SCORE stove success at Kathmandu University

September 25th, 2012

Today I had the privilege of receiving an email from a very excited University Professor at Kathmandu University in Nepal, Professor Bim Prasad Shrestha, regarding the start of the SCORE stove in their Laboratory.

Prof. Shrestha told me:

“It has been great day for us yesterday, we managed to get resonance in our system and we could make electricity generated from the stove which was first installed by the EWB and the modified by our Engineers….
It has been great moment for our engineers Mr. Bijendra and Mr. Binaya for successfully lighting the LED bulb with the help of wood fired stove and boiling water on the stove simultaneously.”

You don’t often see such excitement in a senior academic in a developing country about a technology for the poor, simply because they are seldom involved in the development of technology to help the poor.

University academics in developing countries generally know very well the problems of the local poor but are powerless to help them.  This isn’t because they can’t help or don’t want to, but mainly because they operate under a permanent situation of shortage of facilities and budget.  They are able only to witness the suffering of their poorest co-citizens.

The special feature of the  SCORE stove is that it can both cook and generate electricity.  It is under development by a consortium of UK Universities and Practical Action.  The University of Kathmandu and research institutions in Bangladesh have become involved in the final phase of development and adaptation of this technology to local needs.

Kathmandu University, with the support of a group of young graduates from Nottingham University,  installed a SCORE stove in their Laboratory.  After several days of work to adapt to local fuels and operating conditions, they managed for the first time to see it operating both to cook and generate electricity.

Cooking on a SCORE stove in Kenya

Successes like this do not happen frequently in universities in developing countries.  I know, because I was previously a lecturer at a University in Peru.  So I share the excitement.   I want to congratulate Professor Shrestha and wish him more success in the future. Partnerships like this, with the active involvement of academics and non-academics from north and south, with effective exchange of knowledge and know-how contribute not only to excitement but to real solutions to help the poor to use technology to challenge their poverty.

7 responses to “SCORE stove success at Kathmandu University”

  1. vincent Says:

    Teo, isn’t it interesting that two SCORE stove teams halfway across the world from each other are sharing successes experienced in the process of developing the technology further! I am happy to hear about the KU success, and I know that it brings nearer the results that we are looking for. I am also happy to know that we are not the only team experiencing the current wave of excitement sweeping the SCORE teams in Practical Action. Kudos to the KU team!!!

  2. Teo Sanchez Says:

    Hi Vincent, Yes it is fantastic to see different teams across the world enjoying success stories on development. Not only because they got successful results but because those results will contribute to improve the lives of millions of people. The SCORE stove has a great potential both the design for electricity and cooking as well as the design for cooking only. I hope that this initial excitement contributes to closer cooperation and real partnerships

  3. Leonardo Mayorga Says:

    felicidades, colegas. Es un gran avance, desde hace mucho tiempo esperamos un sistema de generacion electrica con el calor de las cocinas. Esto cambiara la vida de millones de personas en el mundo.

  4. William shekh Says:

    It is good to hear that the score was success in KU (katmandoo university), Yet what about the practicalities associated with it. Is it economically viable to be used. Or is it just for fun( misutilization of fund only). I mean in such a contemporary society where we talk about fuel economy and all how much reliable is it to lit a bulb by consuming vast amount of biomass.
    Good to know Practical action is involved, but the fair question is can Nepali people afford it. This must also be analyzed.
    Congratulation again!!!!!

  5. humphrey Says:

    Great information.Keep posting you are teaching us many things

  6. Teo Says:

    Hola Leonardo,
    Gracias por el comentario, efectivamente este es un trabajo cambiara la vida de muchas familias. Creo que su aplicacion sera mucho mas interesante en las zonas muy aisladas, util para familias dispersas y donde los recursos de biomas estan presentes.

  7. Teo Says:

    Hi Wiliam
    I understand your worries regarding efficient uses of scarce economic resources, but I assure you that we have taken all the social and economic aspects in consideration, in fact we have done a range of studies arrive in a list of design requirements as a starting point. Regarding the issue of affordability by the poor our worry is similar to yours, and we are doing all the efforts to have a reliable useful and affordable system. By the way, I would like to ask what would you think is an acceptable cost of r a technology like this?, you can refer to one particular country (which you know best) but you can also give averages

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