Turbo Stove – Winter 2012 – Testing Stage 1
During our first stage of testing, we attempted burns in both the Mayon Turbo Stove and the newer prototype known as the Burninator. We found that the Mayon Turbo stove lit easily and burned pretty consistantly, while the Burninator struggled to light and would not stay lit once the rice husks were ignited.
We first tested the current turbo stove and the previous version of the turbo stove. We used hamster bedding in place of rice hulls, only to discover that hamster bedding does not flow down the fuel intake tubes and burns extremely fast. The next step will be to test the two stoves with rice hulls.
For our second test of the Burninator, we got our hands on some rice husks to try out the stove with the fuel that would be used in the field. What we learned is that rice husks are significantly harder to burn than wood and paper hamster bedding. In fact, after 2.5 hours of testing, we were not able to start a sustainable fire in the Burninator. In contrast, the Mayon stove lit easily with a single piece of newspaper and was actually a challenge to put out at the end of lab. After a detailed inspection of the Burninator, we isolated a number of issues that could be causing combustion problems in the stove. These issues are as follows:
- Too much air flow coming through the sides – over, instead of through, the fuel
- Lack of air seal between the interior cone and outer stove walls
- Fuel is not concentrated in combustion area
- Air intake tubes rise too high above the fuel
- Not enough air intake through fuel source
Based on the problems we encountered with this test, we created a list of objectives for next lab:
- Weld the interior of the inner cone to the walls.
- Close the side vent and drill in ventilation holes.
- Adjust the carborator.
- Fuel entry-possibly only one side.
- Adjust the fuel landing zone.
- Adjust the feeder angles.
After making the corrections below, we attempted to light the burninator. We were able to light the rice hulls to a certain extent but failed to obtain a sustainable flame. We tried lighting the fuel from the top by dropping a piece of lit paper into the chamber. Then, we attempting lighting the fuel underneath the stove and closing the surrounding area with sheets of metal. After failing again, we adjusted the carborator further by decreasing the height of it and removing the surounding metal sheet to catch the rice hulls to increase air flow. After lighting the stove from the top and the bottom, we found ourselves in the same dilemma, we could achieve a flame but not a sustainable one.
After making all of these corrections, we have found ourselves some what at a loss. We are now researching more and trying to determine what is the key to a sustainable flame in hopes that it will lead us to future success. Because we are still researching, we are not certain what our next steps will be.
Problems with current Turbo Stove designs:
- No ventilation systems for smoke
- Rice hull exhaust is more toxic than wood smoke
- Poorly insulated
- Difficult to get a sustainable burn
- Fuel doesn’t feed well
- We are going to take the current, updated version of the turbo stove and add a cook top and exhaust tube. First, we will weld a cook top on. Then, we will cut a hole in the side of the stove to add an exhaust pipe with a ducting. After determining if this will work,we will recreate a turbo stove with a larger cook top and walls inside the stove