cooking in a off grid place

henry1henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
As in the post about load estimation and Sizeing of the system ..Mike90045 bought up the idea of useing a induction hot plate for makeing up meals ..

so here are some simple question i have about that area of cooking with the unit

1-since most of the meal i make can be made on the single burner on the stove unit and a mircowave oven and now the basic question what to do about bakeing needs for breads and some of the desserts items along with cook ware for the unit ..

2-question do they make a stove top oven set up to fit on the unit to bake breads or desserts ..

or

do i need to go with a bread machine also as part of the plan for the cabin

or use this system for my cooking needs there

1-induction cooking dual burner set up for cooking

2-Zorjirushi bread machine to make bread and cakes and squared pies with this machine

3-mircowave oven for everything else

4-toaster for makeing toast in the morning with breakfast


So what do you guys think of that idea for a single person to cook with in there off grid place
«1

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    From a mostly single guy in an off grid place...

    It depends on your array and demands, I've found using a Breadman Ultimate (uses less energy) not to be a problem during sunny days, whole cycle less than 500 WHours I'll put it on the new Kil-A-Watt meter and give a better total. I use a toaster oven quite often, with @1300 watt array setup It cycles on and off to the point it's about a wash during sunny afternoons. Once I get it hot I often go from Pretzels, to brownies, to pizza over a couple hours.

    I use a microwave often to reheat things.

    I have a propane table top oven and burner, but mostly use the electric toaster oven, and rarely the propane stove top, The kitchen isn't finish or perhaps I'd use it more.

    Something I use quite often is a 1/2 gallon crockpot, it draws @100 watts on high and once hot the low setting is quite a bit less.

    Another item you might find useful is an outlet timer, the crockpot will stay hot for a couple hours after it's turned off.

    Also a Widemouth thermos someone here turned me onto using a thermos to cook items by holding in the heat, warm them up first, get your soup or whatever boiling and pour it in and 8hours later it's hot and cooked through... I picked up a large 3 quart wide mouth Thermos Airpot to try larger meals.

    IMHO - forget the toaster, wrong time of day for such a high load, even for 7-10 minutes.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • DerikDerik Solar Expert Posts: 82 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    I am not sure what you have for power production but in my situation I almost never use electric heating/cooking devices of any kind. I started out with a 65 watt panel for a small cabin and used a coleman stove for almost everything, then used the outdoor gas barbecue as an oven.

    When I moved up to a little less than 2000 watts in my new 1750 square foot off grid home I stuck with propane and still use a coffe press or perculator to make coffee, I do use the mircrowave but don't have a toaster or any other electrical heating/cooking device.

    I bought an industrial 36 inch gas/propane range with a flat griddle (cast Iron) that I use for making toast and pancakes. The stove works great and uses electricity only to ignite the propane. I also use a pressure cooker a lot for cooking things fast and efficient using very little energy.

    At this point it's more out of preference and habit since I do make enough power to use electric cooking devices.
  • henry1henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    the problem is the house is going to be a completely earthbermed style of house ..


    so no propane appliance in the house because of it beening in a earth type cover on it and with propane there is a chance of a leak and i do not trust the socalle system out to protect the house from a gas leak ..

    plus with a couple of the big bang that happened this year with the snow loads on propane tanks and the lines broke and they had a few up up in a loud bangs up in the mountains this year where i work this year and since i planed a off grid underground home i looked at only electrical items not gas as the basic food cooking in the place..

    plus my place has enough sun doing any time of the year to power the all the appliances in the place
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place
    henry1 wrote: »
    ...plus my place has enough sun doing any time of the year to power the all the appliances in the place

    Pretty much true of all of use, if we had a large enough array.

    So it's show and tell time, what is your array and battery capacity? and size of your inverter? You can add this to your signature, as you can see mine at the bottom of this post.

    It'll help us, help you.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • henry1henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    i going with the following set up at the cabin

    6-Kycoea 135 watt solar panels on a solar tracker pole mount set up

    1-outback flex power one system all bult into one unit for space ..i talked to the people at the ouback company and they basicallys said that you to tell the dealer what you want and then have the dealer to tell them that you want in 12.volt and they will make it to my mate my specs for my system ..

    - inverter
    -wireing system for ac -dc
    -surge protector
    and few other items all made into a small compact unit to make it easlyer to mount in the cabin shed that going to be houseing the battie bank set up .

