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Cohune Nut Renewable Energy Stove Project

Interesting review from Belize Listserve engineer Peter Singfield from Corozal in northern Belize describes prototype development that could benefit from the millions of tons of cohune nuts deposited annually in the tropical rain forests of Central America.

 

The objective is to develop renewable energy solutions that can benefit the poor.

 

Mr. Singfield is a highly regarded shaman and healer originally from Canada who settled in Belize. Mr. Singfield is an electrical engineer by training and runs a successful consulting business developing appropriate technology solutions for companies in northern Belize. This review is in abstract free form. It will be edited as the projects evolves.

 

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I am presently working on an improved cohune nut fueled stove design.

In that one you needed put in 3 to 6 whole nuts ever ten minutes or so in the new model I will try for a more sustained burn using a bigger fire box — using top draft burning. As they do for burning bagasse in the big cane factory furnaces.

Did you note the institutional cookers with multiple large pots? They also have one model that pipes the product over to exterior burners.

Plus hot water heaters — etc. Then there are those stoves like the ones I got from China years back (four of them) — I’ll need to get one up and running on cohune. But they are not as efficient. Efficiency is important — better efficiency less the cost than butane — say 6 times less rather than just 3 times less.

The design I am actually running has a few major differences in the draft air is supplied — the burn chamber length is much greater and refractory lined — meaning it get cherry red and stays that way — which means more complete combustion. Thus it can work after warmed up on natural draft alone. I need to get some of those 2 dollar Chinese hand cranking blowers — for start up!!

For commercial applications the best would be just to put in a line of these — each being one major burner. And make it totally “electric” — which still means so little power — you could run it off one car battery — say six of these at a time. Certainly — even a 100 watt solar panel would be more than enough for 6 burners. Or — just hook up a computer UPS — so if BEL goes off — your stoves still cook.

Why all electric?? Because I can then put in a dial for infinite control — just by varying fan speeds. So it can cook just like a big butane stove does. Basically each stove would be “charged” once per day — early morning — then started to run all day. Each morning the cold ashes would be easily dumped out — and any charcoal or residual fuel put back in with the fresh charge — more fuel economy.

Right now the stove here is still running on yesterday charge — though my son-in-law does add a few extra cohune. So basically — you can use it either way. The cohune is added just by dashing them in from the top.

Cohune burns leaving less ash then any other fuel – very green and renewable energy – so probably only have to clean it once per week — or longer. We’ll see. They call these dual chamber because one cooks the fuel — the other burns the gas so released.
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In my design — both chambers are thick layered with refractory — the second chamber — the gas burning chamber — gets very hot — and stays that way — which greatly increases ease of combustion and combustion efficiency.

The secondary air is also introduced in a totally different manner than all the rest — it is blown down on top of the fuel bed — with the second combustion chamber which is quire lone — on top of it.

So cool air is forced down into the top burning pit — like blowing on a cigaret standing on end — then the swirling mixture goes up into the second upper chamber — which is red hot — and real combustion of gases occue.

Even when running natural draft mode — there is a steady back ground roar. My first design was as you see presented in those urls I posted — I burned the off gasses at the top — but this blackened pots terribly. Now pots stay clear. Standard designs do not allow mixing and burning area.

The fan uses about 4 watts power — 12 volts (say 1/3 amp) — and less. That stove makes great Barbecue stove as well. It will bring you up to speed. Mine is specific to cohune nuts — and is working really really fine. These are batch loaded. I loaded about ten or so pounds of cohune nut — ran it for about 90 minutes – -then shut off all drafts.

My son-in-law came in 3 hours later and started it up to heat 5 gallons of water. Then turned it off again. So it still have fuel left.

I have to do some serious trials — weight the amount of nuts — measure how long it burns. The heating range in my device is quite broad — from a low simmering heat (good for barbecues) to a blow torch!!

It works quite well with plenty of heat with not fan  just natural draft.



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