One project that I am conducting at Sunseed, is developing a cookstove model which can use the most abundant and renewable biomass that we have in the valley. This is the cane, which grows on the bank of the river invasively, filling them and making invisible the water flowing downstream.
The ultimate goal is to build an annex outside the Sunseed kitchen with various biomass gasification stoves for everyday use in the preparation of food. The system has to allow their use by any person in an easy and clean way.
Thus, it intends to add an alternative resource and sustainable to the solar cooking ovens we have and decrease the use of gas and the impact on the environment and the global economy.
After reviewing tons of information on the Internet: websites, PDF, videos, a thousand different experiences, I made a design for a stove called TLUD (Top Lit Up Draft). The first experiment was build the widely shown stove made from two metal cans. The result was surprising and motivating. Excited, I moved forward seeking to increase the power and the burning time. The next design I did was using galvanized iron chimney pipes (used), threaded rods diameter 10 mm, nuts and washers from the dump and some wire mesh. The result was surprising: about 300 gr. dried cane produced a strong and steady flame for about 20 minutes. At that point, the flame extinguished, and can draw from inside bio-char. This, can be integrated into the gardens soil, producing substantial increases in production and performing various functions that seem magical. The bio-char obtained may be much more valuable in itself that the generation of heat in combustion. There are plenty of uses ranging from improving agricultural soils, water and air filters, cosmetics, etc.. An extensive list can be found at 55 the use of Biochar (in English, French and German).
At this time, the project was named Kaña!!!, And the first prototype as Kaña 1.0
The next step was to scale up even more the design and take it to a size that would, on one charge of cane, burning up to an hour. Other goal was to introduce the draft control on the system. Kaña 1.0 has natural draft. The air was entering into the stove with no limitation, so that combustion was very fast and uncontrollable. Thus was born Kaña 2.0, with a capacity of 1.25 kg of cane and air inlet control. The burning time was 58 minutes. Perfect! In parallel, we developed a version 1.5, which slightly increased the 1.0 fuel capacity.
This summer we plan to move to the final phase of the project. We will develop models more suitable for fixed installation in a kitchen that can be used daily.
You can see two videos showing to the work performed.