- The purpose of this report is to detail the design and validation of a prototype robot that feeds biomass into a range of small household cookstoves at a programmable rate. Improved design and testing methods for the development of improved biomass cookstoves are needed to design stoves that alleviate the climate and health issues associated with open fire cooking. The project was initiated to improve current stove testing methods by the Aprovecho Research Center, a stove testing facility located in Cottage Grove, OR. Current stove testing methods require a technician to manually feed biomass into cookstoves; this is a source of variable stove testing data. The prototype design allows a technician to program and monitor the amount of biomass entering the combustion chamber of the stove and is intended to reduce uncertainty related to traditional stove testing methods.
The design of the prototype is detailed in full; this includes a description of the developed hardware, electronics package, firmware capabilities, and software interface. Further, the design process and requirements are outlined and related to the functionality of the prototype. Additionally, a validation study was conducted to compare the performance of the new device to a stove test conducted by a trained employee of Aprovecho.