New cookstove design handbook to help entrepreneurs boost product performance and usability
Biomass cookstove technology and performance have significantly improved over the last decade. Yet entrepreneurs and designers trying to build a better stove can still face a wide range of challenges.
Design features that improve performance can come with higher production costs or usability challenges, for example. Enterprises often have limited resources for research and development, but must produce higher performing, usable, affordable technologies to stay competitive. R&D advancements that help balance these requirements are often not translated into practical guidance that is accessible to stove designers.
[pullquote]A new handbook aims to help designers and entrepreneurs by translating recent R&D advances into practical approaches for improving biomass cookstove performance, usability and affordability. The Handbook for Biomass Cookstove Research, Design, and Development, was developed in partnership with MIT’s D-Lab and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, with funding by UK aid from the UK government. Topics including ignition, air, fuel, mixing and materials are covered through a synthesis of research findings and innovations from several different organizations. These components of the cooking process are all highly interrelated, so the handbook also encourages consideration of these components together.
“It has been an honor to learn from many inspiring designers and researchers while working on this handbook. I hope that it can help to spark new ideas and more dialog within our community, especially the designers and entrepreneurs that are providing their communities with affordable cookstoves, but aren't always able to access conventional research outputs,” said Dan Sweeney, MIT D-Lab, Research Scientist.
As part of its efforts to create a thriving market for cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves promotes and supports a wide variety of cooking technologies. Different stoves and fuels appeal differently across customer segments and geographies; our goal is to ensure choice, transparency of performance and benefits, as well as availability and affordability of a variety of options, all with the broader goal of ensuring sustained adoption. The Alliance seeks wide accessibility of better cooking products, regardless of stove or fuel type. This handbook is focused on helping to improve the design, usability, and performance of biomass cookstoves.