be helpful or interesting on the Century Life website.
I also note that models with many power settings may be better on inverters, as more settings gives you more control over the 'surges' or 'blasts' of energy that the induction cooker uses to heat up and cool down.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you look at it) the old adage of 'you get what you pay for' applies here, and I understand that modern chefs usually rate the more expensive induction cookers as better options because they don't burn the food as much.
While I am at it, everyone wants a toaster these days. If you wish to run a toaster on a solar system, you may want to look around for a low power one to keep your inverter size as low as possible. We found one a while back at Big W, an Abode KT1600G (no longer available but you can find similar models), a 700 watts unit that our technician Ray tried - it took 31.5 amps on the DC side of his inverter. It took 2 minutes and 20 seconds on setting 4 (which makes the toast pretty crisp) for his wholemeal toast. That is about 30 Wh per toasting which is a very modest amount of power.
This info is generic and of course you should consult your system designer or provider for individualised advice.