Helpful ReplyAll electric?

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acain
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2017/04/03 13:17:25 (permalink)

All electric?

Is anyone using all electric and no gas at all? Or vice versa, all gas?  Im curios about what others opinions and/or experiance is . Certainly a larger or smaller menu, or one with a greater variety might have something to do with the decision to go one way or the other, so Id be interested to know WHY folks use one, the other, or both, and how it works out for them.
#1
Inferno
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/03 15:16:07 (permalink)
My concession trailer is all electric except the propane water heater. So my trailer needs 100amps to run it. The down side is, when you go to a festival and if they charge for electric, it can get pricey. My new food truck I'm changing over to half electric and half propane. Reason for it so I can have 2 generators mounted on the back to run the entire truck, now I only need 50 amps total with a 100lb propane tank. We will see how it works.
#2
Blakkmoon
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/03 15:26:39 (permalink)
I plan to be all electric.
But won't know how well it works until I'm done building.
 
Reasons:
1 -  Cost.  For me, where I live, Propane adds tens of thousands of $$$ to the build.
2. - Compressed gas can go BOOM!  No gas, far less chance of boom.
      No, it does not happen often.  When I was starting this build, that's what I was told.
      Literally 2 days later, one blew up in Minneapolis.
      I had just seen that truck a couple of weeks prior.
      Luckily it was in the guys driveway. Nobody got hurt.
3 -  I have to run a genny anyway.... why not just go that route??
4 -  Again, where I live, we have long winters.  Lots of winter festivals, poker derby's, sled racing, craft sales,
      auctions, Santa Parade, etc.
      NOBODY runs their truck in the winter, because propane compresses/reduces in the cold,
      And you can't run your equipment.  I will be able to do it.
 
Menu:
Grilled cheese, and related melty sandwiches.
Roast potatoes.
Soups in the cold weather.
Coffee, hot choc, fried cinnamon buns.
And so on.
 
 
But I'm kind of a nutbar, so who knows?  
#3
hpx
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/03 16:28:21 (permalink)
The main objection most have to electric is the recovery times. 
#4
Uncle Groucho
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/03 17:01:37 (permalink)
Use a Battery Bank...
Karl
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Blakkmoon
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/03 20:12:37 (permalink)
Hey Inferno...
 
So if you are running all electric...
What do you run for a generator?
What equipment are you running?
Do you have issues with recovery times?.... I mean your equipment  ..... I mean your trailer's equipment.....
#6
kreativekvs209
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/03 22:10:12 (permalink)
Inferno
My concession trailer is all electric except the propane water heater. So my trailer needs 100amps to run it. The down side is, when you go to a festival and if they charge for electric, it can get pricey. My new food truck I'm changing over to half electric and half propane. Reason for it so I can have 2 generators mounted on the back to run the entire truck, now I only need 50 amps total with a 100lb propane tank. We will see how it works.


hello inferno. I'm very curious on how your setup looks like... would you mind posting up some pictures?


#7
kreativekvs209
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/03 22:15:47 (permalink)
I'm working on putting together my food truck as well... unfortunately very slowly. and just like blakkmoon, I'm planning on going all electric. due to adding gas will add about $8k to the build and not to mention all the permits and licensing.  I'm planning on running a . Prep fridge, undercounter fridge. 2 rice cookers a counter top electrical deep fryer and an electrical flat top grill. as long as theres no "gas cooking" involved I have no need for an ansul fire suppression system which would run another $3k for equipment and about $2k for professional install and certification. hope this kinda helps.
#8
Blakkmoon
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/04 00:36:33 (permalink)
kreativekvs209
Did you mean - just like me you are going all electric?
Or just like me - you are going very slowly ?  
post edited by Blakkmoon - 2017/04/04 00:37:39
#9
kreativekvs209
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/04 00:49:39 (permalink)
Blakkmoon
kreativekvs209
Did you mean - just like me you are going all electric?
Or just like me - you are going very slowly ?  


both. lol
#10
edwmax
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/04 09:35:24 (permalink)
Blakkmoon
...
2. - Compressed gas can go BOOM!  No gas, far less chance of boom.
    No, it does not happen often.  When I was starting this build, that's what I was told.
      Literally 2 days later, one blew up in Minneapolis.
    I had just seen that truck a couple of weeks prior.
      Luckily it was in the guys driveway. Nobody got hurt.
...



