Coffee is the world’s favorite drink. It has been for centuries, and it will be for many more to come. There are many different ways of brewing coffee and each has different power consumption and with some not requiring any electricity at all.
There are many different types of coffee makers on the market, but all work in more or less the same way. The most common one in our homes is the drip coffee maker. They are called ‘drip’ because the water flows through the grounds under the action of gravity, and the brewed coffee drips down into a carafe or pot.
We’ve put together this guide on how much solar power would be needed to brew coffee so that you can figure out what kind of system suits your needs best.
How much Solar Power for a 1500-watt Single Pod Coffee Maker
A Single pod coffee maker is a coffee maker that does not use a traditional pot. Instead, it uses individual pods of grounds, water, and filters that are inserted one at a time into the machine. Single Pods will require less energy to produce one cup of coffee as the heating element is smaller and the brewing process is less.
A drip coffee maker is rated at around 1500 watts which is a lot. But you will only need to use the coffee maker for anywhere between five to seven minutes to brew 6 cups of coffee from a duo coffee maker.
However, you should be aware that if you don’t turn it off a coffee maker continues to use power to maintain the temperature of the water. This is at least 60 watts of power an hour.
To run a 1500-watt coffee maker for an hour you’ll need seven 100-watt solar panels and a 24v 200ah Lithium Battery. To run the same coffee maker for 5 minutes to make 6 cups you’ll need a 60-watt solar panel and a 12v 50ah lithium battery. This is with a 2000-watt inverter.
Let’s take you through the math.
Coffee Maker Watt-hour Requirement
The energy required to power electrical appliances is measured by Watt-Hours. In order to calculate the Watt-Hours, calculate your power consumption of a device or appliance and then multiply that number by the time that you’re using the appliance.
Hours of Watts equals Watts X Hours
To run a coffee maker for one-hour you’ll need 1500 Watt-hours or 1.5 kiloWatt-hours (kWh)
But just like a blender, you need minutes not hours to run your coffee maker for hours.
For instance, if you intend to use your Coffee Maker for four minutes, then:
= 1500 Watts (5/60) hours
This comes to 125 Wh
Therefore, you’ll need 125 Watts-hours to make 6 cups of coffee. Now let’s add another two hours to keep the water warm.
= 60 Watts x 2 hours
120 Watt Hours
So you will actually end up doubling energy use just to keep the coffee warm. So it’s advisable to shut off the coffee maker and keep your coffee warm in a thermos and save energy.
How many solar panels are required for the Coffee Maker?
The size of solar panels is contingent on the location and also altitude as well as the distance from the Equator. If you’re in an area that receives about 4 hours of sunlight every day, you’ll need to divide the total number of Watt-hours you require by this number.
So 1500Wh you’ll need:
1500/4= 375 Watts
125Wh/4 = 31 Watts
Solar panels are inefficient and there are power losses throughout the system. So you’ll require at least twice the wattage of the solar panel in order to create the amps needed for the recharge of the battery that powers the Coffee Maker.
So you will need a 750-watt solar panel or seven 100-watt solar panels. To power your Coffee Maker for 5 minutes, you’ll need a minimum of 60 Watts of Solar Panel.
What Size Battery for a Coffee maker?
To figure out the number of batteries you’ll require to power the coffee maker you’ll need to convert Watt-hours to Amp-hours. This is how the majority of batteries are rated. Amp-hours is equal to the power of 1 amp that is used in an hour.
In order to calculate the Amp-hours, you must divide the Watt-hours of this equation with the value of the voltage. A bank’s voltage typically is in the range of 12V up to 24V depending on how you connect the system.
1500/12 = 125
1500/24 = 62.5
You’ll need 125 Amps an hour to run a 1500-watt coffee maker in a 12v system and 62.5 amps in a 24v system. That will be a battery that is at least 600Ah and 300Ah respectively. Quite a huge number of amps. A 24v 200Ah Lithium battery can support 60 amps however it will only last around 3 hours with this draw.
However, we just need to run the coffee maker for a few minutes. Our requirement for 5 minutes is 125Wh. So we need:
125/12 = 10.41 Ah
125/24= 5.20 Ah
So we’ll need a battery that can support 10 amps per hour in a 12v system and 6 amps an hour for 24v system. A 12v 50ah battery and 24v 25Ah will actually be enough. Note that this is when nothing else is running on the system and you are running the coffee maker within 5 minutes.
This rating applies only to lithium batteries that have 90 percent of their discharge. If you’re using an acid lead battery that can be discharged up to 50 percent, then you’ll have to boost the capacity two twice as this.
To ensure that the battery has enough reserve capacity, it’s advised to boost the capacity of the battery by at least three times its size. This is why the most effective suggestion is to use an average battery size of 150Ah 12v battery and a 100Ah 24v battery (Technically not three times but this is what you’ll get in the market).
What size Inverter for a 1500-watt coffee maker
Inverters convert DC electricity to AC power. Its main function is to increase the battery’s voltage to match that of the wall outlet in your home. This could be 220V or 110V.
When selecting an inverter you’ll have to determine the power output of the device with the inverter. It’s also important to be aware of the surge watts created by the gadget i.e the energy required to get the device started. It could exceed the running power of the device by a significant amount.
If you are looking for a Coffee Maker with 1500 watts, you can choose an inverter that has at least 2000 watts and higher since it does not require power surges. Inverters with exactly 1500 watts are not a viable option because inverters have a power factor of about 0.8 so an inverter with a power factor of 0.8 can only generate 1200 watts which won’t power the coffee maker.
The coffee maker is a very popular appliance It’s one of the most used kitchen appliances in our homes. While a coffee maker is high wattage appliance that isn’t energy efficient you can still use solar power to run it. To do this, you will need to select an inverter that has enough power output to run it and a suitable battery and solar panels.