Question regarding solar generator/hot plate

I'm new to solar power and not very knowledgeable on the technical side, so please go easy on me. I've become interested recently and have been reading around the forum for a little while now. Hopefully someone can help me with this or possibly recommend a product for what I would like to do.

My question is whether a solar generator would handle the power draw from a typical hot plate/electric burner (the ones I've looked at are around $15 to $40 and listed at 750-1000 watts.)

The solar generator I looked at is listed as a "solar power generator" and is from a company called "solutions from science." It's pretty expensive at around 1700 dollars.

Would it provide enough power to cook simple meals, or would it run out of juice before it got hot enough to boil water? Can anyone point me to any better and or cheaper solar based products to do this?

Thanks for any feedback, I'll be checking back later for any responses.


  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question regarding solar generator/hot plate

    You need to look at the output spec of the "generator" ( which is what we solar geeks call INVERTER ) and see what it's capable of .
    600W, 900W, 1,100W, 2,500W ? It's output needs to match the input needs of your hotplate / hob.

    Beware of specs-manship Read the fine print, where it says 2500W for 30 seconds, or 500W continously.

    I use a induction hot plate / hob, because all the heat goes into the iron pan, not the glowing coil that heats air, and some of your pan.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • arkieoscar
    arkieoscar Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
    Re: Question regarding solar generator/hot plate

    Hi Tony,
    PV (solar electric) is a VERY poor choice for heating and the product you mentioned is a poor choice for almost anything. You can put together the same thing for less than $1000 and have a much better power supply and you don't even have to be very knowledgeable in solar or electricity as it's very basic- solar panel, charge controller, battery and small inverter and you have some power stored. Not enough to run resistance heating for very long but enough for many other tasks. You can cook with a small propane stove or even cans of Sterno much better than what you're proposing.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,401 admin
    Re: Question regarding solar generator/hot plate

    Or, design a larger off grid solar PV system...

    Anything can be done--but it would be helpful to know a bit more about your application.

    Where will it be used (amount of sun/clouds/fog), how many watt load, how many hours per day, etc.

    While we talk about it not being a good idea--if it is your only option (no other fuel sources available, need precise heat control for lab, etc.)--It can be done.

    As a rough idea--An Off-Grid Solar PV system will cost you around $1-$2+ per kWH vs grid power which is 1/10th the cost.

    If the overall economics still make sense for Off Grid solar electric power (compared to alternative fuel sources, or even a solar oven)--We would be more than happy to help.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TypeDr
    TypeDr Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Question regarding solar generator/hot plate

    Hi Tony,

    I successfully used a 2-burner camping stove with a 5-gal propane tank while under construction... in a very leaky shed (turned off the propane at the tank when not in use; kept a window open while cooking to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, which has no smell, and builds up at floor level. Now I have a Fagor Induction burner, which I purchased at Overstock for somewhere under $100, and which I'm quite pleased with.

    Don't know whether you will also be needing heat, or whether you can cook outside... but if you need heat, a small woodstove, properly installed, is heavenly, and you can cook on it too. If you can cook outside, a small hibatchi or any of the outdoor firepit grills work very well. My own choice would be for wood as the fuel, but that assumes you are living where wood is available free or reasonably.

    Hope this is helpful,
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question regarding solar generator/hot plate

    Let's keep it simple, the answer is NO!!!!

    1500 watts of hot plate would require ~2,000 watts of PV, likely to cost $3-5000 in raw panel costs!

    Any time I see "solar generator" I see advertising hype, coupled with a far too expensive, underperfoming systems.