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Handbook for Biomass Cookstove Research, Design, and Development

A new handbook aims to help designers and entrepreneurs by translating recent R&D advances into practical approaches for improving biomass cookstove performance, usability and affordability. The Handbook for Biomass Cookstove Research, Design, and Development, was developed in partnership with MIT’s D-Lab and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, with funding by UK aid from the UK government.

Downloadable at: http://cleancookstoves.org/resources/517.html

Chinese TLUD camp stove purchased on EBay
Stove insert and perforated pot support ring
Flame pattern with insert

Modifying a Retail Chinese TLUD Camp Stove for Improved Efficiency

The problem with the stove is that the primary air grate has large diamond shaped cuts for air. This allows the stove to burn excessively, producing a large flame exiting the stove top. The large flames envelope the pot bottom and sides producing heavy deposits of soot on the cooking utensil.

My idea was to modify the stove by reducing the primary air and attempt to force the flames back into the burner by using a stainless steel cylinder in the center of the stove opening to restrict the exiting air flow, and at the same time introducing air into the stove top by punching holes in the angled concentrator ring/pot support.

To restrict the primary air flow, a paint can lid was placed upside down inside the stove bottom. A threaded bolt was run through the center of the lid, and four small holes were punched for primary air. A stainless steel cylinder was affixed to the top of the threaded bolt. Cylinder height adjustments can be performed by loosening the jam nuts, repositioning, and re securing.

No fan is used.

The assembly is placed inside the stove, and wood pellets are poured onto the paint can lid. (About 1” deep). After the pellets are ignited, it takes around 5 minutes for the stove to gasify. After gasification, you can see the flames are being pushed down into the stove.

The PROFOGONES Project, created by Fundación Vida, is dedicated to promoting and developing the market for improved cooking stoves in Honduras.

Their website (in Spanish) is still under development, but they already have some excellent promotional and informational videos online:

Videos: http://profogones.hn/videos/

Main Site: http://profogones.hn/

I have built the ELSA stove that's
documented here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55r5DmvT3XE .

I started with a stainless steel trashcan that had seen better days. I
unrolled it and glued on ELSA stove blueprints from the web. Then I cut out
the shapes with a 24 tpi bimetal blade in a jigsaw.

I don't have an anvil, or the sheet-metal "curling" tool (is there a name
for it?) that is shown in the video. I bent the metal over some angle-iron,
and I made the tool from some stainless tubing I bought at the hardware
store.

I couldn't get the stove to light until I used the lighting cylinder, which
is shown in the video, for some extra draft. I used brown packing paper as
tinder, and wood pellets as fuel.

Small scale biochar production and use was discussed at the annual conference of the Engineers in Technical and Humanitarian Opportunities of Service (www.ethoscon.com)

An estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide cook their meals with biomass. ETHOS is an international group of individuals and organizations that promote improved cooking stoves for health, safety, and household energy. The Toplit Updraft or TLUD stoves are efficient and can produce biochar as a co-product of household energy.

Participants were interested in how biochars can be used to remediate soils and improve agriculture. Norman Baker, Sequim, showed how a 55 gallon TLUD can be used to make biochar for growing vegetables and improving nutrition. Paul Anderson (drtlud.com) described 12,000 TLUD stoves in India that product 10 tons of biochar each day. Users receive cash from selling the biochar to a German company, atmosfair gGmbH, which recovers carbon offsets for the energy savings and char to help fund the energy efficient cooking stoves. Art Donnelly, Seachar (seachar.org) demonstrated a new biochar making stove and described how biochar from cooking stoves has been used by coffee workers in Costa Rica. ETHOS participants are among the 1600 partners of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (cleancookstoves.org)

IFB stainless liner school rocket stove
IFB stainless liner school rocket stove skirt detail

On a recent trip to Haiti, I completed the first prototype of a new school rocket stove. This one has a 26 ga 330 stainless steel firebox liner, 2½" insulating firebrick walls, and galvanized steel outer shell. The skirt is 304 stainless inside, 1" ceramic fiber in the skirt floor and walls, and galvanized steel outer. The mouth and firebox are 6½" x 6½". The pot is 40 qts with the top diameter about 1/4" larger than the diameter near the bottom, and is imported. The locally available spherical bottom pots made skirt construction extremely difficult. We hope to someday produce this stove in quantity at a combined vocational school/stove factory.

steam pan charcoal stove
steam pan charcoal stove side bottom view
steam pan charcoal stove bottom with perforated lollipop air control
perforated lollipop air control closed

In my continuing quest to use readily available manufactured materials for stove construction, here is the steam pan charcoal stove with "perforated lollipop" air control. It is a 1/6 size steam pan (roughly 6" x 7" x 4" deep) inside a 1/2 size (roughly 10" x 12" x 6" deep) with 1" ceramic fiber board insulation between. The charcoal chamber is lined with expanded stainless steel to extend the life of the inner pan and improve air flow. Army surplus D rings are used for pot supports. Threaded rod for legs. It can be easily disassembled for repair. It has a small charcoal capacity like the BURN's Jikokoa (formerly Tank).
I plan to eventually build a two burner version in a full size steam pan.

ammo box stovetop oven outer with insulation and stainless lining
ammo box stovetop oven inner with gasket and stainless splash plate
ammo box stovetop oven with door removed
ammo box stovetop oven complete

On my trip to Haiti in March 2016, I finished the ammo box stovetop oven. It is made with two ammo boxes, ceramic fiber board insulation, some stainless steel sheet, and various hardware. The oven chamber is 13" x 13" x 5". I plan to add split firebricks on the floor for use as a pizza oven. It fits on a household rocket stove but could be used over virtually any heat source.

Manufacturing is helping improve the lives of women and girls in East Africa with its efficient charcoal-burning Jikokoa™ stove and opportunities for women to participate in its workforce. The stove itself represents a step-change in the design and efficiency of charcoal-burning cookstoves. As well as being an aspirational household product, it cuts down on smoke and soot by more than 60% compared to the widely used Kenya ceramic jiko. But it’s not just women using the stoves who benefit. With all manufacture now done in a new state-of-the-art factory in Kenya, BURN emphasises that all jobs are open to both men and women at all levels – just over half of its workforce are women.

More about the 2015 International Ashden Award Winners
http://www.ashden.org/awards/2015/international

Easy Oven Retained Heat Cooker
Easy Oven Retained Heat Cooker w/ Rocketworks Stove

Jo Kennard in Australia has developed a retained heat cooker the Easy Oven, and has developed an excellent table of recommended cooking times and recipes to go with it.

Inspired by traditional Haybox cookers, and made from modern materials, the EasyOven saves between 86% - 90% of energy used while cooking meals, keeps food hot (or cold) for up to 3 hours. It was field tested during the Christchurch earthquakes and the Brisbane floods, and it is at home both in rural kitchens and in suburban potlucks. For More information see http://www.easyoven.com.au

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