All-in-one Cooker, Generator and Refrigerator thatís Environmentally Friendly
A biomass powered all-in-one cooker, electricity generator and refrigerator is being developed by an EPSRC funded consortium.
The SCORE project (Stove for COoking, Refrigeration and Electricity supply) brings together four major UK universities, a leading US research centre, a multi-national electrical goods manufacturer, an international charity and numerous universities in Asia and Africa.
The researchers are using thermoacoustic technology to convert biomass fuels, such as wood, into energy to power the appliance. Thermoacoustic principles involve the use of sound waves.
The wood is burned to produce heat. This then goes into a specially shaped pipe which produces areas of high and low gas pressure in such a way as to generate sound (in a similar way to a singing kettle). The sound energy is then converted into electricity by a linear alternator (a sort of giant microphone which absorbs the sound). The electricity is then used to power the device.
The concept behind the device is revolutionary. This is the first time that thermoacoustic technology has been used to heat as well as cool in one device using biomass fuel.
Using thermoacoustic technology is a more efficient way of using wood as a fuel than using an open fire to cook. It produces fewer pollutants. The device will also have few moving parts making it more reliable.
Researchers from the University of Manchester, Imperial College, the University of Nottingham and Queen Mary, University of London are involved in the consortium. Other partners are the international charity Practical Action, Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US and GP Acoustics. Universities in developing countries in Africa and Asia will also assist with the design, development, production and introduction of the device. The SCORE Consortium is funded by grants from the EPSRC as part of its initiative on energy and international development.
There will be two stages to the five-year project: the first three years will mainly focus on conducting the necessary social and scientific research, while the final two years will broadly focus on field trials and distribution of the devices into the target communities. More information is available at www.score.uk.com/research/.
For more detail on this story visit the University of Nottingham website (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/public-affairs/press-releases/index.phtml?menu=pressreleases&code=POWE-87/07&create_date=10-may-2007)
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