It works in clouds or sun, so that’s good…

So yesterday needed to be baking day, giving me a great chance to inaugurate the new oven – or maybe to find out why it wasn’t going to work for me. I did test it in the morning – as soon as the solar panels started to work, since I’d already decided using it at night would be a bad move. And wow…

…we came close to the inverter’s low voltage cutoff. But we didn’t quite make the inverter take its ball and bat and go home.

I intended to make bread in the morning – though not quite that early in the morning – but then I got a chance to go to town for chicken feed and gasoline…

…and while that was going on the wind really came up – and then black clouds rolled in…

So almost the moment I had dough ready for the oven, the solar power system wasn’t getting its usual bright desert sun. I started to curse, but then decided it was a perfect test. We know we don’t want to use the oven at night, that’s a given – but how much can I use it on gloomy days?


It was fine, really. And I like the way the loaves came out…

This morning I was rearranging the pots on the wall behind the stove, because the backsplash on this one is higher and the old arrangement wasn’t working…

…and I got a wild hair and decided that since the sun is bright today I should bake again. Not a crazy idea: I gave a loaf to S&L yesterday to thank them for their help, and there are more people going to be in the Gulch for this coming week, so more bread couldn’t go amiss, right?

And I must say – for reasons I don’t know enough to understand, the oven makes a difference in the quality of the bread.

I really like the way these last two bakes went. Much nicer than usual.

Also, it’s best to use the oven in full sun. Not essential, but best. In full sun the voltage bottoms out in the 12.5 range, rather than 12.2ish.

I really do need to dig out my killawatt and see how much amperage it’s pulling – but at least two sets of neighbors have the same sort of modern oven and just live with it. They both say it can be a problem but usually isn’t unless you’re a compulsive gauge-watcher like me.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to It works in clouds or sun, so that’s good…

  1. doubletrouble says:

    That would be good info, Joel. I always caution the Mrs. to NOT use any resistance heating gizmos when we’re on the generator. The ‘ignitor’ dingus on our stove sounds like the same thing as yours. I may be making a poor molehill/mountain decision here, or I just worry too much…
    Let us know!

  2. Kentucky says:

    Perhaps a silly idea, but depending on exactly how that dingus works would it make sense to just plug the range in some pre-determined time before you want to use the oven and only leave it plugged in while you bake?

  3. We have a gas stove that looks very similar to yours. We removed the back-splash so part of the oven could be pushed under a bit of counter-overhang.

    The point is that you can probably remove the back-splash if you like the older arrangement better.

  4. gunge1775 says:

    glad to hear its working out, gotta get the killawatt tool/thing

  5. Norman says:

    So….the current draw exists to keep the sensor warm enough to allow gas flow to the oven when when the oven is turned on – doing electrically what used to be done with a gas-burning pilot light, which is a reasonable safety measure – but once the oven is on and hot it still continues to heat the sensor? The heat from”the oven being on” isn’t enough to “keep the oven on” without needing to power the sensor heating element?

    Or am I not understanding how this particular stove works?

  6. Beans says:

    Your oven is better temperature regulated and overall heat-managed, and that makes for better bread.

    Constant continuous heat is best.

    Most likely your previous oven was in a constant heat-cool-heat-cool fluctuation cycle where the fluctuation was significant.

    Glad your new oven works. You never really know how much you utilize that sucker until the damned thing dies on you.

    And.. It looks nice in your kitchen. I like the backsplash. Very ‘old fashioned’ and fits well.

  7. Mike says:

    Joel, I wonder if it would be feasible to add a small wind generator to supplement the solar cells. I’ve seen them on Amazon for only a couple of hundred bucks. And knowing the readership of this blog, I’m sure ideas would be forthcoming about cobbling one together from scrounged up parts.

  8. Joel says:

    I’m really not enthusiastic about trying to keep a wind generator running. There are several good reasons they’ve almost disappeared around here in the past 15 years or so.

  9. LibertyNews says:

    Go find your Kill-a-Watt, we want to know how much it pulls while the oven is in use 🙂

    My guess is that it stays on because the stove isn’t lit 100% of the time, so when it un-lights it cools off and the power draw goes up.

  10. Mike says:

    Damn, that’s too bad about the wind turbine. I guess that as time and money permit, the battery bank will get improved. Then this issue will go away.

    Good luck with this, Joel.

  11. Joel says:

    Honestly wind turbines aren’t the help it logically seems they ought to be, at least around here. The wind typically dies after sundown anyway.

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