08 Mar #6 Energy-efficient appliances
On board, we tried to make all energy consumers as economical as possible. This was a big investment, but necessary to live self-sufficient.
To begin with, we have replaced all lighting for LED lighting. Both inside and outside, all lamps have been replaced. In the past, light bulbs that require much more power than LED lighting were used for the duty and navigation lighting. So far, one lamp has broken down on the journey. Fortunately, we had bought a few reserve in advance, so this didn’t cause any problems along the way. We also replaced our deck lighting for an LED lamp in the bezaanmast. Inside, with the second thing to our oil lamps, we also replaced everything. What strikes us is that the LED lighting will break down quickly if it does not get constant voltage but a variable voltage. So don’t just place your LED on the 12V battery bank, but place a DC/DC converter in between if needed. That saves you a lot of work.
For five years we have not been cooking on gas or diesel, but on our induction hob on board. In total we have two “pips”, which can be bet variable from 200W to 1800W per plate. Usually we cook and bake when the plate is at 800W. Because cooking with induction is many times faster than with gas, you save energy here. Unfortunately, two have broken down in five years. This while the voltage is supplied by a Victron pure sinus inverter. That’s why we switched to two separate hobs with each one pit. As soon as another piece goes down, we’ll only have to replace a pit. So always bring a spare on the go. An additional advantage is that we do not have gas on board and therefore never run the risk of having a gas leak. When we sometimes see other boats stunting with their gas cylinders to fill in impossible places, we are always happy with our electric cooker.
In addition, we cook a lot with a small rice cooker. This one only asks 500W. Because it is large enough for 2-3 people, we also do not waste extra energy on large pans. In addition, the lid closes the rice cooker well, which is also useful during sailing. For example, the rice/pasta/eggs are less likely to fly out of the pan and through the cabin.
Furthermore, we bake a loaf of bread with a bread machine about once every three days along the way. This requires about 800Wh of power, which is equivalent to 1.5 hours of plenty of sun on board.
The refrigerator is an (energy efficient) 12V Dometic refrigerator. It’s a rib out of your body, but then you have the top model according to the seller. It can stay on while sailing until a certain sea corridor and is energy efficient. Our experience has shown that if the fridge is well full, it clearly requires less energy. But once you’re in the warmer areas and there’s not much in the fridge, it asks so much that sometimes you have to get out of the fridge. We also often turn off the fridge manually before we go to sleep, and then turn it back on in the morning. This saves a lot of power.
We boil water via a regular kettle, because I have not encountered a better alternative so far. If anyone ever has a better idea for this, let us know. We also installed two (look-a-like) cookers. One for the sink and one for the shower. This requires a lot of power (3000W), but if we are in the port or if we have generated enough power, then this way we will have water up to 70 degrees within 10 seconds. For example, a boiler does not have to be turned on constantly to wait for hours for hot water. Definitely a must!
Next week we will tell you how we cook with the sun in a different way. Questions? Please email us to firstname.lastname@example.org