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Old 12-22-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
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solar panel boondocking and microwave ovens

question to those of you who run on solar panels and use your microwave ovens. how long can you run the microwave? how much solar do you have? and how big of an inverter are you using?
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:59 PM   #2
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We have 615 watts of solar, a 735 AH battery bank and 3000 watt inverter.
The microwave is 1500 watts, so that is quite a draw in the battery bank.
If we attempt to run the microwave over 3 minutes the AGS will start the genny. I have never tried the microwave with the AGS turned off for fear of harming the batteries.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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The microwave draws from the batteries, so you will be limited by your battery capacity, not your solar (the solar charging is way too slow to keep up). We have 440 amp hours of batteries and our microwave will draw around 200 amps when it's running at full power, so I guess theoretically we could run it an hour on full before hitting 50% on the batteries.

In reality however the big draw on the batteries pulls down the voltage (you'll see it drop big time when you turn it on) so that will cause you to draw below 12V pretty quickly, at least while the microwave is on. This can happen after only a few minutes of use. When you turn off the microwave the voltage will recover, but you'll see below 12 while the machine is running (and if you have auto-gen start on you RV that will cause your genny to start-up). We usually only run it for a few mins at a time.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:30 AM   #4
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I've got 1200 watts on the roof which is overkill to many people but personally, I want my battery bank to be full prior to noon, even if I am using the washer and watching Television while using my laptop via my satt internet, and that goes for winter too.

My batt bank is based on my desire to use only 20% during a normal day's usage which includes maybe ten minutes of Microwave use in the evening after sun down, but I did opt for a 900 watt Microwave.

While I am of the belief that it's not really possible to have too many solar panels, that's not the case of battery's as I like my just enough batt bank to be full in drizzly weather.


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Old 01-02-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
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I have 400 watts on the roof. 450 amps of batteries ( 4 - 6 volt T-105). A 2000 watt inverter. A 1000 watt microwave oven. I usually do not run the oven for more than 20 minutes at a time to heat up supper. I do run my vacuum for up to one hour at a time. I do not have or want a generator.

All RV'ers should have an accurate battery monitor such as a Trimetric.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralper View Post
I have 400 watts on the roof. 450 amps of batteries ( 4 - 6 volt T-105). A 2000 watt inverter. A 1000 watt microwave oven. I usually do not run the oven for more than 20 minutes at a time to heat up supper. I do run my vacuum for up to one hour at a time. I do not have or want a generator.

All RV'ers should have an accurate battery monitor such as a Trimetric.

X2-there are usually other alternatives. We do use the toaster, wife dries hair and one cup coffee maker. All this plus tv and various chargers. I could probably get by with running the microwave for 1 minute or so at about 2:00 Pm when batteries are charged and have good sun.
I do carry a Honda 2000 generator but only use it when cloudy for several days or to duty cycle. Spent May thru Nov in Utah area and never used the generator.
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