Evaluation and comparison of the performance characteristics of improved firewood stove for rural households of Rwanda
Keywords:Fuel stoves, firewood, improved stoves, fuel wood, efficient stove
Fire wood is the dominant energy source used for cooking, heating and other activities in rural households in Rwanda. One of the solutions to overcome the shortage of fuel wood and environmental degradation is the use of fuel efficient stoves. Development and promotion of energy technologies improves living standard by contributing to poverty. This paper is about the evaluation and comparison of the developed types of burnt clay stoves so as to find out the fuel efficient stove to recommend to rural households. The stove developed has the characteristics of reduced consumption of firewood and thus reduce deforestation rate and additionally reduces harmful indoor air pollution. five different stove models were developed by College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (CAVM), have been taken for this study together with a local three stone open fire stove serving as a control. During this research cooking test of different food stuffs and boiling test were carried out to determine the thermal efficiency of stoves. The results showed that Model 5 was the best performing among others tested and only 25% of firewood is needed in model 5 when compared to local stove model. The thermal efficiency of the model 5 stove found to be 27.61% while the efficiency of local stove is only 8.46%. The statistical analysis showed that there is significant difference in boiling time and cooking time of various food items at the 95% confidence level. The same is true with the wood consumption. Through the mean separation Model 5 emerges to be outstanding in all the aspect. It is concluded to adopt and promote Model 5 stove especially for rural households for cooking since it is the most ecofriendly to environment among the tested models and can contribute to poverty reduction and generating income to the Rwandan society through more fuel and time saving.