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Energy Comparisons of cooking and heating methods

I am interested in the possibility of using solar heaters for pre-heating the water used for cooking. This would save money, reduce wood or gas being burned, & fuel burned in cutting and transporting the wood, and reduce CO2 emissions, etc. What I am trying to get is information on energy released in burning green-to-moderately dry softwood, rice husks & coconut fibre, and as well, the energy recovery in different types of situations, ranging from 3-stone cook-fires to reasonably efficient firebrick cook stoves. As well, on the other side of the equation, how much heat-energy is recovered by solar panels, how much is consumed in manufacturing these and also in transport and typical installation. Basically, I am trying to compare energy usage of a carbon-fuel cooking system with solar-heating and do an energy saving/cost-benefit analysis for installing heaters. My gut instinct is that this should produce positive results, but I need more than a feel good factor. I am going to have to come up with some real numbers... Whether you can help here, I am not sure, but maybe you can at least point me in the direction of organisations who can provide this information.

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I think RESET ( are a good organisation to get info from; they do a lot on comparative technologies and so should be able to help. There are one or two others - HEDON might be able to help ( Regards, Toby Gould

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I would suggest contacting Aprovecho who - if they cannot help - may know someone who can.

It may also be worth posting the question on one or two of the stoves discussion lists, e.g.

and HEDON also run some.


Jonathan Rouse

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2014-01-13 12:52:46 +0000
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Jan 13 '14