MIT Public Service Center

Design a Fan/Blower for TLUD Biomass Stoves

Servals Automation Pvt Ldt
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
www.servalsgroup.blogspot.com

Background

Servals Automation Private Limited (Servals) is a social enterprise with a mission “To bring appropriate technology to the ‘bottom of pyramid’ to enhance the quality of their life”. Aiming to “usher in an age of energy independence to the poor”, Servals focuses on providing clean, green, affordable and sustainable energy for cooking and lighting purposes. Servals seeks to achieve its mission with a strong focus on the following environmental practices at the grass-roots level - Conservation of Fossil-Fuels, Reduction of Carbon Emission, Reduction of Indoor Air Pollution, Reduction of De-Forestation. Their products are designed with a view to (a) conserve fossil fuels (energy efficient kerosene burners and stoves) (b) use truly renewable energy sources (Stoves and Lamps that run on straight vegetable oil) (c) use of under-tapped sources of energy (TLUD gasifier wood stoves)

Servals seeks to work towards its mission with a business model that is based on social entrepreneurship. In the effort to harness the productive power of the rural poor, Servals partners with NGOs and SHGs for production and marketing. The company also hopes to create a stream of economic activity around its new energy inventions at the grassroot level (esp TLUD wood stoves and Plant oil stoves) so that the inventions are self sustaining, self reliant and provide energy independence to the rural poor.

Servals product Portfolio : The products of Servals represent a complete basket of products suited for every fuel use – Kerosene (Burners and Stoves), Biomass (TLUD Gasifier Wood Stove and Plant Oil/Straight Vegetable Oil (Plant Oil Stove and Lamp).

With a product range that has been identified by Infodev (a special program of the World Bank) as a “cleantech innovator success story”, being identified as a Technology Pioneer Candidate 2011 by the World Economic Forum and having won one of India’s most prestigious award in the Clean Energy Category and consequently being recognized as one of India’s top 10 most investment worthy organizations in the social enterprise space, Servals is gearing up to move up the sustainable and renewable energy chain through its newer energy inventions – particularly the TLUD gasifier wood stove and the plant oil stoves and lamps.

Challenge

Servals has a TLUD biomass stoves as part of its product portfolio. The details of this product, its social impact, the market it serves, its competition etc are provided in the annexure. Here is a quick overview: TLUD stands for Top Lit Up Draft. This is different from most of the ordinary cook stoves which are Bottom Lit Up Draft. There is a lot of interest in TLUD technology around the world since this saves more fuel material compared to a traditional 3 stone fire wood stove. Simply put, the TLUD gasifier wood stove is a stove with a canister, which when filled with fuel material, (any waste material like leaves, twigs, coconut husks etc), and combusted will enable cooking for an average of 30 minutes depending on the type of fuel & its density. At the end of combustion process it leaves behind charcoal.

This is a Top-Lit-Up-Draft biomass stove that works on natural draft. While this stove has the versatility to accept any kind of dry biomass as cooking fuel, it is not equipped to accept small pellets. Availability of small pellets as a source of cooking fuel is fairly high in India, given that several individuals and micro-organisations have been franchised to make and sell them. This scenario presents a big opportunity for the TLUD biomass stove market, as it means that the stove can be positioned as an energy efficient cooking system in pockets where small pellets are widely available.

The TLUD biomass works on natural draft air supply and hence does not have the ability to combust small pellets very effectively. This can be done only when a mechanism to introduce forced draft into the stove can be designed. This will be in the form of a fan or a blower that will channelize a continuous and consistent feed of air supply into the TLUD biomass stove.

The end users of the TLUD biomass stoves are the people at the base of the economic pyramid. They do not have access to electricity nor the affordability to buy expensive gadgets. Hence the fan / blower has to be one that can run independent of electric power or battery power. It should be a hand cranked mechanism that will force air into the TLUD biomass stove.

Servals has done a technical study on the requirements /specifications of the fan/blower that can be shared with the students.

Key deliverables expected:

Qualifications, Preferences, and Assets

This is a project that is essentially technical.

Phase of the project that can be done while at school:

Time constraints

This is a general need that we would welcome help with at any time.

Contact

Mr. Mukandan
Managing Director
91-44-64577181 or 91-98403-56578
mukundanpa@gmail.com

OR
Mr. Vijayaganapathy
Chief Operating Officer
Phone: : 91-044 - 64577181 / 182 Mobile: 91-96000-85454
Vijayaganapathy1@gmail.com

PSC Support

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