Final Report: Developing/Manufacturing/Selling an Affordable Clean Burning Biomass Heating/Cooking/Lighting Integrated StoveEPA Contract Number: EPD17002
Title: Developing/Manufacturing/Selling an Affordable Clean Burning Biomass Heating/Cooking/Lighting Integrated Stove
Investigators: Still, Dean K
Small Business: ASAT, INC.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: November 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017
Project Amount: $99,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2016) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
The Phase I SBIR work resulted in the manufacturing of the affordable wood fueled ASAT Integrated Stove that heats the home, cooks food, and makes electricity using a more efficient thermoelectric generator for interior lighting and charging of cell phones. The $125 wholesale cost stove will be sold to Southern Chinese consumers and also in the USA. It has the best ISO rating for fuel use (Tier 4) and is clean burning, meeting the WHO and EPA Standards. To determine the best product, four types of stoves were analyzed and tested under the emissions hood. The Box Type Cordwood Stove, Rocket Stove, Pellet Stove, and Forced Draft Stove were optimized in an iterative development process developed by ASAT. Complete descriptions of the results are included in the 86 page final report. A technically advanced thermoelectric generator was also developed that makes 10 W of electricity from the heat in the stove for $60.
As part of the investigation of how to manufacture the best Heating/Cooking/TEG Stove ASAT: 1.) Is working with a manufacturer to sell more affordable high quality catalytic converters that clean up emissions in biomass heating stoves 2.) Has invented a 1g/h PM 2.5 forced draft vertical combustion chamber 3.) Created a self-feeding pellet stove, and 4.) Continues to develop the 10W TEG system that can be installed in many biomass heating or cooking stoves.
The full report details the results of the six month testing and analysis to determine how to manufacture an optimized Integrated Stove. The team tried four types of stoves that could both heat a home and cook food and is developing and will manufacture a more efficient thermoelectric generator and a high quality inexpensive catalytic converter.
Box Type Cordwood Stove
A metal box type stove that burns cordwood was improved by installing and optimizing a catalyst system that combusts smoke (PM 2.5 and Carbon Monoxide). The primary and secondary air were adjusted until the stove met the EPA 2020 Emission Standards. This type of stove could be manufactured and sold in the USA and in Northern China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan where ASAT works.
The Winiarski Rocket stove can be found worldwide and is preferred by farmers and others who burn sticks of wood instead of split logs. Cutting down trees is illegal in China where a huge market exists for the ASAT Integrated Stove. ASAT chose this type of stove to manufacture after surveys in China and the United States showed a marked preference for this model.
Pellets and briquettes made from biomass are for sale in China and in the USA. Pellet heating stoves meet the 2020 EPA Emission Standards because the fuel is metered into a crucible with forced air. Pellet stoves burn so cleanly in this system that they do not require a catalytic converter. As part of SBIR 1 ASAT developed a heating/cooking/TEG pellet stove that does not require an electric motor to function. ASAT may manufacture this stove in the future.
Forced Draft Stove
A vertical cylindrical combustion chamber can burn large pieces of split logs and emit around 1gram of PM 2.5 per hour. The 2020 EPA Standard is 2 grams per hour. The strong jets of primary and secondary air create a zone of superior mixing resulting in almost complete combustion. Chinese heating stoves often use this approach. ASAT optimized the technique under the emissions hood and added cooking and TEG functions. ASAT may patent and license this technique assisting manufacturers to decrease harmful emissions.
An affordable 10W thermoelectric generator
A prototype TEG unit with high temperature modules and a water bath for cooling coupled to an active temperature control on the hot side has been built and successfully tested in the lab. The $60 wholesale cost unit can steadily produce 10W when installed into the charcoal bed at the bottom of the ASAT Integrated Stove combustion chamber. In Phase 2 of the project, the TEG system will be further developed and manufactured as an optional accessory.
High quality catalytic converter
ASAT is working with a manufacturer of catalytic converters to refine the product making it 2” thick, not the current 1” and increasing the amount of catalyst applied to the substrate. Testing continues at the lab in Oregon. When a reliable product is proven, ASAT will consider selling the new catalyst in China and in the United States.
Development of the new $125 wholesale cost ASAT Integrated Stove has been completed and the stove is being manufactured. Sales are slated to start in September in China and in the USA. The biomass stove is unique in that it meets the 2020 EPA Standard for PM 2.5, heats a room, cooks food, while a TEG under development will produce electricity used for lighting and charging small appliances. The TEG prototype now produces 10W of power for $60. An analysis of options for biomass heating and cooking stoves (described above) resulted in several innovative products that ASAT may also manufacture and sell.
The new ASAT Integrated Stove is now being manufactured. The Integrated Stove will be sold in China and in the USA. Chinese distributors, working with the partner factory will add the Integrated Stove to their product line (one million cooking stoves currently sold per year). In 2018 it is estimated that 500 Integrated Stoves per month will be purchased by SSM distributors. SSM estimates that after five years the estimated 10% market share will result in 3,200 stoves/month being sold at a profit of $60,000/month. Heating stoves are a new “luxury item” in Southern China and an initial survey found that an affordable ($200 retail) Rocket type Integrated Stove was appreciated and desired by farmers and rural householders. In 2018, the ASAT Integrated Stove will be further market tested by distributors in Southern China. Four distributors will place stoves in 20 retail outlets where trained personnel will interview customers and determine the requirements of the Chinese consumer. If changes are needed in the current model, they will be inputted into the product. ASAT and SSM follow this procedure when preparing a new product.
In the USA, ASAT will sell the stove through its web based company (StoveTecStore.Net) and through distributors to retail outlets. ASAT sells an average of 3,350 stoves per year through the Internet in the USA. In 2018, the Integrated Stove will initially add another 2,000 estimated sales/year expanding to 10,000 stoves/year after five years resulting in a projected profit of 2M/year. A survey in the United States of customers who had previously purchased a StoveTec product resulted in 38% of respondents indicating that they would purchase a $500 ASAT Integrated Stove with TEG.
The commercial opportunities in the USA for the Integrated Stove are extensive. ASAT has a strong market presence and sells biomass cooking stoves intended for the camping, recreational, and emergency preparedness markets. There is a substantial demand for the Integrated Stove which is reinforced by a growing movement of “tiny houses”. A clean burning heating/cooking stove with TEG for lighting and cell phone charging is currently not available while surveys indicate strong consumer appeal.