|Fuel Saving Cookstoves (GTZ, 1984)|
|7. Building Instructions|
Advantages of the material:
- Metal is durable, impact-resistant and weatherproof.
- Sheet metal is relatively light and therefore lends itself to portable stoves.
- Local craftspeople in poor countries are likely to be skilled in metal work; it would be easy for them to manufacture stoves.
- Metal objects are commonly traded in the market places; metal stoves could be bought and sold through the same channels.
- Scrap metal (e.g. old oil cans, scrap corrugated steel, aluminum cans) provides a cheap source of material if available.
Disadvantages of the material:
- Metal is an excellent conductor: therefore heat is lost rapidly through all sides of a metal stove. Cooking on a metal stove may be uncomfortably hot for the cook.
- Where metal has to be imported, metal stoves may be expensive.
- In some areas, the technology for manufacture may be unavailable.
The feu malgache or malagasy stove (Fig. 7-79) is widely used wherever charcoal is burned in West Africa. These stoves are either welded or riveted out of steel sheet or recycled metal. They are sold in various sizes to accommodate teapots as well as family size kettles.
- These stoves are within the means of most poor people.
- They provide some wind shelter for the fire.
- The slanted firebox walls automatically move charcoal onto the grate: "automatic" stoking.
- The square stoves especially are strong and durable.
- There are no pot supports.
- The square stove does not correspond to a pot's round shape: the heat of some of the burning coals is wasted.
- The round stove is difficult to manufacture out of heavy steel sheet: because they are thinner, round stoves tend to be less durable.
- The small bases make the stoves unstable and therefore dangerous. For this reason they are badly suited for foods that require vigorous stirring.
Ideas for improvement
The stove could be partially buried to reduce heat loss, this would also make it more stable (Fig. 7-80).
The metal walls could be lined with clay to reduce heat loss. Materials such as charcoal bits or organic matter could be added to the clay to further increase its insulating properties (Fig. 7-81).
Wind shields could reduce heat loss from the pot's sides (Fig. 7-82).
East African metal stove
This stove (Fig. 7-83) is the East African counterpart of the feu malgache. It is common in urban areas, where charcoal is the predominant fuel. It differs from the feu malgache in that it has straight firebox sides and uses three iron rods to support the pot. The air inlet has a damper door to regulate the airflow for combustion.
- The stoves are within the means of most people
- They provide some wind shelter.
- They feature a damper door to control air flow. If well used, a damper door can save fuel, and regulate heat intensity.
- Construction requires at least some imported iron (rods for the pot supports) which may make the stove relatively expensive.- It is necessary to rearrange and stoke the charcoal occasionally to keep it burning.
Ideas for improvement
Work on improving the East African metal stove has been done by Keith Openshaw and his collaborators in Tanzania. They found that by lining the inside of the firebox and the ash chamber with a 3 cm clay layer and increasing the air space in the grate to 25%, charcoal consumption could be reduced (Fig. 7-84).
The Tanzanian team recommends modifying the East African stoves only as an interim measure. To get substantially better performance, a stove of the Thai bucket type should be used (see Thai bucket, this Chapter).
For further information see:
A Comparison of Metal and Clay Charcoal Cooking Stoves, a paper by Keith Openshaw; available from
Division of Forestry Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science University of Dar es Salaam Box 643 MOROGORO Tanzania
Central American metal stove
Charcoal stoves exist in Central America. They differ from African charcoal stoves in that they have a shallow firebox and a large grid to support the pots. This allows more than one pot to cook at the same time (Fig. 7-85).
- They are within the means of most people.
- They provide wind protection for the fret
- More than one pot can be heated at the same time on these stoves.
- Because the shape of the firebox does not correspond to the shape of the pots, some of the charcoal burns uselessly. Much heat is lost around the pots.
- The cook is not protected from the heat.