Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service

Aprovecho Research Center, August 20-23, 2004

Dear Friends,

The 2004 Summer Stoves Camp finished up a couple of weeks ago. There were 17 attendees from Nepal, Mexico and the US. Grad students from Iowa State and Colorado State worked as hard as they usually do, burning midnight oil when
I was home relaxing. Dr. Tami Bond (U of I), Dr. Paul Anderson (IS), Dr. Alan Berick (Lawrence Livermore, retired), and Dr. Bryan Wilson (CSU) created wonders and as professors do, worked harder than their students.

The ETHOS "Best Distance Made Good to Windward" prize went to the guys from Colorado State who lit a Coleman mantle creating a brilliant white light using wood gas! Honorable mentions went to Dr. Dale Andreatta who stayed in his lab in Ohio but was to be considered "in residence" at camp. His report on a week of experimentation with heat transfer is fascinating, as we have come to expect from Dale.

See: Dale Andreatta, Heat Transfer: Ethos Stoves Camp 2004

The students from Iowa State came very close to winning with their improvement of the VITA stove designed by Baldwin. Preliminary tests showed a 4 fold improvement in

Everyone was impressed with Paul Anderson's progress with the Junta stove. It did very well on both fuel efficiency and emissions! Great to see Paul succeeding to improve batch fed charcoal making stoves!

A list of accomplishments includes:

Creating a refugee stove from World Food Program cans that boils 5 litres of water in 14 minutes using less than 400 grams of wood while making little smoke.

Making a simple to build inexpensive institutional stove for the WFP from a single 55 gallon drum that boils 25 gallons of water.

Exploring self feeding using downdraft/downfeed to potentially be used to drive machines or lanterns.

Trying out the ITDG protocols for testing CO and particulates in houses and finding that the concentration of CO seems much more dependent on height of sensor in the room not distance from the fire.

Classes covered:

How to make lightweight ceramic refractory materials
How to make a Trees, Water, & People Justa stove
A comprehensive introduction to stove design
How to make a sheet metal camping stove from tin cans
How to test stoves for fuel efficiency and emissions
Participants split up into working groups and spent two days making prototypes to experiment with problems of interest. Please see photos for results...

Victor Berrueta who tests stoves for GIRA, an NGO in Mexico, received a full scholarship to the course and spent a week at Aprovecho exchanging ideas. He is a very gifted engineer and a wonderful person.

Some of us went sailing as promised, there was mescal to drink with dinner (thanks to Victor), and the beauty of the Aprovecho farm and forest and the warm friendship that we felt was palliative and inspiring. I love these gatherings mostly because learning is so fulfilling to me personally. Being in a group of motivated people who are very well educated and gifted always lifts my spirits and also moves the understanding of how to make better, inexpensive stoves for the poor one or two steps further along.

Pictures of the event and Dale's paper follow:

All Best,