Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2016.


Electrical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Robert Marks

Second Advisor

Sally Wood


Our interdisciplinary team, known as Forge, has built a cookstove that not only can be a portable cookstove, but also includes a port to charge devices such as a phone using thermoelectrics. The product has been designed for developing areas in Nicaragua where power is inaccessible and a multi-purpose cookstove/phone charger could be of use. The cookstove features a cylindrical combustion chamber that can be used for gasification. Gasification is a burning process where smoke from the fire is also burned, creating higher temperatures and a cleaner burn. The combustion chamber is insulated using refractory cement, which will drop the temperature from about 700 Celsius inside the chamber to 200 Celsius outside the chamber. The cookstove outputs heat at a rate of 4.6-6.6 kW. The cookstove has thermoelectric modules attached to the outside, which, by utilizing the Seebeck effect, convert excess heat into electrical energy. Ideally, the energy would be transferred into the phone at 5 volts and 0.5-0.6 amps and some of the electrical energy would be used to power a cooling fan to help the stove function properly. The final temperatures that were recorded ranged from around 400ºC to 700ºC in the combustion chamber and around 500ºC for the cooking surface. Gasification was successfully occurring during this stage, and the smoke was being visibly burned off. The electrical output was less successful, resulting with only around 0.08 V coming out of the thermoelectric generators due to the lack of air flow within the electrical housing and poor electrical connection. The stove does achieve its primary functionality of being more than capable of boiling water, something that presently available cookstoves in Nicaragua cannot do consistently.