 
NOT LIKELY!   Propane fires are due to very poor maintenance and leaking connections.   The connection may catch fire, but the tank is not likely to explode.   It will take a deliberate act to damage a tank & ignite the gas to make it explode.   ... Your electrical cooking equipment will have as much chance from poor maintenance & over heating of cooking oils to ignite and burn down the trailer as propane cooking.      ... Who every told you this doesn't know what he is talking about; or had an interest in you buying electric!
 
Here are two articles for reference:
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-risk-of-a-propane-tank-exploding
http://www.propane101.com/propanecylinderexplosions.htm
#11
acain
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/04 14:57:19 (permalink)
kreativekvs209
  I'm planning on running a . Prep fridge, undercounter fridge. 2 rice cookers a counter top electrical deep fryer and an electrical flat top grill. as long as theres no "gas cooking" involved I have no need for an ansul fire suppression system which would run another $3k for equipment and about $2k for professional install and certification. hope this kinda helps.




Yes, of course it helps.  Thanks.  All very helpfull feedback. I think the older I get the more I learn the importance of planning and researching things.
So...
Reasons to not use propane so far...
1. Cant operate in cold weather.  Not an issue in Florida
2. Saftey concerns. While a valid fearfor many people, I think
    if installed and maintaned properly, the risk of explosion is extremely low.
3. Cost. Right at the start this one could actually tip the scales for me. I need to  
     research more on the cost of installation as well as elec vs gas equipment.  
4. Extra cost of an ansul system... Not sure about this one a hundred percent either,
    because as I understand the law here, if you cook anything that results in "grease laden
    vapor" you have to have one. So an electric fryer is seen to be just as likely to cause a
    fire.
As far as reasons to not use electric, ...
1. Cook and serve times, slower recovery.
2. Again, cost, especially if at a function where you use the electric provided and incurr a
    charge.
And finally, when it comes to using both in combination,
1. efficiancy and conviniance. I think having options will make for more versitility.
2. common sense. Gotta have a generator any way, if I plan on having light.
 
Am I missing any thing? Anyone else? 
#12
Inferno
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/04 17:30:35 (permalink)
I use a 20kw diesel generator bumper pull to run my trailer. Bad thing about that is it takes a second vehicle to tow the generator to places. With the new food truck setup, half propane and half electric, I can mount two Honda EU7000is on the back and get my 50 amps to run everything plus I'm silent as the night. I would like to post some pictures but I don't think I have reached the min posts yet. And yes I know I could use some outside source to post but my season has just kicked off and my time to do it is scarce. 
 
The Equipment that I run in my trailer
1) Electric Holman conveyor oven
2) 2 prep tables
3) Stand up cooler
4) Stand up freezer
5) Under the counter cooler
6) Cooker/warmer unit
7) Slicer
8) Smoothie machine
9) Nacho chip warmer
10) Nacho cheese warmer
11) Propane water heater
12) Misc lights
 
Recovery time is nothing, my cooker warmer is a extra larger unit with quick recovery time to keep my chicken and Auju up to temp. We do very large volumes at our festivals and the equipment stays right where we need it.
#13
edwmax
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/04 18:04:49 (permalink)
acain
.....
Reasons to not use propane so far...
1. Cant operate in cold weather.  Not an issue in Florida
 ...
 
Am I missing any thing? Anyone else? 




Actually, you can if you plan for it such as heat blankets or LP gas generator (not electric gen).   This could be a problem with under size tanks in 60 deg. F weather even in Florida, but less of an issue as other colder locations.
 
However, how many customers would one have in 20 & 30 deg F weather?  Generally, Not enough to be profitable. This is usually the reason many mobile food trucks & trailers don't work during the winter.
post edited by edwmax - 2017/04/04 18:05:58
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Uncle Groucho
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/04 20:21:49 (permalink)
I would use Propane for the fryer , grill and hotwater , A good Honda generator should power the electric needs and then some. I can run my home summer or winter with my little Honda if the power goes out. Make sure you have a good transfer switch and quality shore line or heavy extension cords.
Good Luck
Karl
#15
Blakkmoon
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/04 21:53:54 (permalink)
Hey edwmax
Not that I am trying to be argumentative or anything...
Here is the article I was referring to
 
Here is another
and another
 
And I DO agree, not very likely to happen. SUPER rare in fact.
 
