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Title: Bioenergy: Environment-friendly stove
Organization:Technology Informatics Design Endeavour
Source:Empowering rural India the RE way: inspiring success stories. 2012

Background: TIDE (Technology Informatics Design Endeavour) has helped create and operationalize a rural enterprise model for disseminating fuel-efficient wood burning stoves among rural/small town industry clusters. For this, it was awarded the prestigious Ashden Award in 2008. TIDE used the award grant to spin off Sustaintech India Pvt. Ltd as a social venture to demonstrate an enterprise model for the rapid adoption of fuel-efficient stoves by street food vendors. Under this arrangement, TIDE develops fuel-efficient stoves and Sustaintech develops the marketing network. The for-profit enterprise model of Sustaintech has also been conceived as a sustainability plan for TIDE.

The approach has been to focus on user-friendly stoves that require minimal maintenance. Spares as required are available locally. Fuel is saved through good combustion efficiency by optimizing the air–fuel ratio, the right combustion chamber volume, and use of a well-designed chimney. Good heat transfer efficiency is achieved by maximizing the surface area exposed to heat and minimizing wall losses through good insulation. The programme was initiated in Karnataka and Kerala but has now been expanded to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

Outcome/Benefits: Some of the areas where TIDE has developed and disseminated fuel-efficient wood burning stoves are as follows.
• Large specialized cookstoves for a range of cooking operations (including dosa, frying, and tea-coffee making stoves)
• Customized large cookstoves for big kitchens like those in marriage halls and temples
• Stoves for preparation of herbal medicine, making rubber bands, processing arecanuts, making jaggery, boiling turmeric, and those for textile bleaching and dyeing, and silk reeling.

TIDE has developed a range of stoves for different industry clusters. Initially, its strategy was to train local masons to construct fuel-efficient stoves. While it still adopts this strategy for large stoves, for example, those used in jaggery making, textile bleaching, and dyeing, it is gradually moving to factory-produced stoves for uniformity in design, consistent fuel-saving features, lower rejection rates, and quality assurance features. Financing for end users is also easier with factory-produced stoves when compared with on-site constructed stoves that lack standardization.

For the small businessmen, advantages from the improved stoves are two folds; saving on money and increased productivity. According to an assessment by TIDE in 2011, the stoves installed by TIDE and Sustaintech have so far saved Rs 8 crore in fuel costs and 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. About 2,00,000 people have benefitted through their interventions. This project has helped the women self-help groups in increasing income generation in the areas of fish-drying, cashew nut processing, and drying of coconuts, spices, and other food products.

[Source. Jain V K and Srinivas S N, Ed .2012. Empowering Rural India the RE way: Inspiring Success Stories, pp.8-13. New Delhi, India: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy,p.145. Available at http://mnre.gov.in/file-manager/UserFiles/compendium.pdf (last accessed on 14 January 2015)]

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