Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

USB Microwave

While I have my issues when it comes to microwaves, I realize it is a useful tool and that many people, to my dismay, rely on it for cooking most of their meals.  Though there are some things that I just rather cook in a microwave, but they don’t really have a place in tiny houses due to their size and power consumption.  That said, I never realized how much of an energy hog they were.  With models typically residing in the 750-1150 watt rang, they draw more energy than any refrigerator on the market does!

Heinz Snap Pots launches the world’s smallest microwave – the Beanzawave

The Beanzawave, which measures just 7.4 inches tall by 6.2 inches wide and 5.9 inches deep, doesn’t even need to be plugged into an electrical outlet.  The device contains a USB plug to provide its power.

This is great!  Not only is it about the size of a large thermos it also requires next to no power and can be stowed away easily

7 Comments
  1. A link would be nice

  2. That Beanzawave is certainly the smallest microwave I've seen but it looks barely big enough to heat up a single-serving snack cup. Perhaps more suited to a college dorm room than a house.

    Microwave ovens are about the most efficient method of cooking available. (Electric kettles are efficient too, but they are not general purpose cooking devices). Most other common methods of cooking (stoves, ovens and toasters, whether gas, electric or wood) waste energy heating the room as well as the food. Microwaves draw energy while in use but they do a good job of using that energy to heat the food, not the room. It takes a certain amount of energy to cook food. Heating something in that Beanzawave will take just as much energy as with a larger more powerful microwave; it will just take longer.

    I don't understand why you imply that microwaves are too big for a tiny house. They come in a wide range of sizes but even the largest ones are smaller than a regular stove. It seems to me that a microwave oven is the perfect complement to a tiny house.

  3. I completely agree with Frank! Remember the time element. A microwave will cook an item in about one tenth the time (and that's not counting time pre-heating the conventional oven), so the actual energy usage is MUCH less. (Energy is power x time, Kilowatt Hours, for example.)

  4. I too would echo the commits here, and also add, that heat of any kind if a very potent form of energy. It will always take a lot of energy to cook food, and as already stated, the microwave is one of the most efficient forms of cooking. Gasses and oil represent a tremendous amount of energy as well, so they may be more cost effective, but not as efficient or nearly as renewable. I most definitely wouldn't recommend something like a toaster oven on an off grid power system, forget about any sort of big electric heating (oven, space heater or water heater).

  5. The maximum power you can draw over normal USB is 5 volts, 500 milliamps, i.e., 2.5 W. Heating 100 milllitres of water (i.e., a tenth of a kilogram) from 20°C to 100°C (i.e., bringing it from room temperature to just about to the boil) would take 420 x 80 = 33.6 kJ which it would take this supply 13 440 seconds, over three and a half hours.

    With the charging options for USB the maximum current is 1.8 A so the power will be 9 W which would still take a bit over an hour. Even in this time the device would lose a lot of heat so it would actually take even longer.

    Something's really odd here.

    I also agree with the remarks above: a microwave draws a lot of power but for only a short period of time so the energy used is quite low. It would, however, be a bit of a concern for an off-grid installation because of the size of inverter required but it's still less power than the typical kettle so it's unlikely to be the limiting case unless you want to use the microwave and kettle simultaneously.

  6. This is a spoof, isn't it?: http://www.usbchainsaw.com/

Leave a Reply

What is 10 + 9 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve this