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Old 05-04-2020, 11:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Middleton, WI
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Lightbulb (another tech idea) Would there be any value in a certification for "ecoOvens"?

The climate crisis is a real problem, and our cooking appliances (especially electric ovens) consume large amounts of energy. Despite this, electric ovens still use the same Stone-Age control philosophy they always have.

Turn the heating coil on, wait until the oven gets to 10-15 degrees above the set temp, turn it off, wait for the oven to drop 10-15 degrees below the set temp, turn the heating coil back on, rinse and repeat...
IMHO this is HORRIBLY inefficient. That's why I've devised a better way. DIRECTLY control the element by rapidly cycling it over a 10-second period (for half of the element's output one would turn it on for 5 seconds and off for 5). The element's output could be directly controlled to maintain the oven temp precisely. Solid-state relays in modern ovens are perfectly capable of such control.

A certified "eco-oven" would be required to cycle the element this way, it would have to meet a certain standard for peak power consumption (less than 3000 watts at the wall while preheating to 550 degrees) and it would be also required to have a convection fan. The fan-drive motor would have to be a brushless unit (brushless motors are over 80% efficient). Preheat times would no doubt be longer, but hey, its efficient!
Speaking of convection, another requirement would be a dedicated "ECO" button which would force the user to use convection (and drop the set temp 25 degrees automatically). This ECO feature would rely on the convection element to maintain the oven temperature once pre-heating had finished.

Optional feature: since a convection fan is a spinning disk of steel, opening the oven door when baking in convection ECO mode could engage the regenerative-braking capacity of the fan drive motor, stopping the fan within a second or two instead of just letting it spool down. The energy created could be stored in a capacitor, and then re-deployed when the oven door was closed, doing a little bit of the work of spinning the fan back up. Would capturing energy this way (especially given that only about 45-50% of the fan's kinetic energy can be captured to spin the fan back up again) be worth the cost of the energy storage, the motor controller, etc?

What do all the bakers in this forum think of the whole "super-efficient-oven" concept?

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Old 05-04-2020, 11:41 AM   #2
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I don't believe that method for meeting a standard is ever a good part of the requirements for that standard. If someone else thinks of a better way to accomplish the goal(s) of the standard, that should be acceptable.
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
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energy efficiency, other, oven

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