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close this bookBoiling Point No. 38 : Household Energy in High Cold Regions (ITDG - ITDG, 1997, 40 p.)
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View the documentA Better Bonfire Kiln for Stoves and Pots
View the documentMeasuring successes and setbacks: How to monitor and evaluate household energy projects
View the documentSolar Heating in Cold Regions

A Better Bonfire Kiln for Stoves and Pots

by Moses Agumba and Vivienne Abbott. Intermediate Technology Kenya 1996

The manual explains how to build, use and maintain a better bonfire kiln. It is intended for potters, women's groups engaged in pottery activities and agencies who work with potters.

The better bonfire kiln is a simple structure built from locally made bricks. The kiln is constructed on a slightly raised foundation to protect it from damp. It is a brick cylinder built over five firebox channels. For each firing, a mud dome is made over the kiln to keep in the heat.

It is 'better' because:

· it holds the heat - so it requires less fuel
· it heats up and cools down slowly so less pots and stoves crack (less than 10%)
· it distributes the heat more evenly so pots and stoves are more evenly fired
· it is made of local bricks using local skills - so it is cheap to build
· it is easy to build, use and maintain

The booklet is written in plain English with all technical terms explained and with clear drawings of the kiln and construction processes and the equipment needed. It is one of a series of booklets being produced by IT Kenya about household energy in East Africa

Review by Ian Grant

Measuring successes and setbacks: How to monitor and evaluate household energy projects

GTZ/HEP and international Technology Development Group (ITDG) with The Foundation for Woodstove e Dissemination (FWD) (1996)

This publication emerged out of a joint project between GTZ, ITDG, FWD, and, originally, the Association de Bois de Feu. It is the result of a collaborative effort on the part of household energy specialists from fifteen countries working together for over four years. The manual has been field tested in twelve projects in Africa, Asia and Central America.

The manual addresses the need for training materials in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of household energy programmes, responding to requests for assistance from project partners. Through the use of the manual, information about why household energy programmes succeed or fail can be obtained. With the manual, the editors hope to equip project staff to use M&E to give beneficiaries a clearer voice in the context of household energy projects.

The manual offers advice and ideas on planning and conducting M&E and suggests methods for carrying out the various tasks. Nevertheless, the authors do not see their handbook as a definite set of guidelines. They caution that the guidelines have to be adapted to each project's objectives and the individual socio-economic, political and technical environment.

The second part of the book shows practical ways of how to carry out M&E in household energy projects. This part is subdivided into three major sections according to the field of intervention;

· M&E for management
· M&E with producers and distributes
· M&E with users

After a short introduction for each section, concentrating on the key questions, a complete list of suggested indicators (i.e. what to measure) is compiled in distinct and comprehensive tables. Further columns present what should be considered and what should be done with the information. The authors emphasise that before developing and using an monitoring and evaluation system, each individual project must first analyse its information needs, i.e. 'who needs which kind of information at what accuracy for what purpose and when?' It is thus obvious that the lists can only provide a framework.

In conclusion, this manual should be very useful for everyone working and participating in household energy measures, i.e. managers, staff users, producers, researchers, partner agencies, and donors. Hopefully, it will lead to a wider acceptance, increased application and improved participation of M&E methods in household energy projects. With the assistance of this publication, important insights on successes, setbacks, and failures of projects can be gained. The manual is based on vast experiences from numerous specialists and projects. However, it will be important to improve and update the manual continuously. Lessons learnt and new experiences need to be incorporated. Feedback is, thus, more than welcome.

Solar Heating in Cold Regions

by Jean-Frans Rozis and Alain Guinebault, ISBN 1-85339-329-0. Intermediate Technology Publications

This book is primarily aimed at technicians, architects and designers who are interested in solar heating systems in cold regions of developing countries where heating is an issue of utmost importance. It looks at how solar energy can be applied to improve conditions for poor people living in these regions. It is involved solely with space heating and does not look at the issues involved in solar cooking nor at photovoltaic systems. The book is divided into three parts: pan one examines the issues involved in solar heating; part two discusses particular solar elements which can be used in household and agricultural situations; part three looks at the physics involved in solar heating.

Part 1: The book opens with a brief outline of the types of solar energy available, followed by a description of the developing regions of the world where solar energy could have a major impact; the Andean Cordillera, the Himalayan chain and the Chinese plateau. The social and economic similarities of peoples living within these regions are highlighted.

Having discussed the problems caused by the lack of heating which these communities face, the benefits of using passive solar heating for houses, community buildings and agriculture are examined. The chapter ends with four case studies centred on the Moroccan Atlas, Sikkim (India), the Andahuaylas region (Peru) and Ladakh (India). Chapter 2 deals with enabling methodologies for solar projects.

Part 2: The second part of the book looks at specific solar elements; how they are constructed and how they work. Chapter 3 looks at living space and in particular at solar walls, trombe walls, attached greenhouses and a mixed hammansolar wall system used in a hospital in Ladakh.

Part 3: This is considerably more technical than the earlier chapters of the book. It discusses the factors affecting radiation: atmospheric conditions, thickness of atmosphere, angle of incidence etc., and how the quantity of radiation can be calculated. A very basic guide to heat transfer follows, which has good tables of thermal properties for appropriate materials. The next chapter deals with the absorption, collection, storage and distribution of heat energy, both indirectly through glass, and directly into large thermal masses. The role of thermal insulation is outlined in Chapter 8 for both glazed and opaque surfaces. The final two chapters combine all these ideas to discuss building design, choice of system and how to predict a building's thermal performance.

There are seven informative appendices which provide design details and graphs for solar greenhouses, henhouses and latent heat collectors and a method for economic analysis of benefits accrued through use of solar heating. The book is also published in French.