The local methods of preparing foods involve heating water from room temperature to boiling point. This stage in cooking consumes over 70% of the total fuel required to make the same food ready for consumption. This means a lot of cooking fuel is used at this stage.
In an attempt to address this problem, Dr. Moses Musaazi, a senior lecturer at the College of Engineering Art and Design, (CEDAT), Makerere University and Mr. Nicholas Kasekende from the same department, developed a “Hybrid Energy-Saving Charcoal Stove”.
The technology developed within this stove is the provision of cooking through the normal way, while heating water using would be heat loss. Cooking food is the primary objective while water heating is a secondary free benefit.
The stove uses biomass fuel like firewood, briquettes, or charcoal depending on availability.
Instead of an ordinary insulator, the stove is surrounded by a water jacket. This key innovation provides two savings; water being the insulator hence using less fuel, and the water heated to boiling point simultaneously at no extra cost of fuel.
“The overall energy efficiency is so high that, by comparison to conventional cooking, 70% of fuel wood is saved,” explained Kasekende.
The boiled water is stored in an insulated tank and stays hot for up to 48 hours.
The heater is linked to the flask by pipes fitted with special valves to stop water back flow. Cold water is sourced from the existing main water supply tank, which is raised high above the heater and flask to provide sufficient pressure.
The whole system is made out of stainless steel thus ensuring zero rusting.
This technological innovation has a number of advantages, ranging from economics, health, environment and durability.
“Raising the temperature of water from room temperature (25oC) to boiling point (100oC) takes a lot of time, which equates to a lot of fuel used in the process. When using hybrid cook stove, total firewood or charcoal consumption is cut by 70%. This has been confirmed from the already installed systems of this stove technology,” explained Kasekende.
This, Kasekende adds, means less fuel used, translating into fewer trees cut, thus, reduced environmental degradation. The pre-heated water enhances cooking, saving on fuel and time taken to prepare foods. The heated water, once cool, is safe for drinking.
According to Kasekende, “the system does not require electricity or any power mechanism at any stage. The user has control over the system since it uses gravitation pressure of water from the over head storage water tank”.
“When this stove system is installed, you experience a totally smokeless environment due to the special design of the stoves which don’t allow any smoke leakage. The entire kitchen is smokeless since all the smoke is directed to the chimney. This does not only eliminate eye and respiratory diseases to the users but also saving on medical bills. He adds.
“Hybrid cooking stove system provides a very conducive environment for workers since the kitchen environment is kept at normal temperatures. The water saturating around the stove absorbs all the heat from the stove hence leaving the kitchen with no excess heat.
Basing on the designer’s manual, the main parts of the whole system which are subjected to fire are made out of non- rusting material, stainless steel. The system is made to last for not less than 15 years under proper maintenance.
“Technology for Tomorrow guarantees a two years period, once we install this system,” adds Kasekende. The system is installed and marketed by “Technology for Tomorrow Ltd.”
With the escalating energy crisis in developing countries, there is a need to come up with energy saving techniques to utilize the scarce resources in a sustainable manner. The “High Efficient Hybrid Cooking Stove” fits in the energy saving programs.