Dirushan Pillay

Dirushan Pillay

Product Design BSc

An energy-efficient cook-stove for Sub-Saharan Africa

Poverty and unreliable power grids condemn an estimated 81% of sub-Saharan African households to rely on solid fuels such as wood to meet their basic cooking needs. Solid fuels are often burnt using a three-stone fire which utilises three stones to support a cooking vessel over a fire. This technology is often 90% efficient at the work of turning wood into energy, but only a small proportion, around 10%, of the released energy makes it into the pot. As a result cooks use an excessive amount of fuel to prepare their food. The reliance on this inefficient cooking technology leads to economic burdens that directly impact women as cooking and fuel collection remain a woman's responsibility. To combat this problem a culturally acceptable cook-stove was developed that is 10% more efficient than the three-stone fire thus saving household expenditure on fuel and time spent on fuel collection. The design was influenced by women cooks and rocket stove design principles. The cook-stove features materials all of which can be sourced locally. This as well as the fact it can be locally manufactured culminates in a socially responsible design that empowers local communities.