One Valley Many Voices

Ganesha Cookstove Project

Ganesha Cookstove with 6-liter teapot. Assembled stove is 19cm x 19cm x 33cm H (7.5"x7.5"x13"H).

Ganesha Cookstove with 6-liter teapot.
Assembled, stove is 19cm x 19 cm x 33 cm H (7.5″x7.5″x13″H).

The Ganesha Cookstove Project is working to make biomass-burning cookstoves truly affordable in developing countries. Like, $10 affordable.

The Ganesha Cookstove burns wood, dung, and any other biomass. It weighs 1.8kg (4 lbs) and, disassembled, fits in a FedEx envelope.

It also kicks butt. It can boil 5 liters of water (1.3 gals) in 12 minutes, putting out 9kW (30,000 Btus), and then turn down to a simmer. Third-party testing shows that its efficiency and emissions are significantly better than market leading cookstoves.

Over 2 billion people cook on smoky, inefficient open fires every day. Cookstoves can greatly improve both efficiency and performance, and researchers have been working for 40 years to develop and promote them. But, consumers in developing countries have been very slow to adopt clean cookstoves. We think we know why.

Market-leading cookstoves are too expensive, retailing for $25 to $100 — a fortune for families living on a dollar or two a day. Ganesha founder, Brice Hoskin, found that it’s possible to get the same level of performance (or better) at a significantly lower price, while also making the stoves extremely portable. Enough so that they can be inexpensively flown into disaster areas as part of humanitarian efforts.

The Project is connecting with NGOs, relief agencies, manufacturers, and consumers to produce and distribute the cookstoves. The company model is a social enterprise company with a triple bottom line: benefits for consumers, for the planet, and for impact investors. Notice that this is a nonprofit project – the benefit to the inventor is not money but the satisfaction of making a huge difference in world health by cutting unhealthy emissions.

 

Field Testing 

First-generation Ganesha stove in use in Brabal, Nepal


In February 2016, the Project took 32 first-generation stoves to the village of Brabal, Nepal. The village was hard-hit by the earthquakes that struck the country in April and May, 2015, demolishing every house in the village. They graciously agreed to use the Ganesha Cookstoves and provide feedback. They had praise for the stoves, and offered input on some key ways to improve them. The Project crew was then able to revamp the design, making it bigger, simpler, stronger, more powerful and easier to use.

In October 2016, Ganesha Cookstove Project volunteers will go back to Nepal and, with the help of the dZi Foundation, conduct more usability studies.

First-generation Ganesha stove in use in Brabal, Nepal

 

Laboratory Testing

The Project contracted with the Regional Cookstoves Testing and Knowledge Centre in Kathmandu, an internationally-certified testing lab, to test the stove using accepted protocols. Key results included:

Ganesha stove during testing. RKTC photo.

 

Ganesha stove during testing. RKTC photo.

  • Efficiency as high as 48%
  • Heat output as high as 9kW (30,000 Btus), providing the ability to boil 5 liters of water (1.3 gals) in 12 minutes
  • CO emissions extremely low (Tier 4)
  • PM 2.5 emissions 30% better than competitors (Tier 2/3)

 

Next steps include working with manufacturers to meet our needs for pricing, materials and quality; connecting with potential customers, in both the nonprofit/NGO space and in the marketplace; and continuing to improve the design to focus on the intersection of performance, clean burning, and usability.

Find information on How It Started; What’s Next; Testing; and more at the Ganesha Cookstove Project website.

Call the Foundation with questions or for additional information: 970-641-8837

 

 

 

Inventor and Philanthropist

Brice Hoskin is the founder of PureFlame, a company aiming to supply inexpensive, high performance, clean cookstoves to bottom-of-pyramid people around the world.   Fully committed to fostering sustainable businesses that benefit local communities, this is a philanthropic project from which Hoskin will earn nothing monetary – he and his collaborators will make a huge difference to the lives of those who cook with fire.

Hoskin is co-owner, head distiller and chief innovation officer for Montanya Distillers, a small rum producer in Crested Butte, Colorado.  Previously, he founded, built, and subsequently sold Mountain Boy Sledworks, a maker of handmade wooden sleds. Hoskin designed the sleds, building upon previous designs to create greatly improved steerability and safety for riders. He oversaw production in both the US and China (which was a good fit since he speaks Mandarin) where he gained experience and key contacts in the manufacturing of both wood and metal products. Hoskin has also founded a newsletter company and worked as an environmental consultant for Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, a federal agency under the Bureau of Reclamation.

Hoskin’s motivation to build a better, cheaper cookstove began with several treks in Nepal and India, and was fostered on his weekly summertime backpacking trips.

Resources

Test Results of Cook Stove Performance, Aprovecho Research Center 2010. http://www.ewb-usa.org/files/2015/05/TestResultsCookstovePerformance.pdf

Micro-gasification: Cooking with Gas From Dry Biomass, 2nd Edition, GIZ-HERA 2013.  https://cleancookstoves.org/binary-data/RESOURCE/file/000/000/286-1.pdf

Micro-gasification, also known as top-lit updraft (TLUD): http://www.drtlud.com/

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, http://cleancookstoves.org/