Australia has been hit with devastating wildfires. As of January 8, 2020, almost 800 homes were destroyed in the New Year. According to the state's Rural Fire Service, nearly 1,700 homes were destroyed in New South Wales alone.
Bushfires affected those on the grid by bringing down vital transmission lines; those off the grid who relied on solar panels or solar ovens were affected by days of heavy smoke haze.
Thankfully, there are resources available to ride out the fires even if the grid fails, or if there is too much smoke for solar oven or solar panels to work well. Here's how GoSun customer named Kerry who lives off the grid in Victoria, Australia (in an area not directly impacted by blazes but heavily impacted by smoke at times) has been able to weather these conditions, providing the comfort of hot food, using the Fusion (the first solar + electric oven to work off the grid).
[I] just want to say again, thank you Gosun, I would not be able to cook at the moment without the Fusion. We are drenched in smoke haze, and the temperature has dropped from being in the 40s (celsius, which is I think around the 120 Fahrenheit mark) over the last couple of weeks, to now pretty damned cold. I am off-grid with a small system, but there isn’t enough sun to use the Fusion as a solar oven nor to use very much power from my photovoltaic panels and batteries. So I’m so grateful to be able to cook with the Fusion just using electricity. I’m still testing what’s possible, but quite impressed that this chicken was cooked in a relatively short time – I think about an hour and a half or maybe two hours.
I preheated the oven by putting in some hot water and running it for a little while with the water (I know I’m not supposed to preheat it empty) before putting in the chicken. So nice – I would like to light my fire which is the only heating I have but I know the smell would freak my neighbors out – and there is already enough smell of smoke and burned forests in the air. My house is comfortable enough, fortunately, but it’s nice to have some warm food.
The smoke haze from the fires has been an ongoing challenge for Kerry because her smallish off-grid solar system has meant the batteries become drained over time if not replenished with good sun. Earlier in the week, Kerry knew her battery power wouldn’t last for essentials like fridges and freezers, and essential communications if she didn’t conserve it, and that ovens running just on the Sun, might not be enough:
I must say, with grey skies today, and smoky skies with not much sun at other times, I am feeling somewhat reassured that I have the Fusion and can run it on my household electricity. I’m off the grid, and don’t have gas (wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole due to fracking etc.), and in these conditions, I need to be mindful of not using too much battery power. So I use a benchtop induction hob, and I am so glad that when I did have sun, I did quite a lot of cooking with the Grill and the Fusion, so it means I only have to reheat things.
And some things I can fairly easily reheat in the Fusion I think. Plus, over the coming weeks in this terrible fire season, I think I’ll be able to do quite a lot with the Fusion – It’s really very reassuring… which to be honest folks, in this extremely fire-prone part of Victoria, Australia, so much of which is on fire at the moment, means the world.
We're glad that GoSun can continue to help out our community. And best of luck to you Kerry.