Paul Montgomery, a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University, is helping design a better cook stove for people in developing countries.
At an upcoming meeting of the 2nd Pan-American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics in Cancun, Mexico, he will present a simple heat-powered fan that could help to make these stoves more efficient and combat the serious health problems associated with cooking in unventilated spaces.
How important is this? In a speech in September 2010 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a speech in which she underscored the impact of simple stoves on living standards in many parts of the world. More than 3 billion people use open fire cooking to eat daily, she said. But such cooking is very energy inefficient; finding fuel itself is a laborious; the combustion contributes disproportionately to greenhouse warming; and, worst of all, the fumes (often gathering in unventilated rooms) produce air that often exceeds EPA guidelines for healthful air by a factor of 200.
The fumes kill an estimated 1.9 million people a year, according to the United Nations. The World Health Organization cites this smoke as one of the five greatest killers in developing countries. Ms. Clinton’s speech launched a worldwide effort called the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
Some moderate-sized devices generate combined heat and power, or CHP. The smallest of these highly-efficient machines can make, for example, 2 kilowatts of heat and 1 kilowatt of electricity. But even this is too much for a person in a rural area to use and too expensive, so Montgomery is trying to make a simple appliance that is 100 times smaller still.
His device, still at the experimental stage, captures some of the stove’s waste heat and converts the heat into sound waves in a simple thermo-acoustic engine. Then the acoustic energy is converted into a tiny bit of electricity in an electro-acoustic transducer. The electricity in turn can partly charge a battery (delivering well-needed lighting after dark) and operate a fan directed at the combustion of the stove’s biofuel, making the whole process more energy efficient.
The more efficient combustion, the less biomass must be burned to cook and the less smoke produced.
"Although a thermo-acoustic cogeneration cook stove would produce only on the order of ten watts of electrical power," he says, "there are probably two billion biomass-fueled cook stoves in use worldwide that might benefit from nano-CHP technology."
The target price for the device that attaches to the stove is $25, says Montgomery, who will report on his ongoing engineering research in Cancun.
Montgomery has written a lay-language paper explaining his research in greater detail, available online: http://www.acoustics.org/press/160th/montgomery.html
The talk "Low-cost thermoacoustic co-generator for biomass burning cook stoves" will be at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2ND PAN-AMERICAN/IBERIAN MEETING ON ACOUSTICS
The 2nd Pan-American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics takes place at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Hotel in Cancun, Mexico, Monday through Friday, November 15-19, 2010. The Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Hotel is located at Blvd. Kukulcán km. 9.5, Cancún Hotel Zone, Cancún, Q.R., 77500. The hotel's main numbers are +52 (998) 881 32 00 and, toll-free, 1-888-830-9008.
USEFUL LINKS- Main meeting website: http://asa.aip.org/cancun/cancun.html
We will grant free registration to credentialed full-time journalists and professional freelance journalists working on assignment for major news outlets. If you are a reporter and would like to attend, please contact Jason Bardi (email@example.com, 301-209-3091), who can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Jason S. Bardi | Newswise Science News
New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds
20.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
19.10.2017 | California Institute of Technology
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research