Performance testing and techno-economic analysis to improve an affordable charcoal cookstove
Published in: 2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Over 95% of the population in Uganda relies on solid fuels for their cooking and heating needs . These are burned in a variety of cooking appliances, ranging from three-stone fires to improved cookstoves (ICS). Appropriate Energy Saving Technologies (AEST Ltd.) is a social business that manufactures and distributes Makaa fuel briquettes and charcoal cookstoves in Soroti, Uganda. This work summarizes collaboration with AEST to design for improved performance, usability, and manufacturability of their Makaa cookstove product. Two prototypes were selected and laboratory performance tested. The prototypes included engineered insulation materials which were compared to the current Makaa stove with mineral insulation. Techno-economic analyses were also performed in order to estimate and compare the production cost for each stove model. Combining the performance results with the cost analyses indicates that the most cost-effective design is a combination of the metal grate and vermiculite models. This design maximized performance and usability while also minimizing the time and cost of production. Recommendations were made for further product development, and an open-access cost-analysis tool was made available online to carry out similar techno-economic analysis.