Description and Objective of Research:

According to the World Health Organization, more than three billion people depend on biomass (wood, dung, or agriculture residues) primarily for cooking. The practice of cooking with biomass has decimated many ecosystems, requires an enormous amount of human effort for gathering fuel, and creates considerable health problems that continue to plague the world’s poorest populations. These problems are more apparent in western Kenya.

To minimize the harmful effects associated with cooking, Namalere forest conservation is designing, building, and testing more efficient, clean, and socially acceptable cook stoves using thermoelectrics and a simple blower. The improved stoves will significantly reduce the need for biomass, which will help cut the alarming deforestation rates in western Kenya while reducing the time and financial resources spent on fuel. The enhanced stove will also improve the indoor air quality, thereby reducing deaths associated with respiratory illnesses. The advanced stoves are designed with the intent of assembly. Creating jobs which are greatly needed to create local prosperity. The focus of the stove project is to build on advancements in development of improved stove for western Kenya and other regions with the goals of:

  1. Reducing fuel use by a factor of two or greater in order to turn the tide on deforestation and diminish the time and limited financial resources spent on fuel
  2. Creating micro-enterprises for assembling the advanced stoves to generate wealth and develop local expertise for maintaining the stoves in order to improve chances of sustained stove adoption
  3. Enhancing conventional cooking techniques for traditional foods
  4. Providing an electrical power source to operate auxiliary loads such as radio, lighting, charge cell phone batteries, and small UV water treatment technologies
  5. Improving the air quality for women and children
  6. Minimizing the impact on the local and global environment by incorporating a life cycle analysis in the design process.


Mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineers have been formed. The project focuses on researching different testing options for comparing stoves and assisting in providing feedback during stove development and future phases of the project. We also focus on developing the first generation of the combustion chamber and stove body, and develop a thermoelectric power unit thermal and power conditioning system. Namalere forest conservation has established the needs of the end customer, rural families and vendors in Bungoma,Busia and Kakamega. Where Multiple needs have been identified and prioritized, we aim to create an effective stove solution that would be more functional than the current stoves used in the whole of Kenya, while also providing economic, environmental, and personal health benefits. The most important of these needs are:
  • Affordable to purchase, operate and maintain
  • Fit the existing cooking practices and cookware
  • Transportability
  • Simple and intuitive to use
  • Potentially provides electric power generation capability

Namalere forest conservation has developed project specific engineering specifications based on established customer needs and their particular team’s project’s scope. Several stove technologies including the 3-stone, earthen stoves, rocket stoves, various gasification stoves, and jet stoves have been benchmarked to determine key design parameters. Factors we incorporated and improve combustion in the design include:
  1. Creating a good draft
  2. Insulate around the fire for a hotter burn
  3. Avoid the use of dense material around the combustion chamber to Reduce warm-up time
  4. Allow air to circulate and contact all surfaces of the fuel
  5. Meter/limit fuel capacity
  6. Limit cold air intake into the combustion chamber
  7. Preheat intake air to maintain complete combustion

Namalere forest conservation has developed multiple concepts including both gasifier and direct single stage combustion stoves. Based on feedback from technical reviews, the gasification stove has been selected for further design development because of the potential for higher fuel efficiency, controlling burn rates, and reduced emissions. The stove integrates some of the recent stove advancements. The basic concept design for the thermoelectric stove consists of an inner combustion chamber surrounded by an outer shell. Air in the channel around the combustion chamber is slightly pressurized by the use of a fan that is powered by a thermoelectric module, a robust solid state device that converts thermal energy directly into electrical energy. The pressurized air is used to force air through perforations in the inner stove wall and into the combustion chamber to optimize the air-fuel ratio and ensure complete combustion. The air passing through the outer chamber also helps reduce heat losses through the walls. So minimizing side losses will be done without the need for ceramics or bricks. Therefore the thermoelectric stove with its thinner walls will have significantly less mass, enabling quicker start up times. Quicker start up times means reduced time spent on tasks and smaller fuel requirements for stove warm-up.

The first concept stove being built and tested should provide cooking power of 1,250 to 5,400 Kcal/hr and consume charcoal at a rate of 1.6 kg/hr when simmering for rice and beans, substantially, very durable for Kenyans and other., The first stove concept was designed to allow for quick variations in combustion chamber height, hole count, and air flow so experimental optimization can be done early in the project. Control of the air flow will provide some control over heat rates for different cooking options (boiling, simmering, frying etc).

We are now asking for well wishers, partnership for expertise and investors, so that together we can realize this life empowering project.

Looking forward to hearing from you at your earliest.

John ojwolo

Executive Coordinator
Namalere Forest Conservation