Sunday, February 5, 2012

This ought to silence a few of my critics

Yes, it's a halogen heater with two bars - that's 800 watts - quite happily burning away this afternoon in my attic.

Considering that it's the middle of winter, receiving more than 200 amp-hours (that's over 2.5 kw) must be something of a record and with the batteries fully-charged by 10:00 I had to do something with the surplus energy. At first I ran it at 400 watts but at the peak time (between 13:00 and 14:00) I ran it at 800 watts and the system took it quite happily. I was quite impressed of course. My next step now is to find a small microwave oven, and to cook my tea in it. That will definitely keep one or two people quiet.

This morning the temperature in here was just 9°C - rather disappointing because last night was quite warm, just a mere -14.1°C. Too cold to go out of course and so I had the halogen heater on and read a book or two. The room slowly warmed up (and I mean slowly) but with halogen heat, it heats a person pretty quickly and I was quite comfortable here with that.

After lunch (durng which I encountered the likes of deep-frozen tomato) I carried on with the ceiling in the bedroom, seeing as there was no shopping to do. That kept me busy for a couple of hours until 18:00 and then I knocked off and lit the fire up here.

Tea at 21:00 was agony. Minus 8 in the verandah and everything was frozen to everything else. Outside we had -13°C and that was at 21:50 - I shudder to think what it might be now.


  1. I cannot fathom why you don't already have a microwave. Internally I gather most are 9 - 15 volts DC.

  2. Well they make them to run in caravans from leisure batteries so there should be one that will work for you.

  3. It's the current consumption that's the issue. I wanted to see if I could run something at 800 watts for a continuous 15-minute period on my system before I went out and invested in a microwave. But yes, Krys, they do indeed have 12-volt microwaves, and that was the point of the discussion I was having a few years ago, the discussion that attracted ... errr ... adverse criticism.

    But now I know that I can do it, next stop is to find a cheap basic microwave, an ASDA or Tesco type of thing at £30 or so. When the house is organised (whenever that might be) I'll be buying a big woodstove to cook on in the winter. For the summer I'll be using a slow cooker, an electric steamer and hopefully a microwave oven. I want to get away from the idea of bottled gas.

  4. You could make your own gas... All it needs is for you to build a methane digester and you're there.

  5. Here's another thought too... They devised for Africa where voltages and current may be very variable during the day, a novel gas generator. It needed a dumpy gas cylinder that was part-filled with water. Then electricity was passed through to crack the water. The oxygen was let out through a vent while the hydrogen was contained. That hydrogen though at low pressure was good for cooker fuel.