Rocket Stove Design
For several decades, efforts to design, build and promote rocket stoves have been undertaken in many communities throughout the world. Some stoves are made by local artisans in or near the home using locally available materials such as mud, dried grasses and anthill/termite soil. These artisanal stoves may also include factory-produced elements, which are often made elsewhere and transported to villages, such as high-temperature bricks, liners made of red clay, or metal fuel shelves. Other stoves are manufactured entirely in factories, either domestic or international, and then transported to villages as a finished product.
The EcoZoom stove is a manufactured stove. We have found manufacturing to be a great option in many circumstances. It allows us to rapidly produce and distribute large quantities of stoves (after all, three billion people need them) and maintain the highest quality because each and every stove is as fuel efficient and clean burning as the one before it.
Our stove is based on the well-known ‘rocket’ concept, using an internal ‘chimney’ in the stove which directs air through the burning fuel, often biomass, and encourages the mixing of gases and flame above it. Precise internal stove dimensions (with tolerances of 1mm or less) are essential to achieve high combustion efficiency and transfer heat to the cooking pot. The material must have a specific density to provide good insulation. We also worked with cooks in several countries to ensure our stove would be culturally accepted by the people who need them. Here’s a little info about our stove and some of the components. You can find complete information for each stove on our Products page.
We work through a 5-step design process before introducing stoves into the market.
- Step 1: Market Need: assessment of the current cooking environment and problems to solve.
- Step 2: Lab Design & Testing: in partnership with Aprovecho Research Center, functional prototypes are created and tested in a lab.
- Step 3: Field Testing: take prototypes into the market and gather feedback from cooks.
- Step 4: Modify: use feedback from cooks to improve the prototypes functionality, look, durability, etc.
- Step 5: Manufacture: create the engineering drawings and work with our manufacturing partner to source materials.
Most recently, we went through this design process with our Zoom Jet charcoal-only cookstoves. Click here to see our design process.
We work hard to incorporate women in developing countries into the design process since they know the most about cooking and do it for 2-8 hours a day. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves recognized our efforts to include women and wrote a case study about our design process. This case study will be release soon and posted here on our website.