While driving to Vadodara from ahmedabad, saw a vehicle with “eco-chulha” written on the back glass. Curious to know more, we waived to that car to stop. Ashwin Bhai, a non resident Gujarati entrepreneur owning many motels is an engineer interested in gasification and biomass stove design and manufacture. Exporting these stoves to many countries, only recently started tapping Indian market.
The principle used is simple. A double walled pot having a small 5 volt fan powered by mains or solar power has hot air pumped by fan on the top, sucking flame on to the cooking vessel. Works with most biomass and vessel kept on a stand a few inches above the flame.
NIF has recognised many biomass stoves and may be by collaborating with entrepreneurs like Ashwin Bhai, these can be tajes forward. The thermal combustion is about 48 per cent. Two smart executives tejas And Pravin patiently explained e dry aspect of the stove. They were proud that Madhya Pradesh government had procured ten thousand of these stoves for distribution to local communities.
May be we need to share the design widely and let people make these stoves according to the local cooking styles. From the 14 -20 per cent combustion efficiency in conventional chulhas, more than double the efficiency is a significant gain.
There can be a few design improvements. In the present design, girl is out from above and thus only small pieces of wood can be put. Long logs can not be used. May be even top feeding stove faces this challenge. The fan below is battery or electric powers, may be one could attach blow pump or pressure pump to blow the air. Places without electricity will face the problem. In evening when even solar battery will not work. The technology still seems robust. We will welcome to hear from readers who may have more ideas about designing an efficient, low cost frugal biomass stoves. If they are willing to make design open source and are willing to work with communities to co-design the stoves, then NIF will facilitate the distributed open design process involving creative communities and innovators.
Tejas Patel (firstname.lastname@example.org)