Solarpower energi enough to cook water?


Old 06-29-15, 06:05 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Sverige
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Solarpower energi enough to cook water?

Is it possible to cook water using only the power generated by a portable solarpanel? Eg. If I was to buy a portable polar panel blankett or flexable panel (no bigger than say, 1 squared meter), could I generate enough power to cook a small pot of water (with the lid on), on a hotplate within a relativ short period of time, say max 10-15 minutes?
- Could this be done only using a USB port?
- Would I need to attach a battery?

This type of hotplate: Hotplate | Clas Ohlson

This type of solarpanel: Flex Solar Panel | Clas Ohlson

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 06-29-15, 06:17 AM
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NO. Not even close. You would need at least 50 of those solar panels at the equator at noon on a clear day with an inverter to power that hot plate. At your latitude you would probably need 75 of those solar panels.

No, you cannot power a 1'250 watt AC hotplate from a USB.

No, a battery really will not help as it is DC and that hotplate is AC.
Old 06-29-15, 06:47 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Sverige
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Thanks for your quick reply.

Is there any other eco-friendly options to generate enough power to heat meals/boil water when camping, instead of starting a camp fire (or carrying a car battery with me)? Either by generating more energy or using a less energy consuming heat source?
Old 06-29-15, 07:20 AM
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Cooking and boiling water takes a lot of energy and burning something is about the only way. A camp stove would be your best option and the most environmentally friendly. There are many different models and styles available. I use a MSR which is folds into a very small package. It is light weight and can operate on several different fuels but I generally use naptha (Coleman fuel).
Old 06-29-15, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
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Hi andy and welcome to the forum.
Our traditional cooking methods are extremely inefficient and as Pilot stated, powering one of them from a solar panel would be difficult to impossible. But people have been using solar for a long time, just different methods. I've added a link from below on a portable pv system for camping, but his web site has much information and is a great place to begin learning the potential of solar energy.

You mention "using a less energy" as in cooking with less and that is a key element. If you contained a 1 watt heat source inside a perfectly insulated container, the heat would rise to extreme levels. Now, perfectly insulated containers are not practical, but something a lot better than a pot on a stove certainly is. Worth learning about.

A Small, Portable PV System for Camping, Emergencies, ...

You will also want to do some homework on the science involved.
One BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the amount of power required to raise 1 pound of water one degree F.
1 KW of electricity provides 3,412 BTUs
Those are just starters as you can find everything on the internet, or ask us.

Old 06-29-15, 07:41 AM
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Yes you need a solar oven. There are numerous commercial options and DIY options. They only work if you are camping in a sunny area, but when they work, they work pretty well. With commercially polished mirrors it will get hot enough to bake bread.
Old 06-29-15, 10:17 AM
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Is it possible to cook water
No, because it isn't raw but you cam bring it to a boil or convert it to steam. Easiest is a small can of sand soaked with alcohol. Put a larger can with holes punched in the top and near the bottom over the small can and set your pot on the large can. The media has made solar seem a lot more practice then it really is.
Old 06-29-15, 10:34 AM
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Keep in mind the posters latitude. At about 60 degrees north the sun is much less powerful than further south.

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