Nodepage

Generating electricity from soundwaves

Practical Action helps to develop revolutionary cooker

A ground-breaking cooker which could transform the way electricity is generated in the homes of people living in poverty has been tested by Practical Action.

Practical Action, in partnership with a consortium of universities, has developed the Score Stove, which combines fuel efficiency with state-of-the-art technology to change soundwaves into electricity.

This stove has the potential to drastically change the lives of people living in poverty around the world. It can bring electricity to people who have never had it - giving them reliable access to light, heat, education and healthcare for the first time in their lives.

The stove is approximately 60 cm square and around 70cms high and attached to a specially shaped pipe. The heat causes dozens of thin metal sheets with tiny holes to vibrate and produce powerful sound waves

The sound waves travel into a speaker and cause it to flap at up to 70 times a second, moving an alternator which in turn creates electricity.

The stove is fuel efficient and although the sound inside the pipe is intense, it creates no more than an external hum.

Already, it has undergone rigorous tests in homes and universities in Nepal, Bangladesh and Kenya. So far, the stoves have produced up to 36 watts of electricity. It is hoped they will eventually produce 50 watts.

This remarkable stove has the potential to drastically change the lives of people living in poverty around the world. It can bring electricity to people who have never had it - giving them reliable access to light, heat, education and healthcare for the first time in their lives.

It has developed from our work to reduce deaths resulting from breathing in smoke caused by cooking on open fires in the home.

Communities in Kisumu, Kenya, who are most likely to benefit have been testing the stoves, helping researchers to adapt the lab version, taking into account local biomass fuels, types of pots and pans used to cook, along with the everyday tasks the unit will be required to do.

The stove must also be produced affordably and locally. That means slight design modifications are needed in each area so that local materials can be used. We must preserve the excellent levels of performance that we’re seeing in our labs

Flickr slideshow of images from the Score stove project


Created with flickr slideshow.

  • The technology is the brainchild of Score-Stove project manager Paul Riley, from the University of Nottingham.
  • Energy company Alstom has provided €100,000 of funding for field trials in Nepal. The non-governmental organisation, Engineers Without Borders is supporting four students in developing the Score-Stove at Kathmandu University in Nepal.
  • The UK universities in the consortium are led by Nottingham University, and include Queen Mary University College, City University and Leicester University.
  • For images, interviews and diagrams, contact Andrew Heath on 01926 634552 or by email at Andrew.heath@practicalaction.org.uk
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