Originally Posted by donradcliffe
Its basic thermodynamics-your genset is less than 30% efficient at converting its fuel energy into electricity. If you heat a pot of water on an electric cooktop you will use 3 times as much fuel as if you used the fuel in a diesel stove.
Not to mention the noise--we were told that the GB would have to be converted to propane cooking if it were to be sold in the Pacific Northwest, because boaters there really don't tolerate gensets running in the anchorages at dinnertime.
The efficiency of electric cooking is much higher than this, and can be equal to or better than a diesel stove depending on the cooker. Induction puts a larger proportion of the heat into the water than diesel or gas, and is instant on and off -- no fuel used getting and keeping it burning.
And an electric kettle puts 100% of the energy into the water, so even more efficient than induction.
Furthermore, depending on how you manage your loads, the electrical
power for cooking might even be free or nearly free -- as you're running the generator anyway to charge batts.
And concerning running the genset and disturbing others. If you have a high speed one (3000 or 3600 RPM), not in a sound enclosure, and/or without a water separator in the exhaust
, then yes.
But if you have a well-installed low speed heavy duty one, well isolated, with a water separator, and not too big, then you won't disturb anyone. In fact you generally can't even tell that such a generator is running from outside the boat. Mine is double isolated -- inside a sound enclosure and in turn inside a soundproof lead foil lined engine
room. Inside the boat, it's quieter than a dishwasher, and from outside it's totally inaudible. It's a real risk to forget that it's running and forget to shut it down.
My father's boat had a lot of solar
and no generator and it was wonderful. This is best of all if you have space to put the panels
and don't mind the windage, and if you have lead-acid batteries which love a long slow charge.
With LiFePo, however, to the extent any of us ever changes over to that, a largish generator is the most efficient way to charge.
In any case, electric cooking is the way to go on a cruising boat IMHO. No noxious gasses or combustion products or water vapor or unwanted heat into the boat interior
, none of the dangers of gas, no need to find, supply and carry another fuel, no entirely separate and safety
critical system to maintain. I don't like cooking with it as much as with gas, but as far as I'm concerned that's a small price
to pay for all of the benefits.