PlanetNepal Blog

Ideas for Nepal

Archive for June, 2008

rocket stove

Posted by Sandeep Puri on June 27, 2008


Boing Boing has a post about the rocket stove.

The rocket stove was invented about 10 years ago by Dr. Larry Winiarski at the Aprovecho Research Center in Oregon. It consists of an elbow-shaped combustion chamber (usually made from metal cans) surrounded by insulating material (often a large can filled with sand). It uses twigs for fuel, so it’s ideal for areas where the trees have been depleted.

It maximizes the efficiency of heat conversion of the burning fuel and reduces the amount of particulate matter and carbon monoxide seen in traditional open wood stoves.

They have an instructional video about it up on their site.

The 10 Rocket Stove Priniciples as written by Dr. Larry Winiarski:

1.) Insulate, particularly the combustion chamber, with low mass, heat

resistant materials in order to keep the fire as hot as possible and not to

heat the higher mass of the stove body.

2.) Within the stove body, above the combustion chamber, use an insulated,

upright chimney of a height that is about two or three times the diameter

before extracting heat to any surface (griddle, pots, etc.).

3.) Heat only the fuel that is burning (and not too much). Burn the tips of

sticks as they enter the combustion chamber, for example. The object is NOT

to produce more gasses or charcoal than can be cleanly burned at the power

level desired.

4.) Maintain a good air velocity through the fuel. The primary Rocket stove

principle and feature is using a hot, insulated, vertical chimney within the

stove body that increases draft.

5.) Do not allow too much or too little air to enter the combustion chamber.

We strive to have stoichiometric (chemically ideal) combustion: in practice

there should be the minimum excess of air supporting clean burning.

6.) The cross sectional area (perpendicular to the flow) of the combustion

chamber should be sized within the range of power level of the stove.

Experience has shown that roughly twenty-five square inches will suffice for

home use (four inches in diameter or five inches square). Commercial size is

larger and depends on usage.

7.) Elevate the fuel and distribute airflow around the fuel surfaces. When

burning sticks of wood, it is best to have several sticks close together,

not touching, leaving air spaces between them. Particle fuels should be

arranged on a grate.

8.) Arrange the fuel so that air largely flows through the glowing coals.

Too much air passing above the coals cools the flames and condenses oil


9.) Throughout the stove, any place where hot gases flow, insulate from the

higher mass of the stove body, only exposing pots, etc. to direct heat.

10.) Transfer the heat efficiently by making the gaps as narrow as possible

between the insulation covering the stove body and surfaces to be heated but

do this without choking the fire. Estimate the size of the gap by keeping

the cross sectional area of the flow of hot flue gases constant. EXCEPTION:

When using a external chimney or fan the gaps can be substantially reduced

as long as adequate space has been left at the top of the internal short

chimney for the gasses to turn smoothly and distribute evenly. This is

tapering of the manifold. In a common domestic griddle stove with external

chimney, the gap under the griddle can be reduced to about one half inch for

optimum heat transfer.

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junk fuel

Posted by Sandeep Puri on June 21, 2008

This weeks’s Cringely post is about creating fuel out of trash without carbon side-effects, one of the holy grails for today’s civilization. Sounds too good to be true?

The company
he talks about in the post aims to produce hydrogen, bio-diesel, oxygen, fertilizer and some electricity using a modified plasma burning process.
Here’s what they claim to be able to produce from one ton of municipal waste:
112 pounds of hydrogen
55 gallons of biodiesel
a little electricity
926 pounds of oxygen

May not be for all of nepal yet, but would certainly fit the bill to clear out all the trash clogging up Kathmandu’s rivers.

CWT thermal conversion process

CWT thermal conversion process

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Ever Cried For Your Country??

Posted by Sandeep Puri on June 18, 2008

This is an essay taken as-is from a mass email that went out. It was apparently published in “The Kathmandu Post” which I have not verified. All the same, it is published here for all to see because it is still relevant, I believe.

Ever Cried For Your Country??

The Kathmandu Post, 11 September 2005 pg. 4.

Nepalis complain about the caste system and corrupt officers. They openly vent their anger against the government. But have they ever thought about Nepali’s real problems? I believe that they have not. I want to say that Nepal’s real problems are lack of patriotism among the people and lack of love for one another. This is the conclusion I have reached during my stay. This summer. I did voluntary work from July 5 to July 30 at FHI Ever Vision School, Matartirtha, Kathmandu.

Let me first tell you about my country, Korea. This might help you understand my point.

Just after the Korean War, which claimed lives of more than 5 million Koreans, Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Without natural resources, Korea had no choice but to desperately struggle for its survival by all means. Under this gloomy situation, Koreans envied other Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, and Nepal.

Korean government officials were corrupt. With the dual classes of Yangban (nobles) and Sangnom (peasants), Korean society was sickening day by day. However, Koreans, having determination to become rich, overcame the unfair social structure and put the country onto the track of development.

When the former president Park Jung Hee took over the government, there were few factories in Korea. Korea could not attract loans or expect foreign investments. Under these circumstances, President Park exported miners and nurses to then West Germany. The salaries that they earned were used to building factories and promoting industrialization of Korea.

In 1964, when President Park visited then West Germany, the miners and nurses asked the president when the Koreans would become rich. The president replied, crying with the miners and nurses, that someday the Koreans would become rich.

Many of Korean scientists and engineers, who could just enjoy comfortable lives in the United States, returned to Korea with only one thing in their mind: the determination to make Korea the most powerful and prosperous country in the world.

They did their best even though their salaries were much less than what they would have received in other countries. The Koreans believed that they have the ability to change their desperate situation and that they must make the country better, not only for themselves but also for the future generations yet to come.

My parents’ generation sacrificed themselves for their families and the country. They worked 14 hours a day, and risked their lives working under inhumane conditions. The mothers, who went to work in factories, fed their babies while operating machines in dangerous environments. They always tried to teach their children the true value of ‘hard work’.

Finally, all of these hard works and sacrifices made the prosperous Korea that you see now.

Nepalis, have you cried for your country? I heard that many of Nepali youth do not love their Nepal. I also heard that they want to leave Nepal because they don’t like caste system, or because they want to escape the severe poverty.

However, they should be the first ones to voluntarily work for Nepal’s development, not the first ones to complain and speak against their country.

I have a dream that someday I would be able to free the souls from suffering from the underdeveloped countries, anachronistic customs and the desperate hunger. My belief has become stronger than ever after seeing the reality in Nepal.

A child with fatal disease who doesn’t have enough money to buy a pill: a child living in what seems like a pre-historic dwelling and not having the opportunity to receive education; and a student who cannot succeed , no matter how hard the studies, just because of the class he comes from.

A society, in which wives not only take care of children but also work in the fields, while their husbands waste their time doing nothing; a society in which a five –year old must labor in a brick factory to feed herself.

Looking at the reality of Nepal, I was despaired, yet this sense of despair strengthened my belief.

I already know that many of the Nepalis are devout Hindus. However, nothing happens if you just pray to hundreds of thousands of gods while doing nothing. It is the action that you and Nepal need for the better future.

For Nepal and yourselves, you have to show your love to your neighbours and country just as you do to Gods. You know that your Gods will be pleased when you work for the development of your country and improvement of your lives. Therefore, please, love your neighbours and country. Teach your children to love their country. And love the working itself.

Who do you think will cry for your Nepal? Who do you think will be able to respect the spirit of Himalayas and to keep the lonely flag representing it? You are the ones responsible for leading this beautiful country to a much brighter future. This responsibility lies on you.
(The writer is a 15 year- old student of Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies, South Korea)

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