    1-set of Sun extender batties that i'm getting from Northern Az wind and sun -x-10.batties in the bank for use with the off grid cabin

    1-small 200 watt wind turbine system on a rv style mounting pole for use with the wind power here and there when i get wind at my place and i can raise it and lower it when i need to by a simple system

    1-set of all the wireing comeing from Northern Az wind and sun

    1-set of battery accessories items from northern Az wind and sun

    1-lighting protector to protect the system from moonson lighting stikes that happen in the southwest

    1-honda EU3000.gas powered gen set with inverter unit for those days when the sun does not shine enough to make power in the winter time up in the mountains ..
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    10 batteries ?? Please explain how they will be wired, and what is the battery bank voltage (12, 24, 36V ?)

    eu3000 generator is QUITE large, what is it's intended purpose, battery charging via 240VAC, or running some large load we don't know about ?
    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

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • henry1henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place
    mike90045 wrote: »
    10 batteries ?? Please explain how they will be wired, and what is the battery bank voltage (12, 24, 36V ?)

    eu3000 generator is QUITE large, what is it's intended purpose, battery charging via 240VAC, or running some large load we don't know about ?


    I went to the pros on this one area to make sure i had the right sized batties that i need and i getting them from the Northern Wind and Sun company and they are the same one who sponsor this forum here and they are in 12.volt set up .

    They are the one wireing it up in the cabin there in Az

    the Honda EU3000 is more for use around the place where i need power to run tools out in the pasture when i'm working on some areas on the place ..
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place
    henry1 wrote: »
    I went to the pros on this one area to make sure i had the right sized batties that i need...

    While this is NOT a "battery capacity" this does show poor judgement, IMHO, of your "experts". I would go with fewer strings of batteries(a 12 volt battery is made up of a string of 6 -- 2 volt cells), and a single string if possible. While it would start out fine, as they age more pressure would be placed on the weakest string causing both it's early failure and a weakening of the other strings of cells.
    henry1 wrote: »
    the Honda EU3000 is more for use around the place where i need power to run tools out in the pasture when i'm working on some areas on the place ..

    Ah, your own little sun, crank it up and make toast!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • Peter_VPeter_V Solar Expert Posts: 226 ✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place
    henry1 wrote: »
    the problem is the house is going to be a completely earthbermed style of house ..

    Something like an Earthship?

    Does it have lots of south facing windows? Perhaps a Solar oven would work? With south facing widows you could even use it inside during the winter (though I understand they still work well outside in the snow)

    Plus there is always Naan bread on the BBQ or griddle.
  • OldSonneOldSonne Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    Here is the answer, the most energy efficient cooking I have ever experienced.

    http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CPC-600-1000-Watt-Electric-Stainless/dp/B000MPA044/ref=pd_ybh_6?pf_rd_p=280800601&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_i=ybh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1GRZDQK219C2F8V5VC3Y

    If you are tired of heating up the house boiling beans, soups and greens and you want to cook in the most energy efficient way ever known to man then you must invest in this pressure cooker. Most dishes use a half a kilowatt hour or less. In addition to the superior taste of cooking under pressure you will also avoid heating up your house due to the fact the total energy used is so small. After the cooking time is over, usually a matter of minutes, be careful to allow time for the food to cool naturally before opening the top. You can even place the unit outside to cook if you want to eliminate extra heat addition to the kitchen during times when you are running the AC. Your house will stay much cooler feeling since you won't be generating all that heat and water vapor into your living area like you do with other cooking methods.

    There is no comparison of the flavor of things like potatoes cooked in the pressure cooker compared to baking or microwaving. Plus you won't break a tooth on hard spots in the food like you get with a microwave.

    You will have to get used to taking a fraction of the cooking time and eating tastier food when you start using this little miracle. We have cut way down on using our other cooking appliances, and we don't have to wait all day to get the best, creamiest beans ever.

    At first I was hesitant to spend this much on a cooking device, but it has already paid for itself, and the results in the cooking are the best. The unit is relatively easy to clean. There will be no more food burnt on the bottom. I hate burned, hard beans, so this unit really has been an improvement for us. Just be sure you do have sufficient moisture in the contents to let the unit work and not dry out.

    When you think about it this unit is like having a tiny black hole in your kitchen to power your cooking. The temperature and pressure working together in this contained space are like nothing you have used to cook before. This is a real energy saver. We should know because we live in a net zero energy house and conserve every kilowatt hour possible. The 6 quart pot is plenty big for cooking a big meal or a large batch too.

    The unit is solid, safe and has an easy, easy interface. Of course, don't let the kids play around with the pressure relief valve, and treat it with respect. You can burn yourself if you are careless just like any other cooking appliance. I strongly recommend this device if you want to simplify your cooking and use a fraction of the time and energy needed for other methods. Enjoy!
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    Pierlees propane range. From $300 up to the professional line even under the earth! Forget a bread machine. Good luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    For those that are "scared" of propane, there are numerous ways to make it safe (er). Gas detectors, excess flow shut offs in the event of a broken pipe, seismic shut off valves, propane drains etc.

