Solar cooking with a 12V frypan

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Solar cooking with a 12V frypan

Postby lantern » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:35 am

[Moderator: Topic split off from Introductions]

This will fry your food by solar

http://www.rpc.com.au/catalog/tulsi-che ... -2202.html
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Re: Hello

Postby 11.5 volts » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:42 pm

Hi

Thanks both.

I actually have a 12volt frypan and it works well. I intend using it for power outages and camping with batteries. I am just curious if someone has ever tried using one with a panel directly. I will give it go at some point. I can see no reason why a (say) 200 watt 12 volt panel which would mostly be about 180-185 watts and less with normal use would not work. The main issue with the frypan is it is only a 6 inch pan so would not be for a lot of people.....it is probably closer to 160/170 watts but still not much power.


Never mind, I will ask again in another post in the right place later.

Again, thanks.
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Re: Hello

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:24 pm

Do you know if it has a thermostat? If it is always on, and that's a good possibility with that low power, then while it is connected and turned on, a 200W panel will probably be operating near its MPP voltage (face on to a bright sun) if the frypan is 160-180W. For lower wattages the current should be lower, but the voltage will be higher with an unregulated panel- which may well turn a 140W element into a higher wattage element! There may be some escape of magic smoke with extended use, particularly if it doesnt have liquids to help remove heat quickly.
You can reduce the amount of power simply though- by turning the panel away from direct on to the sun- you can be the regulator :)
I would recommend setting it up with a volt meter and ammeter, so you can see just how much power the frypan is getting in real time, and keep the magic smoke contained :)
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Re: Solar cooking with a 12V frypan

Postby 11.5 volts » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:39 am

Hi

No thermostat no control. Yes I think it would work...I can not justify a 12 volt 200 watt panel right now (live in the middle of town among shops with no roof access and only one window that just fits my two small panels as it is) but if it worked well that would be more of a reason..Take a panel and frypan to daytime BBQs and picnics. Same with other 12 volt appliances like a saucepan. From a battery it is slower than a stove of course but still does not use much power. A few panels and a few pans and it could be just like a normal BBQ (on a good clear day). Using the lid on makes it much more efficient.


Thanks
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Re: Solar cooking with a 12V frypan

Postby 11.5 volts » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:55 pm

Ok I will give this a go.

The first thing will be to find the right solar panel.

I am starting to think i will need a much bigger panel than first thought.

The problem is that most 12 volt panels are much more than 12 volts.


Am I right in thinking it is the watts I need? MOST panels will give me about 17-18 volts to get their watt rating (IE 17 volts times x number of amps).
For my purposes the actual watts available for direct powering the likes of a fry pan will be far less....(12 times x instead)....with the extra voltage maybe making things a little warm.

ARE there any larger panels that put out about 13-15 volts instead of 17-18?

My old 5 watt amorphous panel from Supa Cheap Auto is brilliant....puts out a constant 12.5 volts and is great for charging AA batteries and lights.....starts charging on the wrong side of the building as early as 7 am at the moment and will directly power a 12 volt fan in summer when I need it for a few hours. If I could get a larger panel like that it would be great.

Alternatively are there any readily available (IE CHEAP) voltage regulators that will regulate the voltage FROM the panel (and not TO a battery) so less power is lost??


Just thinking in public.
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Re: Solar cooking with a 12V frypan

Postby 11.5 volts » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:25 am

Looking at lots of panels.

It may well be that i will have to get a 240 watt 12 volt panel to give me enough current at 12 volts.

Most 200 watt panels are not quite enough it would seem (around 11 amps).

A 220 watt 12 volt panel MIGHT be enough. Not sure exactly what my fry pan uses but the box has it as 15 amp fuse. The similar Roadpro 12 volt fry pans use 140 watts aprox so it would probably work (or blow up in my face).

I am still converned over the 18 volts of the panel though.

Maybe I should get two smaller 17 volt panels and paralell them??

I just like the idea that you can have a BBQ without fuel with almost normal cooking times and be out of the sun. If it works I may just use it at home as my normal cooking method for lunch when I am home.

