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Old 12-12-2014, 17:02   #1
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Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

We have a very nice Senken two 'burner' stove top which works nicely from shore power, but refuses to heat anything when run from our Cobra 2500 watt (continuous, 5000 watt 'surge') inverter. One forum suggested ading 10 uF AC capacitor which we did but to no avail. Has anyone out there had any success running an induction stove or cook top from a Modified (not Pure) sine wave inverter?
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Old 12-12-2014, 17:12   #2
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

Can you give us any more information? What is the rated power of your cooktop? Have you tried using a very small pot centered on the smaller of the two burners (if they are not the same size)?

From what I know of induction cooktops, I don't think the modified sine wave is likely to be your problem, but inverter capacity could be your problem.
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Old 12-12-2014, 17:20   #3
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

I'm pretty sure your problem is the modified sine wave inverter. Microwave ovens also don't run well on modified sine wave, they prefer clean pure sine wave power.
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Old 12-12-2014, 17:50   #4
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

Wow -- thanks for the quick replies.

The rated power for the unit is 1.8kW (15amp @120vAC) We normally run it at 800 watts on one 'hob' and 300 on the other, usually only one at a time, but it will do both on shore power. It has the 'power-sharing' feature common in most of these units, i.e. each hob can run at full power but not both together.

I have checked the power draw and the inverter says it is delivering about 1.2kW when we run the one hob at "800." We have tried different pots and pans (cast iron and 400 series stainless) as well as the flat converter (steel) thing for aluminum or copper. All work well on shore power.

But when connected to the inverter - no other loads on it - the thing just does not heat. Water in a pot just stays cold. The Senken says it is running and heating at "800," but the inverter shows negligible power draw (50w) and nothing gets hot.

We run a Sharp Carousel Convection 2 micro-wave as well as a lathe, band saw, etc., on the inverter with no problems.
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Old 12-12-2014, 18:42   #5
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
I'm pretty sure your problem is the modified sine wave inverter. Microwave ovens also don't run well on modified sine wave, they prefer clean pure sine wave power.
I have run three different microwave ovens on modified sine wave inverters. One would sometimes not start cooking but then cook if restarted. The other two worked OK but I did a test and the latest one was about 10% slower boiling a cup of water on inverter power.

For the OP, have you considered contacting the manufacturer of your cooktop about your problem?
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Old 12-12-2014, 18:42   #6
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

Are you saying that the inverter shows drawing 1.2kw, but the pan does not get hot? If so, very strange, where is all the energy going??
Does the cooktop electronics get hot?
Are you sure the inverter is still working right?

btw, have recently been working on microwave ovens, they should not need a sine wave to work, but they do need the full voltage and if that sags from the amp draw it might not work.
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Old 12-12-2014, 21:20   #7
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

Nimblemotors: Sorry, the 1.2kW inverter output reading was when it was powering a waterheater, not the Senken. When connected to the Senken it shows 50w output. The Senken shows 800w or 300w on the other hob, and no error but nothing gets hot.

There is only a blank screen from senken.com and google search only gives me sources and reviews from amazon -- all bad.

The basic question is, has anyone successfully run a small induction cook-top from a modified sine inverter?

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
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Old 13-12-2014, 00:50   #8
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

Not all MSW inverters are equal. Neither are induction cookers. It's always going to be a case of trial and error. Some will work together, others won't.
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Old 13-12-2014, 05:12   #9
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

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Originally Posted by kefroeschner View Post
Nimblemotors: Sorry, the 1.2kW inverter output reading was when it was powering a waterheater, not the Senken. When connected to the Senken it shows 50w output. The Senken shows 800w or 300w on the other hob, and no error but nothing gets hot.

There is only a blank screen from senken.com and google search only gives me sources and reviews from amazon -- all bad.

The basic question is, has anyone successfully run a small induction cook-top from a modified sine inverter?

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

Is the cooktop actually set up to draw power from the inverter? I know some inverter installations only enable certain appliances (or certain breakers on a panel, specific outlets, etc.). Perhaps the cooktop is only drawing from battery power?

Just a thought...

-Chris
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Old 13-12-2014, 05:50   #10
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Is the cooktop actually set up to draw power from the inverter? I know some inverter installations only enable certain appliances (or certain breakers on a panel, specific outlets, etc.). Perhaps the cooktop is only drawing from battery power?

Just a thought...

