7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 17, 2014 11:11 AM by crispin RSS

    Stove Standards and Testing: How to Measure Performance?

    cathytao89 C4D Extraordinaire
      • What are the progresses?
      • What are the recent updates on the ISO process?
        • Re: Stove Standards and Testing: How to Measure Performance?
          rvanderplas C4D Enthusiast

          Actually, there is no simple answer. You should first define what you want measured. Is it fuel consumption? Energy efficiency? PM emissions? Is it how fast your food is cooked, or how warm you can keep the room? And even then, there are local differences how people cook their food (boil, fry, deep-fry, wok, steam, etc). You may have to define a protocol that can handle these differences. There may not be a one-size fits all solution.

            • Re: Stove Standards and Testing: How to Measure Performance?
              665682 C4D Master

              Here is the summary points from the session moderator Koffi Ekouevi

               

              • The measurement of cookstoves performance is required  to convince users for adoption and use and to motivate the decision making of donors to support cookstove programs. Without systematic measurement and reporting of cookstoves performance, claims on  health, environment protection and climate change co-benefits cannot be substantiated.
              • Setting cookstove standards and testing methodology and protocols should be developed within the local context where the stove is being used. The examples of China and Mongolia presented have indicated that without this contextual consideration, performance metrics might not be meaningful.
              • Measurement of cookstove performance should include the reality of multiple fuels used, cooking practices, and user behavior. The example of Ulanbaatar field testing and consideration of the full burn cycle has illustrated convincingly this point.
              • The update provided on the ISO process indicated positive development in the area of broad participation of many country delegations and attempts to design performance metrics. However, it appears that the process needs to be more transparent and inclusive.
              • The idea of an international standards for cookstoves was questioned on the basis of the significant variety of cooking practices and climate conditions and strongly on the flaws of the water boiling test.  
              • It was recommended for developers of cookstoves standards and testing protocols to have formal reviews and due diligence conducted on their work. Credibility of methodologies and protocols might be at that price.

               

                • Re: Stove Standards and Testing: How to Measure Performance?
                  rvanderplas C4D Enthusiast

                  Until now the relative performance of stoves has been used to report on stove testing, but this is actually quite inaccurate. Subsidies will be handed out in programs based on alleged stove performance (cfg: RBF programs!), so it is actually an obligation to measure stove performance more accurately from now on. Fortunately, it is quite possible to get the absolute measurements done easily, but it requires a different type of testing that is just not easily done with the type of lab set up that most countries use. However, there are laboratories where stoves can be tested accurately for PM2.5 emissions, such as in the SEET laboratory of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology in Ulaanbaatar, and the Setar Centre of the University of  Johannesburg.

                  The idea to report PM emissions as concentrations (g/m3) does not make so much sense. There is no strong relation between the stove performance and these PM concentrations; if someone opens a window, walks through the room (and stirs up dust), this completely distorts the results. Even in the lab it is difficult to get a reliable and replicable measurement using concentrations and instead it might be better to focus on actual emissions (g/sec), to be measured over the entire cooking task. An easy way to compare performance of stoves is to review the absolute quantity emitted per effective MJ used for preparing the food for the specific cooking task; this holds for PM as well as CO emissions. The same with fuel consumption, which should also be related to the effective energy needs for completing the particular cooking task. Only this allows a direct comparison of performance for different stoves -  and this is a good measure to allocate subsidies. The bottom line is that if the stove does not perform well, it should not be subsidized. And a stove with good fuel efficiency can still have high PM emissions, so in the end it must be measured correctly. We don't want to be in a situation that stoves have been subsidized wrongly and donors want to reclaim these later on! Thus, some more thought is needed to develop the right testing methods that actually give results predicting how stoves will perform in the field.

                    • Re: Stove Standards and Testing: How to Measure Performance?
                      665682 C4D Master

                      Hi Robert,

                       

                      I fully agree with your comments. Having a sound standards and testing system is the key for any stove promotion programs and getting the metrics right is the prerequisite for such a system. Under Indonesia Clean Stove Initiative, we have developed a new testing method and metrics we use for PM2.5 and CO missions are g/MJ (the testing method is attached in the e-forum), as advised by Crispin and also based on experiences from Mongolia and South Africa. I hope the ISO development process will take into account these considerations.

                      CSI_Indonesia_Test_Methods_2014_v7.pdf

                • Re: Stove Standards and Testing: How to Measure Performance?
                  crispin C4D Expert

                  The ISO Technical Committee (TC-285) is at the stage of forming Working Groups (WG). These are the groups of experts nominated by participating countries who draft the content of the Standard. The drafts are submitted to the TC for approval - often sent back for revision to incorporate additional perspectives.

                   

                  A WG is formed by one country drafting a new work item proposal (NWIP) which outlines the need for and purposes of the WG. Several WG's were requested the the TC members during the Nairobi meeting. The relevant NWIP's are drafted now, and are up for a vote during the first week of July. If an NWIP receives 11 votes (1/2 the members) the WG will be formed and will carry out the tasks as defined in the NWIP.

                   

                  If the NWIP is written in a way that the members are not going to be happy with the terms of reference, or simply not interested, it will not get enough votes.

                    • Re: Stove Standards and Testing: How to Measure Performance?
                      rvanderplas C4D Enthusiast

                      While in theory this is all perfect, we should not forget that over the past 10 years or so, since clean cooking became a hot topic, we have not been able to come up with a practical and usable way to reliably predict field performance of stoves. Despite all considerable efforts by a lot of people and organizations there remain some doubts that the current WBT, inherited without review from past efforts, will be able to realize this. A thorough review of the protocol is overdue and might correct this, but as far as I know this is not foreseen. Now what? Does any of the NWIP consider such a review?

                       

                      Actually, it is important that there is a standard protocol for evaluating the performance of stoves, for countries to consider when they launch national programs, but it needs to be beyond doubt that the protocol can produce the results needed with scientific precision! If there is any doubt at all, it will be a waste of time to continue developing such a protocol. It is better to take some time and do it right. If in the end the protocol turns out to be wrong (i.e., not producing reliable and precise performance data) no-one will use it.

                        • Re: Stove Standards and Testing: How to Measure Performance?
                          crispin C4D Expert

                          As written, the NWIP does not foresee a review of the GACC-WBT 4.2.x. The discussion in Nairobi was around a Working Group that would create a test, the verb 'correct' was used', but in the end the proposal was only to 'harmonize' the results of other tests to a default method, much like the IWA which did not seek to create an acceptable test or to review then (then v4.1.2) test. The IWA just talked about getting other tests to produce the metrics on the basis of that same WBT. 

                           

                          As the 2014 paper by Zhang, Y et al from CAU shows, some of the IWA metrics are questionable so it is difficult to 'create' answers from normal performance tests without introducing the errors in the WBT. More work is being done to review various test methods (outside the ISO process) so expect additional input.