But gas lines and massive heavy trucks and miles of potholes. Not the greatest combination.
 
How many people actually leak check their lines and equipment daily?
Heck you can't EVEN leak check your appliances when all the connections are at the bottom in the back and everything is bolted down.
 
I have a gas leak detector for an RV, when I thought I might be going gas.
How many other people have one??
 
Not that I WOULDN'T go propane...
Maybe on the next truck.
But the added expense for ME for too much.
 
It MUST be installed HERE by a pro installer 
 
Here is one quote I got from one of the builders here.
This does not include the REST of the truck.... or the truck...
This does not include the wiring, or the genny or even the propane tanks.
 
This is JUST the basics of the hood, fan, fire supp, and elec. box
 
Accutech Engineering fee (Gas Approval Stamped) 2,600.00
Propane setup (new lines to gas equipment) (300xper piece of equip) 900.00
Interlock Switch 1800.00
Fire Suppression w/class K fire extinguisher 3390.00
½ HP Hoodfan 1200.00
6ft Exhaust Canopy 4500.00
Electrical Inspection fee 350.00
50 Amp Panel 467.00
Total: 15,207.00
 
And yeah... the gov. makes us get a an Engineer stamp!
 
#16
RodBangkok
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/04 22:14:19 (permalink)
Worlds apart for us, its all gas, and very little electric, we keep it to an absolute min as it gives the flexibility to hook up to electric about anywhere with a small plug.  Never had a gas leak, we use a manifold system and multiple tanks. Thats the other advantage in this part of the world, if in the city we can call and get tank exchange in usually less than 1 hour.  
And as for cost....I've built complete small trucks including the truck itself for less than what you listed above, but that's the far east, so not a fair comparison dollar for dollar.
But the biggest advantage is not having to have large gen systems, noisy and take up a lot of space.  So to each his own!  
#17
Blakkmoon
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/05 00:22:31 (permalink)
Inferno
I can mount two Honda EU7000is on the back and get my 50 amps to run everything plus I'm silent as the night.



I was looking at those as well.  Seems everybody uses them.
Silly part is, they will cost about the same as the whole dang propane setup.
 
Again, another big factor for me is wanting to work later into the year.
Somewhere on the site here, someone had the amount that propane condenses in the cold.
 
I can remember doing a private gig for Halloween when I had hot dog carts.
It was still above 0c  -  32f  for you guys, and yet i could not keep the thing going enough to do much more than keep the dogs warm.
Didn't know why back then.
 
And yeah, when you live in this kind of climate, lots of stuff still goes on when it gets cold.
I don't expect to work the entire winter.
But If I can get an extra handful of events out it, thats way better than the other guys.
#18
kreativekvs209
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/05 00:41:43 (permalink)
honestly if I had the extra $6-7k, I would love to run anything that cooks on gas. and minimum on electric. I absolutely hate trying to communicate with customers with a genny roaring..  even with Honda eu4000 stationed about 10 foot away from the service window, I still had a hard time taking orders. ( maybe I'm just going deaf ).
 
my goal is to set up my truck on an all electric set up at first. and WHEN capital allows I will either upgrade the current truck to gas grills and fryer, or just buy/make another food truck to what I really want out of a commercial kitchen. notice I said buy. lol .
#19
Blakkmoon
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/05 09:15:03 (permalink)
Oh yeah....
I totally forgot to add this ...DUH
 
Again... just for ME.
 
Based on my menu / equipment needs.
I don't plan to deep fry, or char broil anything.
So the only piece of equipment I would be using that could be gas would be a griddle.
MAYBE a steam table. But I haven't decided on that yet.
 
THAT was why I could not not justify the 15k for going gas for ONE piece of equipment.
And THEN still have a big generator to boot.
 
#20
Blakkmoon
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/05 23:59:28 (permalink)
RodBangkok
 
Thought you would get a real kick outa this ad that just showed up locally for a guy wanting to rent out his trailer.
Really gives you an idea of what costs are like for us here.

