Date of Award
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2013.
A fuel efficient cookstove tailored to the needs of Nicaraguan small business owners that incorporated insulation and thermoelectric power generation was built and validated. There is a 4 inch layer of pumice rock insulation around the combustion chamber, which significantly reduces convective heat losses to the environment. The stove's ventilation system is powered by the electricity generated by thermoelectric generators. Preheated air is forced into the combustion chamber, which increases the combustion efficiency, reducing the fuel consumption and the harmful smoke produced. Through various testing methods, we found that the controlled airflow to the charcoal fuel allows the stove to maintain the desired cooking temperature 38% longer that the standard inefficient stoves. This longer burn time translates directly into fuel savings, as the operator requires less fuel to accomplish the same cooking task. It is estimated that a customer could save at least $200/year on fuel, which represents two month's salary in Nicaragua. Compared to uninsulated stoves, our design reduces the outer wall temperature by 700° F, which is a significant safety improvement. The voltage generated by the TEGs, typically between 1.5-2.5 volts, is enough to power the fans; however, more work needs to be done to optimize a power management circuit that would facilitate device charging.
Horman, Christine; Lee, Matthew; and Wagner, Mark, "Thermoelectric cookstove" (2013). Mechanical Engineering Senior Theses. 3.