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Living with Off-Grid Solar Power

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Considerations When Selecting Appliances
for Off-Grid Living:

Stoves and Ovens

    Clearly, electric stoves and ovens are not good choices for the off-grid home. Fortunately, cooking with gas is entirely practical and in some ways preferred. Specifically, when you turn down the flame on a gas burner, the heat being delivered to your cooking goes down RIGHT NOW! There is none of the lag time associated with electric heating elements.

    Most gas ranges and ovens can be purchased for either Natural Gas or Propane. Most off-grid homes will need to use propane as such homes are usually nowhere near a natural gas pipeline. Make sure your range is set up for, or convertible to, the desired fuel. Convertible ranges where different jets are installed for the different fuels work better than those with adjustable jets.

    Also, be CERTAIN that both the range and oven will operate without electricity. Some stoves include interlocks that prevent gas from flowing unless there is power for the electronic ignition module.

    EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, be absolutely certain that the oven DOES NOT utilize 'Glow Bar Ignition'! The Glow Bar is a ceramic heating element used to ensure that the gas will be ignited as it is cycled on and off for temperature regulation. These Glow Bars require 300 Watts or more the entire time the oven is operating. This is a bad thing when you are using a Solar Electric Power System.


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Last update: 5MAY2003

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