-Chris
You were doing fine until that last sentence. Perhaps you meant to say "shorepower"?
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Old 13-12-2014, 07:58   #11
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

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Not all MSW inverters are equal. Neither are induction cookers. It's always going to be a case of trial and error. Some will work together, others won't.
Seems so. What I am looking for is which with which.

I am ready to junk both the Senken and the Cobra 2575 inverter, but a clue as to what to try next would be super useful.
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Old 13-12-2014, 09:50   #12
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by kefroeschner View Post
We have a very nice Senken two 'burner' stove top which works nicely from shore power, but refuses to heat anything when run from our Cobra 2500 watt (continuous, 5000 watt 'surge') inverter. One forum suggested ading 10 uF AC capacitor which we did but to no avail. Has anyone out there had any success running an induction stove or cook top from a Modified (not Pure) sine wave inverter?
Go to Walmart and buy a $98 induction cook top. Give it a try. Save the packaging and return it if it doesn't work.

I'd be interested in hearing the results.
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Old 13-12-2014, 10:45   #13
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

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Originally Posted by kefroeschner View Post
Seems so. What I am looking for is which with which.

I am ready to junk both the Senken and the Cobra 2575 inverter, but a clue as to what to try next would be super useful.
I'd try a pure sine wave inverter. Induction cooktops have some pretty sophisticated electronics in them that might hate dirty power.
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Old 13-12-2014, 11:00   #14
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

Is the cooktop actually set up to draw power from the inverter?

That would be the next thing to check.
It seems some inverters don't output power unless a draw is detected, and perhaps the cooktop doesn't work until iT sees power coming in, so there is a stalemate between the two.
I don't think sine-wave or not is an issue, the cooktop just converts it to DC. Sine wave is mostly an issue for motors that need the slower ramping up/down of the AC voltage.
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Old 13-12-2014, 12:53   #15
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Re: Induction cook-top and inverter compatibility

Hi,

Let me throw my two cents in here. First every Induction Cook Top I have tested from Pro Grade's like Cook Tek ( which I own ) to the infamous unit Sold on TV all cook in the same manner.

They don't have as Sophisticated Control Systems as One may think. Although they will hold a specified temperature they do so in an Old School manner with a Dead Band around that Set Point. This Means They Come On Full Power until they reach the Set Point and then Shut Off until the temperature falls off to the Low Side of the Dead Band. They do not regulate Inductive Power at a Specific Set Point.

I too had anticipated that these Induction Cook Tops would have a Sophisticated Control Circuit that would limit the amount of Inductive Power to the pan to Coequal that which was needed to hold a Specific Temperature. I was sadly disappointed to learn through use and testing that they do not. At least the units I have tested personally, which includes the American Designed and Made in the USA Cook Tek.

A simple test which you can do - without the aid of any test equipment - can be done by simply adding water (you don't need much, just enough to prevent burning the pan) to a pan or pot & set the temperature to say 150 degrees. Now wait for the heating cycle to bring the water up to temperature ... You will see bubbles begin to form on the bottom as it attempts to bring the mass of pot and water to the set temperature. Once the unit determines it has done so it will Shut Off the Inductive Power Unit ... at this point you will see the bubbles in the bottom of the pan disappear until the Low Side of the units Dead Band Range is reached at which point you will see the Bubbles reappear. Which only means one thing ... The Inductive Energy is Either On @ Full Power or Off with only enough draw to operate the Fan and Control Circuit. If these units utilized Truly sophisticated Control Circuits you would never see any Cycling once the Set Point was reached and thus you would have a Consistent Draw of Power from your system and it would be impossible to burn anything with an Induction Cook Top if it was set properly.

Because these units operate in the manner that they do I find that they are less than optimal ... considering what's possible with current state of the art Temperature Controllers !

What can help is the use of Heavy Cast Iron which will moderate the temperature better than most other containers.

The Point I'm trying to make here is that The Unit is going to Draw at It's Maximum Wattage (1.8 Kw in your case) when it's Ramping-Up to it's Set Temperature and will shut Down once it has reached that point - probably with some level of time delay. And the Cycling Begins. They do not reach that point and then Hold at some reduced power level to maintain that set point.

So when you say you set your Hob @ 800 Watts that is only a Temperature Set-Point Reference ... it is not what the unit is limited to at any moment in time. It will be @ full power until it reaches that Set-Point and then it will Shut-Off the Inductive Power to Zero.

Sorry for being Long Winded but I wanted to make the point clearly ... I hope I did so.

Sincerely,
Erasmuss
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