Microwave lower energy quest

silvertopsilvertop Solar Expert Posts: 155 ✭✭✭✭✭
Well here I go again, in an attempt to lower my solar energy use. I tried looking for a small wattage microwave today. I found a 900 Watt Rival with adjustable power settings that I thought I could set on lower power for late night microwaving on battery. I knew there would a starting surge but couldn't believe the surge on the Kill-A-Watt at 20% power setting of 2150Watts, I'm not going to abuse my batteries. Anyone have a brand or size that has acceptable surge/running wattage? For now, we returned this microwave, and none of the other microwaves had any lower nameplate ratings. This microwave of 900 Watts had a nameplate of 1350Watts,that would have been acceptable starting surge. There was also a Rival 700W, but kind of figured it might prove to have similar surge issues. No display model to was available to look at. Suggestions.....ideas? :cry:

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest

    Been there, done that, bought a 700 Watt Danby.

    The thing is microwaves are rated in cooking power, which is usually a few hundred Watts less than their consumption. As it is mine draws about 1080 Watts running. Using "reduced power" settings only cuts down the amount of time the magnatron is active; it still sucks down the full Watts with every zap, just shorter zaps per minute.

    Even the labels on microwaves don't help when it comes to real power use. The things just plain suck up a lot of power. The only up side is that you don't use them for very long.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,054 admin
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest

    Most microwaves are 100% on or 0% on (on/off cycle equals percent power rating on front panel).

    I don't know--but the "Inverter Microwaves" (Panasonics, others?) may run at reduced power. Try to bring a Kill-a-Watt to the store and test.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest

    According to Panasonic https://panasonic.ca/english/appliance/microwave/inverter.asp the inverter microwaves use less power and actually reduce power on lower settings.

    They still use a lot of power, though; seem to be 1kW+ units.
  • silvertopsilvertop Solar Expert Posts: 155 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest

    I looked at inverter microwaves ,Wal- mart had two but I shied away not thinking they would be any better. I just checked out the Panasonic web site and I believe this might be the answer. There were two different wattage models, one was Panasonic. Unfortunately I can't plug in my Kill-A-Watt in the store, I will have to purchase the smaller and take it home and plug it in. Thanks for the info Ill let you know what it pulls..............
  • silvertopsilvertop Solar Expert Posts: 155 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest

    I might also check out the Danby I found it on line, I sure do like the 1080 Watts running.Thats what our Expresso maker pulls I could live with that on sunny days;)
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest

    Keep in mind though, that reduced power consumption will mean the oven has to run longer to cook that potato, which means the fan/s etc which don't contribute to heating the potato, are running longer and consuming power non-productively, and then there's the reheating every cycle of the magnetron cathode before any actual heating of food, cats, or whatever takes place. And of course the potato looses heat to the air the entire time it's cooking. Does it loose heat to air for 4 minutes on hi, or does it loose heat on low for 20 minutes while cooking on low power? Much to think about. The ON/OFF power level units then, might even end up using more KWH on a lower setting to cook said potato. The inverter type that actually reduce power levels, and not just cycle full power on and off, would be a better choice, as the amperage being drawn on the battery at any one time (if on low power setting) would be reduced, thus reducing stress on battery.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,054 admin
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest

    If you need a microwave--I probably would just go with a 12 volt microwave (reviews) or 24 volt (truckers?).

    Some more 12/24 volt appliances. (I don't know anything about these appliances or vendors linked).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • silvertopsilvertop Solar Expert Posts: 155 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest

    Well the results are in and the winner Is the Panasonic 1250 Watt Inverter microwave! Here's what I found:

    * 100% power-surge 2115 watts WOW ! - run 2150 watts - output 1250 watts

    * 70% power-surge 1400 watts -run 1165 watts - output 875 watts

    * 40% power-surge 1200 watts -run 590 watts - output 500 watts

    I'm still on a 12 volt bank... 24volt next year.... so I'm going to try not to kill the batteries, I ran this on the Kil-A-Watt; results did vary probably from the energizing of the microwave, but for now I'm going to try to use the 70% power setting during good sun, and the 40 % power setting sparingly if needed during cloudy days, or if necessary, very sparingly on batteries only. This looks like a good microwave. It was the last one at Wal- Mart and they said that the warehouse is also out. Anyone have any popcorn?:D
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest
    silvertop wrote: »

    * 40% - - - run 590 watts (consumed) - output 500 watts

    WOW!!!! That's awesome!
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest
    BB. wrote: »
    If you need a microwave--I probably would just go with a 12 volt microwave (reviews) or 24 volt (truckers?). -Bill

    Did some reading and checking. Kind of disappointed. Seems these "12 volt" microwave ovens are regular units, possibly in the lower power range and size, with either a built in, or external inverter. Possibly just a regular MSW inverter at that.
    Oh well, was a good thought while it lasted:cry:
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest
    The thing is microwaves are rated in cooking power, which is usually a few hundred Watts less than their consumption.

    As always, there is an exception to the rule. :D

    There was one I was looking at - can't remember which offhand, but I think it was the iWaveCube - that is advertised as a 600w microwave, but actually only has a 300w magnetron. 600w is what it draws, not the cooking power.

    Hopefully, this will not become a trend whereby marketroids start using the power draw numbers in order to make microwave ovens *appear* to be more powerful than they are. But you know how marketoids are...

    So, caveat emptor.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest
    dwh wrote: »
    As always, there is an exception to the rule. :D

    There was one I was looking at - can't remember which offhand, but I think it was the iWaveCube - that is advertised as a 600w microwave, but actually only has a 300w magnetron. 600w is what it draws, not the cooking power.

    Hopefully, this will not become a trend whereby marketroids start using the power draw numbers in order to make microwave ovens *appear* to be more powerful than they are. But you know how marketoids are...

    So, caveat emptor.

    Oh, they'll all get hold of that and run with it!
    Like hairdryers that advertise "It's got 1500 Watts!" Or Vacuums that proudly proclaim how many Amps they draw. Advertising runs on the principal that if you shout loud enough people will believe what you're saying is not only true, but also good. :roll:
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest

    Haha I love the 5 HP Compressors available at many retail outlets, that only draw 9 or 10 amps at 120 volts. Perhaps there really has been a breakthrough in perpetual motion machines? Thing is, they are fooling a lot of customers.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest
    Haha I love the 5 HP Compressors available at many retail outlets, that only draw 9 or 10 amps at 120 volts. Perhaps there really has been a breakthrough in perpetual motion machines? Thing is, they are fooling a lot of customers.

    Hey, that's 5 PEAK HP: meaning if you stall the motor it will draw 30+ Amps momentarily. :roll:
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Microwave lower energy quest
    Hey, that's 5 PEAK HP: meaning if you stall the motor it will draw 30+ Amps momentarily. :roll:

    OH! It's sort of like Stalled Engine Horse Power! Hahaha
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