 
Doing the math..
Assuming you wanted to rent the unit for a month...
Monday - Thursday = 4 days x $200 = $800
Friday, Saturday, Sunday = $1250
1250 + 800 x 4 = $8200 Plus taxes.  wow!
 
#21
Inferno
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/06 00:06:29 (permalink)
If some sucker takes that, then I'm in the wrong business.
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edwmax
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/06 07:50:52 (permalink)
Blakkmoon
Hey edwmax
Not that I am trying to be argumentative or anything...
Here is the article I was referring to
 
Here is another
and another
 
....




In the first article the tank did not explode as you stated above.   The article specifically stated "Meyer reported that after the explosion he turned the propane tank service valve about a quarter turn, stopping the flow of propane. No explanation was given why the valve was open."       Therefore, the tank and valve was intact after the fire.  There had to been a gas leak inside truck.   ... So as I said, carelessness on the truck operator's part for not checking his equipment and not turning off the tank tanks when not in use.
 
The 2nd article the connection to the tank had to have come loose & ignite making a 'jet' flame to blow the tank 50 ft away from the truck.    All so, the tank could not have been properly secured to the truck and this may explain why this accident occurred.   ... Again 'BAD' maintenance by the truck operator.
 
You said: "But gas lines and massive heavy trucks and miles of potholes. Not the greatest combination."      ... This is Bad and improper installation by someone that doesn't know what he is doing!
 
You said:  "How many people actually leak check their lines and equipment daily?"    ... EVERY TIME you  startup the equipment.    LP gas has an 'odorant'.  So all you have to do is SMELL for gas.
 
Now go electric, put in undersized wires hanging loose along the walls.  Then with a heavy truck and miles of potholes (your words) to bounce and short wiring to the metal, you can be electrocuting the customers when the walkup and touch the truck at the order window. ...  Accidents due to poor maintenance can happen here too.
 
Regular Maintenance is REQUIRED on any equipment, including food trucks.
post edited by edwmax - 2017/04/06 08:01:20
#23
Blakkmoon
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/06 09:38:37 (permalink)
That reminds me of when I was gutting the 1st truck and found un-shielded, wires behind the walls with with the end wrapped in tape. LIVE.
The inspectors here told me if the wiring is behind the walls, no shielding is required.
But I'm using shielded 12 gauge anyway.
#24
acain
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/06 13:48:41 (permalink)
Well... as far as saftey issues. Its impossible to actually make a determination here, since its mostly a matter of opinion. Gas can be dangerous. Electric can be dangerous. I cant find any statistics on wich is MORE dangerous.  Without actual numbers its fruitless to argue it either way. But  mentioned something to add to the list of reasons for not using all elect. Noise level. And I have to assume , the more equipment you ran, the bigger noise maker you'd need to run it. If I were to run LIGHTING ONLY by elect. and the equipment by gas, would it be possible to use a smaller more quiet generator or some kind of inverter .. or batteries even... Hmmm?
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Uncle Groucho
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/06 15:05:10 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby acain 2017/04/07 08:39:56
You can use LEDs in your setup and run off 2 batteries for days , Inverter or 12volt dc.  Serious.
 
#26
Blakkmoon
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/06 21:47:57 (permalink)
Yup, I am running LED strip lights.
Around these parts, most people are running propane for the deep fryer, charbroiler, and or a griddle.
And probably for the water heater, seeing as they have the propane.
And then still a 7 to 10 kw genny to cover the fridge, freezer, lights, air, steam pans, etc.
 
It's funny, the ones who need hardly any electrical, will run the Honda 7000IS units, which are about $7500 around here.  They pull hardly any wattage off the units and boast about how quiet they are.
 
On the other hand, the other guys buy a 5kw champion non inverter model and max it out so it's screaming all day long.
 
#27
Inferno
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/07 00:44:13 (permalink)
I was going to run two Honda EU7000is in parallel but Honda recalled all of thier kits for this generator. It forced me to split my electrical box into two with two outside connection boxes. Same results just more work.
#28
acain
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Re: All electric? 2017/04/07 08:39:38 (permalink)
You can use LEDs in your setup and run off 2 batteries for days , Inverter or 12volt dc.  Serious.
 
How do the batteries stay charged? How long will they last, long term?
#29
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