240V Microwave & Inverter for the Car

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 17:15
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We don't usually travel this way but for some missions a microwave in the car can be useful and low cost if you already have an inverter for it.

This is a test of a low cost option - for some time we have been able to run one in the car but recently I couldn't resist buying the Kmart $45 microwave and checking it out - it so cheap its almost disposable and makes a great little
second unit around the house.

They are called a Homemaker model EM720-CPI , I simply don't know how you can make and sell such a thing for so little.
They have been around most of this year and put out 650-700w.

We use a sub $200 1kw HIP-1000 sine wave inverter which isn't quite big enough but runs it well because mostly a microwave doesn't require its rated input power (1100-1150w).

Its important that you use a sine wave inverter simply because other types cause many non-direct heating appliances to rattle because of the voltage waveform.

Because our inverter is marginally rated for the oven it needs to run off 13+ volts and this means that the car engine should be running when using the microwave.
This isn't an issue because the typical current consumed is 65 amps and means we don't get a flat battery and even get some extra battery charging.
Usually your only running it for a few minutes anyway.

This microwave is less than 10kg and fairly small (20lt) , it fits next to the fridge in our car as shown.

Nomally we don't even bother win the 260mm glass rotating tray.

Have Fun
Robin Miller

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Reply By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 18:45

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 18:45
Yeah got a similar arrangement in my pontoon and yes your right they are disposable at that price, funny thing I have been using one in my ocean going boat for 10 years now and it still works. Great for heating up a pie or chicken roll etc on the run
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Reply By: Member - Mary W NW VIC - Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 20:52

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 20:52
Hi Robin ,
I have been contemplating something similar for a while.Purchased a 240 induction hotplate.On 240 it's super efficient and will boil a large billy of water in 6 mins.Has adjustable power req from 300 to 1800 amp Safe to use in the camper -no gas/no flame noo hot surfaces.Wonderful for the morning cuppa/baked beans etc in unclement weather.Don't mind starting the car -can pop the heater on too.
Do you think this would work with a 1000w inverter or would I need more Power
Welcome your and others opinions
Cheers,
Mary
"Some people walk in the rain,others just get wet."

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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 21:40

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 21:40
300 to 1800 amp!
Should heat up real quick– only trouble is you will need a separate vehicle to carry the battery.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 08:08

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 08:08
Hi Mary

Induction hotplates are great devices.

You should be right as your hotplate can be turned down to use less than 1000w and it would still be quite powerful.

Some devices though don't actually turn the power down but rather they switch power on and off repeatedly which reduces the average power and not the peak power.

A 1000w inverter will deliver 2000w peak but only for an instant.

You can do a test though which will give you and indication in advance.

What you do is get one of those cheap 4 outlet power boards which these days have to have an overload switch.
The overload switch usually operates at around 2500w

So if you plug in something like a 1500w iron and a 1500w electric kettle at the same time the cutout should operate.

After you reset it , just leave one appliance plugged in and instead of the second one plug in your hotplate on 1/2 power.

It should operate ok. (run the test last a few minutes - just incase your iron/ketle etc is working and not switched off by its internal temp control).

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Mary W NW VIC - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 21:24

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 21:24
Thanks Robin, I think I get the idea.Can't see why it won't work if the microwave will.Great for brekky in extra cold conditions and very safe in confined space.
Thanks very much ,
Mary
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