    Personally, I think a well designed propane system is probably statistically safer than an electrical system, especially battery based ones.

    We cook with propane, use it for hot water, for the fridge. We also use with 16 oz bottles to make toast! We refill those from the larger tank. Because we are remote, on an island, we use #100 bottles that we haul to town to be refilled. We go through about 1 every six to eight weeks (20 gallons) depending on the weather, the bulk of which is for the oven.

    To my mind, to size a large off grid battery based solar system to run a toaster, or a resistance electric heating stove is simply not cost effective. For half the money, you can buy and build a propane system with all the non mandated safety systems in place, like those mentioned above.

    Off my soap box now,

    Tony
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    I've started using more of the PV energy for cooking at home. I have a 900AH battery bank, and 615W of solar panels on the roof. I'll have 900W by the weekend. Small setup as compared to many here, but functional.

    I highly recommend getting a Kill-A-Watt meter, and measure YOUR appliances. You might be surprised by how little, or by how much, they actually use.

    Hurricanes are a way of life here in FL. June 1st, the season begins again. Last major outage here peeled the shingles off my roof (before I had solar panels), and knocked power out for 18 days.

    I do have a Yamaha EF2400iS generator, and it's very quiet, and fuel efficient. It will play a part in my power outage plans, but as my solar array grows, I'm going to be less needy of the generator.

    Back to the topic... Here's a few things I've tried via solar:

    http://www.2manytoyz.com/rice.html

    http://www.2manytoyz.com/coffee.html

    http://2manytoyz.com/bread.html

    http://www.2manytoyz.com/crockpots.html

    And here's some testing I've done with the generator:

    http://www.2manytoyz.com/yamaha2400.html
  • DerikDerik Solar Expert Posts: 82 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    Since my first solar experience was 1-65 watt panel and 2 T-105 trojans I was weined off all electrical appliances. No that I have more than enough power I still prefer no electrical appliances, everything tastes better, coffee press or perculator compared to a Mr. Coffee. Pressure cooker for potatoes and other veggies that take a while to cook, a gridle for toast run off propane and lots of barbecue!!/ smoker use. For me being off grid is a more than just having my own power but it's a relaxed way of life a complete lifestyle change if you will.

    Everyone is different and has their own objectives and I respect that.. but I like to cook with FIRE! So either propane, wood or briquettes.

    Good luck to you and send some photos of the Earh home... sounds very interesting.

    Derik
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    OK, I forgot my latest fun cooking item, a George Forman grill cooks from both sides, very quickly, leaves food moist, I often cook 6-8 potions 2 at a time in 30 minutes including warm up! A bit longer for thick chicken. The basic small model uses @770 watts and will switch on and off during the cooking. Very effiecient!

    I too, will support using propane, I've been using it for heating the last 5 winters, and have a table top propane oven by Coleman.

    I did over build my system to air condition, but still currently only run my toaster oven in the afternoon, I might try it on my forklift battery(new this year I hope) as an experiment at least, to see how much of a voltage drop I get with that huge load.

    Surprised someone said forget the bread machine, it really isn't much load, My Ultimate Breadman is only around a 440 watt load at worse, and then it's cycling on and off while baking under thermostat for 30-55 minutes. You can also set it to come one up to 12 hour after you set it.

    I'll keep the all in one pressure cooker in mind, looks like a neat item, I know odd things come out really well in stove top pressure cookers, like chicken breasts! My brother and his wife use one and get great flavor.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • OldSonneOldSonne Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    Icarus, did you just buy a standard propane oven, stove from a local LP supplier? I would be interested in the model, etc.if you like it. I agree there seems to be no purpose in losing efficiency by burning gas or propane to make electricity to then heat something.

    The pressure cooker gets around this issue because of the greater efficiency and low energy use.
    We have found that the little electric pressure cooker is the most efficient cooker in terms of total energy used whether it be from propane or electric. Half a kwh for up to 6 meals is pretty low consumption. However, we do also like to bake cornbread, etc in an oven (only because we haven't figured a way in the pressure cooker yet) so I have had great success with the Camp Chef propane C-Oven. The little oven bakes well although you have to get used to the fact that it is not thermostatically controlled. Also, the cook top burners on top do fine except if you are outdoors they blow out with the slightest breeze. I can't really recommend the C-Oven if you want the cooktop to work outdoors. I just used a Blue Rhino camp stove instead of the C-Oven cooktop.