I can see a market for portable 12 volt panels that actually produce around 13 volts intsead of the 17 or 18 most do....a 13 volt 170 watt panel would be ideal for me. And you can always use a battery at other times I know but it would also mean less battery capacity would be needed each day for living off grid.
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Re: Solar cooking with a 12V frypan

Postby 11.5 volts » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:10 pm

For those doubting using 12 volt fry pans and the like.


I forgot just how effective this is. it has been a while since i used it....used last with one of those jump start packs and pretty much trashed the batteries pretty quickly.

Just put a few pieces of diced beef in it and put the lid on and hooked it up to a small battery (cheap 7.2 amp hour agm).....7.2 is the 20 hour rate so it would be far less than 7.2 amp hour capacity using this though.

It was cooked well in three to four minutes. So if this one is 180 watts (probably a bit less), it just used about 12-15 watt hours to cook a small meal.

I think the key to using this is not throwing in a huge steak and for bacon and eggs or smaller steaks and especially already cut in pieces, it will be great....and more so IF i can use it without a battery.


Still if not even my 50 watt panel can give plenty of power to use this (ok I should get at least a 25 amp hour battery).


Thats enough from me until i try it.....unless someone else has a go.
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Re: Solar cooking with a 12V frypan

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:52 pm

11.5 volts wrote: It was cooked well in three to four minutes. So if this one is 180 watts (probably a bit less), it just used about 12-15 watts to cook a small meal.


That would be 12-15 Watt hours ;) ... energy used = power X time - Wh, kWh etc.

Its a bit hard to say exactly what would happen with a 200W 12V panel with MPP=17V without a bit more info. All panels have a characteristic curve of V vs A, and maximum power point (MPP) is near the knee of the curve at relatively high V, just before the current rapidly dimishes at higher V.

The panel output would settle somewhere along this curve when connected to the frypan

Do you have a good multi-meter? what is the resistance of the frypan element when cold and hot?
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Re: Solar cooking with a 12V frypan

Postby 11.5 volts » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:46 am

Thanks.

I knew it was watt hours and went back and edited it... TWICE....at least I THOUGHT I did.

I do not have a multimeter, guess i better get one....just have one of those plug in car battery monitors that read volts from the batteries.

I am going ahead with trying this anyway but i guess there is not so great a rush now that I know that even a small (easily carried and cheap) battery will do for a 12 volt BBQ.

Fot the price of a 240 watt 12 volt solar panel (say $420 on ebay)

I can get

1) Another two small batteries $100 aprox..
2) Another small solar panel to charge them $120 aprox..
3) Another 12 volt fry pan (or saucepan) $80 aprox (much cheaper but postage from the us is expensive on these)
4) A new 20 watt pedal generator soon to be released in the US $120 aprox (one hours pedalling will be enough to power a meal....I can do with the excersize)....not needed but maybe a new toy to play with.

That gives me effectively a two burner BBQ without needing fuel (with my existing 50 watt panel and fry pan) and I know it will work....


Maybe a compromise and get mid size panel that runs on the low side of the normal range...IE 17 volts instead of 18 and a second fry pan and second battery in the next few weeks and paralell a second mid size panel in the coming months.


I have some more thinking to do.

Thanks.
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Re: Solar cooking with a 12V frypan

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:29 am

11.5 volts wrote:1) Another two small batteries $100 aprox..


why 2? why not 1 not so small battery- less stuff to cart around.


4) A new 20 watt pedal generator soon to be released in the US $120 aprox (one hours pedalling will be enough to power a meal....I can do with the excersize)....not needed but maybe a new toy to play with.


You have no idea how mind numbingly boring and impractical that would be... with such a pathetically small output, you should be able to easily turn it by hand. Much better would be say a 200W unit that you only had to operate for 5 mins/hour

Maybe a compromise and get mid size panel that runs on the low side of the normal range...IE 17 volts instead of 18 and a second fry pan and second battery in the next few weeks and paralell a second mid size panel in the coming months.


Whilst the MPP of the panel might be 17V, it will only be outputting at the battery voltage of 12-14V, unless you have a MPPTracking regulator (but that adds more expense), so your 50W panel is effectively only a 13/17 * 50 = 38W panel at best, and typically will be more like 30W under normal operating conditions.
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