question

vannie avatar image

Can my van electrical setup power an induction stove?

Hi there,

I have a van that I am building out and trying to straighten some things out in my system as I design for kitchen.

The basics:

  • I have 400W of solar on roof.
  • I have 200ah Lithium Ion in battery bank. (I ran some calcs early on and was looking at ~180ah of use per day, so 200ah seemed doable. I left a space open to drop in another if needed.)
  • I have the 3000W 12 V MultiPlus Inverter Charger. (Some of my calculated items pulled a good bit of wattage (hot water kettle=1k W, induction stove ~1-1.8k W) so I figured Ok lets do the 3k W.)


I am hitting a lot of points where the inverter just won't budge though. Sometimes I'll be at a good charge say 75 - 80% of capacity and the inverter light will switch to "low battery" when I turn on the 1k watt hot water kettle. Really, at 1kW? No go. If I start the car, the kettle works. I haven't even bought the induction stove yet since I'm running into these issues.

I saw somewhere that potentially I would need at least 3 x 100ah batteries just to give enough current to the 3K W Inverter to do its thing. Is that right??

I'm hesitant to drop another $1k on a battery, although I would do it if it let me run my whole setup with the induction stove smoothly. It starts to worry me though that maybe I couldn't fill the 300ah battery bank fully with only 400W of solar. I've heard good rule of thumb is 200W solar per 100ah battery charge. I have enough room on the roof for another 50V panel..maaaybe 100W. So I'd be at 450W-500W, not the ideal 2:1 ratio. I do have an Orion that charges while I drive... so there is that. I would hardly ever be parked anywhere for days on end without moving. This is mostly a family extended trip mobile. Going for several days up to 2 months at a time remote work/travel trips. I also have a shore power hookup but don't plan on relying on that for steady refill, more of an emergency backup thing if in a pinch.

The other option would be to just swap out the 3k W inverter charger for the smaller 2k W inverter charger - if that is in fact a more appropriate current draw on 200ah batteries- not buy another battery, and just go propane setup for the kitchen stove instead of the induction stove. Thoughts? What say ye?

Recap:

  1. Could my 3kW inverter charger (and solar setup) function smoothly with an additional 100ah battery and be able to supply for induction stove? Or
  2. Cutting it too close and best to go to 2k W inverter charger + propane setup?


solarinverter current drawbattery capacity
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2 Answers
klim8skeptic avatar image
klim8skeptic answered ·

It always depends.

Batteries. I am seeing 100Ah batteries being sold that are only capable of 50a charge/discharge rate. You have not mentioned your battery manufacturer, or even if you batteries have ever been fully charged.

Cabling. Thin, or excessively long cable runs between the batteries and inverter will give low voltage warnings at the inverter.

Loads. I have a tiny kettle that draws 950w ac, about 90a dc at the inverter. Also a tiny 4" hotplate that draws 550w ac, about 50a dc. The smallest 20L-700w output microwave oven-will draw 1150w ac, about 120a dc. My tiny 900w air-fryer draws 90a dc. My 650w toaster will draw 60a dc. My 650w skillet will draw 60a dc.

Small ac loads simply draw huge dc loads, especially at 12v. Your batteries and cabling need to be up to scratch.

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hey @klim8skeptic, I have 2 "battle born" lithium ion batteries. I think they are pretty solid brand. I will check out what they recommend discharging to. I think it is maybe more like 80% of charge? I believe they have been fully charged from the solar panels and long trips I've done with Orion hooked up.


In terms of wiring size, they are right next to the inverter charger with 4/0 cables attached so that shouldn't be a problem.


I see what you mean on the dc loads. That might be what is overloading my system. If I am running a kettle at 1000w ac and it is pulling 100a dc then I am running something else simple like lights and fan, it might just be pushing around 125amp dc which is just too much for the battery bank if partly discharged. Hmm.

Matthias Lange - DE avatar image
Matthias Lange - DE answered ·

You also should check the settings of the Multi. To what voltage is the "low voltage alarm" set? What voltage do you measure at the DC connections inside the Multi? Maybe the cross section of the wiring is not enough?

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