    Still, I only cook with the propane stove outside. Now that I am considering going off grid I may need to go all the way to propane, but I have a problem. When we did a blower test on the net zero ICF house I built it was so tight the rater told me I would die in it from lack of oxygen if I didn't add a mechanical ventilator. Well, I suggested to him that windows have been around a while. I usually have a window open somewhere, but he does have a point especially in winter when windows are all closed. Won't I be burning up a lot of oxygen and making CO2 if I cook with my propane stove indoors in the winter? I prefer to cook outside in the summer. It is an old tradition in the South to have the kitchen outdoors to avoid burning down the house or heating up the house in the summer. So, if we go propane indoors will we need mechanical ventilation and therefore be using more gas to heat and more electricity to ventilate? Maybe I need to be a raw fooditst and quit cooking? Or just cook in my utility room on the camp stove with the window cracked in the winter?

    Also, am I just nuts or wouldn't it be good to use an old camp oven that is well insulated and with a thermostat and dump excess solar from my XW6048 inverter into some type of small heating element in the oven to do resistance heating when you can? Or alternatively, what about such an oven that uses a spare PV module. Would it work? I have used a solar oven before, but they smell like plastic and are kind of flimsy. It just seems like with a tight oven you could build up the needed heat from a resistance strip with out too many kwh pretty well, especially at times when we have excess.

    Anyway, I am very interested in more information on the propane appliances. Thanks.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    There are double wall glass solar ovens, that don't smell.
    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

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    I have a very simple standing lot "Brown" gas range. CO detectors are standard in most RVs and cost under ten bucks. In a very tight house, gas appliances might be an issue, but, even in s very tight house, some ventilation should be installed just for indoor air quality. The ideal set up would be air/air heat exchange that captures the heat from the exhausted air. Failing that, some intake vents in the kitchen ( or crack a window)should be fine.

    Bottom line is you need fresh air for Multiple reasons, first if to provide O2 for combustion air, second is to exhaust stale and CO laden air. Properly designed passive venting systems are pretty easy to deal with. For example, with our fridge, we have ansmall intake vent through the outside wall down low, both to feed air to the burner, as well as to provide convection to the condenser. The fridge flue then vents out side by natur convection. In the main, we probably get more air in the house than gets vented out the flue.

    A simple range hood, with a manual damper will exhaust a lot of air over a stove. Close the damper when you are not using the stove and you reduce heat loss. On my water heater (Paloma demand standing pilot) I have an automatic stack damper which really are not legal, but it serves to close the vent pipe when the heater is off, and it opens via bi metal flaps in the flue, the differential expansion of which forces the damper open. There is aways a tiny bit of air that flows out the vent helping change the air. (in my case, this damper is especially handy to keep the insects from coming down the flue, a not insignificant advantge.

    Sorry to stray of topic,

    Tony

    Tony
  • henry1henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    Please do not think of me as a nut case but i'm going to show you the idea behind the underground home set up and it stuck me now for about 12 years ever since i found that magazine at a yard sale this lady was haveing where i liveing in Clevelland Ohio for my line of work ..

    I got the idea from a guy who did this back in the middle of Ohio somewhere and i found a old magazine article about him and how he bult his home completely underground and the reason why behind it and it makes sense to me because of beening in the same boat as him as i come close to retirement ..

    as he put it i do not want to have to pay for things that as you get into your socalled golden years and since i going to be liveing on a fixed income i want to enjoy my goldern years and not have to worry about some thing that you have to do with a regular house..

    he goes on to say i'm not going to have to get up on a ladder and clean out the gutters or i'm not going to have to worry about painting it or i'm not going to have to worry about heating it in the winter and have to pay for it or cooling it down in the summer and have to pay for it..

    so as i get older the more i thought about the article the more it made sense to build green and underground along with go off grid now and not have to worry about those thing in he future when i retire and the way the our country is going with it money problems it might be a safe bet that going with solar and wind is also a better bet than worry about how to play out for some of the basic of life when retirement hits ..

    With a basic cover of 12 ft of dirt and it landscaped back into the surrounding landscape to form a natural look of the local landscape and a french drain system around the unit to allow any water to drain off and go back into the ground it will keep a temp around 65 to 75 degrees year round no matter what the outside temp or weather is doing ..
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,511 admin
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    Actually, I have always been interested in an underground home with another configuration (probably an old Popular Science magazine out of the early 1970's that I read as a kid)...

    Basically, for flat ground, dig and build an "O" shaped home with the center being glass around a patio area. Lots of light in the center and no feeling of being underground. Nothing but a set of railings above ground. For winter, can put an air supported roof over the patio.

