[Stoves] energy efficient wood stoves in central america
csellers42 at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 2 20:01:59 CST 2009
I happen to be in Guatemala building a few Justa-type stoves and fixing ONIL stoves which have been modified so that they can't save firewood - mainly I am getting more experience with implementation aspects (so that stoves aren't altered in the first place), but also seeing how cheaply stoves can be built for. Of course for each location it is necessary to first "derive" (as in, determine from the basic facts) the stove design from the needs of the local cooks and the materials available - if you provide a stove that uses distant materials or that is not liked then you can neither expect cheap nor success.
Much of my costs here are tied up in the metal parts - a hardware store 2 hole plancha and a custom grate, with a metal chimney being optional since masonry is possible - with the plancha alone costing ~$USD 41. Cement is the other necessary costly item at at least $8 for the minimum amount - other things are either not very expensive or can perhaps be made using somewhat found materials like stone and adobe. A complication here for some styles of plancha stoves is the lack of an existing support platform in kitchens since they presently cook on the earth - pouring a small cement floor and building a table to bring the stove top to the right height increases the total cost and time significantly.
But realistically I find it best to use bought cement blocks and bricks for the platform and body of the stove - few here are interested in the effort needed for stone, and adobe is not popular if people know that there is any other option; speed of construction is worth something too. Cement bodies, like the ONIL stove, can be made more locally (distributed manufacturing) to save on transportation costs and they just take forms, but I haven't priced out this option - I have no desire to duplicate Don O'Neal's work, just learn from it! The ONIL stove uses a beautiful cast iron plancha (in 2 parts) that I wish I knew the cost of - I can have custom made flat steel ones welded up instead of buying the hardware store ones, but since the holes in them are greatly preferred for good reasons, they aren't cheap enough to be worth the trouble for small numbers. And cast iron is the very best - we just all need to coordinate our efforts so that the same few
factories are used when possible, since they just keep getting cheaper as the volume goes up.
There are lots of other details I won't go into - there are better options for combustion chambers and insulation materials (at least compared to ashes - we are lucky to have volcanic pumice here) - but the bottom line appears to be cheaper durable planchas by any hook or crook, and then MAYBE we can approach $50... but with huge amounts of labor for construction (which you may need to pay for). And don't forget that some designs can be modified if there is not proper training and follow up - I see this too often in some towns with ONIL stoves because concrete is easy to hack to get the desired bigger fuel opening. It is very easy to end up with a stove which removes most of the smoke so gives the health benefits, but gives no fuel savings.
I would love to compare experiences, designs, construction details, costs, etc. and think that this is what we'll need in order to be able to access carbon credit funding for this huge geographical region - a few stoves here and there is just not worth the trouble for those people - and have plenty of photos.
From: tom abeles <tabeles at hotmail.com>
To: stoves at listserv.repp.org
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 3:15:33 PM
Subject: [Stoves] energy efficient wood stoves in central america
we have been looking at energy efficient stoves for use in central america's rural areas
we have seen:
prefab, ONIL stoves
field fabricated using std parts stoves
both of these, when installed cost over USD 100 which is cost prohibitive unless heavily subsidized
a field constructed stove which uses local materials which cost 1/4 of the above and which can be locally built and financed
we are looking for alternatives similar in cost to the locally fabricated stoves and which have a high energy efficiency
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