| Boiling Point No. 06 - April 1984 |
on 'COOKSTOVES - FIREWOOD BURNING,DESIGNING AND TRANSFER'
The Consortium on Rural Technology (CORT) held a workshop on cookstoves in Delhi in September 1983, in order to interact with, and know more about the efforts being made and the designs being developed by, different institutions and organisations.
Many interesting papers were presented, some of which have been published in 'CHANGING VILLAGES', Vol 5, No 5, Sept-Oct 1983. In order to get proper guidelines both from the people in research and development, and from transfer agencies, conclusions and recommendations were received from the two groups of participants at the end of the workshop. We have made a selection from these of those which are particularly significant.
R & D GROUP
Standardisation of Testing Procedures:
The performance of a cookstove can be evaluated by carrying out the following three tests:
- Water Boiling Test
- Cooking simulation test (with water, two stage operation - boiling followed by half an hour simmering)
- Comparative cooking test (comparison of improved design with the local traditional one by cooking standard meals with locally available ingredients. Find the Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC) which is defined as: the grams of fuel required to cook a kilogram of cooked food. Time taken for cooking and the fuel saved should specifically be brought out.
There are currently 3 centres in India for evaluation of stove performance: the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; Central Power Research Institute, Bangalore; and the Dept of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Chandigarh. More centres should be identified with a minimum of one in each State.
Price of Materials:
In order to reduce the price of some of the existing designs to acceptable levels, studies should be diverted towards cheaper materials, like baked clay, etc. for which help may be taken from extension workers or existing agencies.
Life cycle tests of some of the critical components should be systematically studied.
The technologies using agricultural wastes to replace firewood should be encouraged and existing technologies should be tested and considered for fiscal incentives.
Agricultural waste like rice husk which can be used as a domestic fuel for the masses is being diverted to industry for commercial use. Measures should be taken to divert and supply raw materials for existing technologies which have been developed for producing domestic fuel from such raw material.
Exchange of Ideas:
CORT should act as a forum to enhance the exchange of ideas and information between different R & D groups as well as between R & D groups and field extension groups to facilitate development and design of better cookstoves.
TRANSFER AGENCIES GROUP
Survey of Cooking Practices:
Energy needs of different areas are of a local nature, depending upon the variations in the cultural habits, food and cooking habits, and locally available fuel resources. This calls for systematic survey of the cooking practices in the area.
Assessment of Traditionally used Chulahs:
Positive and negative aspects of the traditionally used chulahs should be compiled after discussion with users. This analysis would help the designers in making suitable devices on the basis of this information.
Smokeless chulahs should be included in the formal and non-formal adult education programme. Technical institutions, like Polytechnics, should include it in their curriculum.
All rural housing schemes should include smokeless chulahs as an integral part of their construction programme.
Incentives for the beneficiaries through government and non-government agencies should preferably be provided in kind (chimney, bricks, cement, etc).
Priority for Cookstoves:
Central and State Governments should accept cookstoves as a priority area and must include it in their Integrated Rural Development programmes.
Exchange of Information:
The R & D problems must be fed back to the research institutions for further work. Voluntary organisations should supply feed-back within three months.
A newsletter needs to be started. This would help to disseminate information both on R & D as well as extension aspects among the users.
A Committee was constituted for the follow-up action. It was suggested by the workshop participants that this Committee should submit a report on the 'state of the art', and also look into the difficulties that may e coming in the way of further extension whether these are due to lack of finances or of support from authorities, or any socio-economic difficulty.
Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the special issue of 'CHANGING VILLAGES' which includes the full recommendations as well as some of the technical papers, should write to CORT, A-89, Madhuvan, New Delhi 110092 India, asking details of price and postage.