Zac Rego reporting
Before I started interning with InStove this summer, I didn’t even know there was a stove community. Yet, here they were, a diverse collection of enthusiasts and professionals gathered at the Institutional Stove Solutions Headquarters to learn about, test, and discuss all things stove.
|Nick and Stella share their experience |
with the InStove briquette press.
Immediately upon my arrival, I was thrown into the “fire” as I started a brief lecture on biomass briquette theory and history with the help of staff members Nick and Stella. The “students” were professionals with experience and knowledge far beyond my own, yet they listened attentively as I discussed the merits of mashing hay and shredded paper together into a burnable alternative to wood. After the discussion, I lit a few of these hay and paper briquettes in the 60 Liter Stove to demonstrate the reliability and quality of the stick briquette.
|Zac begins the briquette presentation.|
As the briquette demonstrations began to wind down, I got a chance to talk with a few camp attendees about their experience so far at Stove Camp. One camper, Ron Larson, was sitting with some briquette material, but he wasn’t forming briquettes; he was making spheres. “I’ve always wanted to test my theory, but never had a good opportunity to do so. Now I have the opportunity.” Ron was discussing another stove design called the TLUD (Top-Lit Up-Draft). This is a stove loaded with fuel, lit from the top, and then allowed to burn with no need to manually maintain the fire. He was telling me that using spherical fuel rather than wood chips could create a better airflow within the stove, and now he has the opportunity to test his theory. In the laboratory, the TLUD stove was one of several designs I was able to see being tested.
|Stove camp attendees use the briquette press.|
The lab was buzzing with energy and excitement from builders and testers alike. There were some groups of people shaping chimneys and others running their stoves in test chambers. These chambers measured time to boil water, temperature, and different classes of emissions, including particulate matter. Inside the lab, I was able to see that these were people truly dedicated to constructing simple, quality, and efficient stoves.