    Always was concerned that water proofing (aka wet basement syndrome) would make for an expensive/unliviable home in my area with high water tables).

    This thread and all of the tornadoes in the last couple weeks--Seems there should be a better way of building homes than with stick construction.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    Nothing odd about underground homes. There's quite a few "cave houses" in Spain. For millennia humans have dug into the cliff faces around the world. On the prairies in the U.S. and Canada sod houses used to be built because of the lack of trees for wood. Adobe isn't uncommon, and some have used rammed Earth. But the house in the hill is something that goes back a long time.

    How practical it is in this day and age ... another issue depending on many factors.
  • henry1henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    as a off topic on the subect of cooking in the place ..

    I got it figure out to be about $89,000.oo dollar fully outfitted with bathroom kitchen and liveing area with part of the liveing area is the bedroom ..

    So it not bad price for a home that will not be normal looking to anyone else but me or you ..

    Also i got this thing now about bad weather problems i wonder if maybe it time to go underground and live and be safe in this day and age ..
  • jeffkrusejeffkruse Solar Expert Posts: 205 ✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    The higher the temperature food is cooked at the more the nutrients are broken down. A pressure cooker may use less energy but it will also make the food less nutritious. Just something to be considered.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    COot, I think you are confusing a pressure cooker with a crock pot. A pressure cooker raises the boiling point of the water ( under pressure) and ergo, cooks faster.

    T.

    PS an earth sheltered house has huge advantage in heating and cooling.

    T
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place
    icarus wrote: »
    COot, I think you are confusing a pressure cooker with a crock pot. A pressure cooker raises the boiling point of the water ( under pressure) and ergo, cooks faster.

    T.

    PS an earth sheltered house has huge advantage in heating and cooling.

    T

    Found myself being very confused. Deleted post, took meds. :blush:
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    No fair hiding behind the delete button!

    T
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    I've been interested in a berm home for years, I don't want to have more problems with water intrusion than a properly done basement, I would read up on living in underground homes, it's likely you'll want to make some living adjustments, I have a friend who grew up in a berm home(making the distiction of not having the earth over head). He said at some point they had issues with condensation along the walls, and mostly put furniture along interior walls and always kept air moving.

    If you want a real project, I know where you might find a Earth contact home for under $15,000 near Moberly, MO. I tried to talk myself into buying it, but I'm 70 miles away. Needs help, but the basics are fine, they added a sorta second story, I think to keep water from pooling in the back yard, which needed to be relanscaped. now the roof faces north and they get ice buildup in winter. It's in a fairly high tax area for Missouri, @$500 per year, they are trying to keep a K-12<100 student school going.

    In the desert South East, I suspect you'll have more issues with allsorts of animals and insects trying to join you!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    "It's in a fairly high tax area for Missouri, @$500 per year,"

    $500 per year is a high tax area? if people in my poorer area were so lucky to have that "high" (sarcasm) of taxes as they are certainly much higher here. many in better neighborhoods pay $3000-$4000 and more and that's for only one of 3 property taxes (highest one).
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,511 admin
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    $500/$15,000 worth of taxes = 3.3% tax rate... That does not sound too high (if total taxes)..

    In California, we have a ~1-1.5% tax rate (of course, a similar property in a suburban area would probably sell for >$1,000,000....

    The "median" priced home in California is around $300,000--Or $3k-$5k for property taxes (but we also have Prop 13 which only allows property valuation to rise by 2% maximum per year--So, if you have owned a home for several decades, that $6k property tax for your new neighbor may only be $600 for you. But we are running pretty close (or over in some areas) to a 10% sales tax and 10+% marginal income tax rate.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: cooking in a off grid place

    Homes where earth covers most except for the front side are a good bet - low energy users.

    I have a maids house like that but with the top & front open to the air. Am now building a greenhouse on top.

    These homes are really tight - not much in the way of air leaks for sure.

    Ventilation & insulation is important - the contractor screwed up and we ended up with constant condensation on the ceiling due to improper installation or lack of insulation.

    We are now installing a HRV unit in a central position to take moist air from the kitchen and the incoming preheated/cooled dry air will go to the bedroom.

    The walls and floor all have external insulation. We are now are placing external insulation on the roof covered with a layer of concrete maybe 75mm thick.

    The architect/contractor has some funny ideas about insulation. Now we do it my way. Since we are paying the bills at least I can blame myself if we have to rework something.

    There you have insulated concrete forms available - they sound easy and good.

    Here we use 50mm of Dow XPS foam on the exterior.

    Russ
Sign In or Register to comment.