Extended Life Stove
The Jikokoa was one of the first stoves the Burn Design Lab team worked on. This charcoal stove, designed for East Africa, reduces fuel consumption by more than 50% and reduces harmful emissions by more than 60% compared to traditional cooking methods. Over 450,000 Jikokoa charcoal stoves have been produced and sold by BDL local partner, Burn Manufacturing Co., a social venture company. The Jikokoa, currently in its 4th generation as the Jikokoa-Xtra, retails at about $40 and can save families up to $200 per year in fuel costs.
However, the stove has a limited lifespan due to severe temperature swings typically experienced by stoves that eventually cause the metal to fail. Now, thanks to a grant from the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, we are working with BMC to double the life of the Jikokoa stove.
Although the Jikokoa stove currently retails for around $40, when accounting for differences in wages in the developing world this price actually equals an American equivalent of around $800. Buying a new stove after it fails in 2-3 years would be equal to asking working class Americans to replace their refrigerator, stove units, or washing machines every 3 years. As a result, extending the lifespan of each stove is critically important for families across the developing world.
Our team of engineers is evaluating and testing alternative materials, including ceramics and metal alloys, as well as alternative geometries, cylindrical or hexagonal, in search of a cost-effective solution that will give the stove 1 – 3 more years of life. Initial lab-based materials testing is done at BDL’s facility in Vashon, WA before samples are sent to the Durability Testing Program at Burn Manufacturing. At the durability test facility, stoves are operated around the clock, cycling 12 or more times per day to simulate accelerated use conditions. Finding the right material and the right geometry will make a major difference in the lives of 100,000’s of families who buy these stoves every year.
Increased durability (doubled lifetime)
Improved, temperature change-resistant material