SCORE - (S)tove for (CO)oking, (R)efrigeration and (E)lectricity supply: an affordable appliance for remote and rural communities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Research and Graduate Services

Abstract

SCORE, a 1.8M consortium, aims to significantly improve health, quality of life, economic growth and social and educational opportunities, and thus reduce poverty in Africa and Asia by understanding the energy needs of their rural communities and working with them to develop the capability to manufacture an affordable versatile domestic appliance. This will combine the functionalities of a high-efficiency cooking stove, an electricity generator and a refrigerator (cool box), referred to as SCORE, and may be fuelled by burning a range of biomass products. The partnership brings together four UK universities, a leading US research centre (Los Alamos National Laboratory), a multi-national electrical goods manufacturer (GP Acoustics), an international charitable organisation (Practical Action), and numerous universities in Africa and Asia. It will also collaborate to ensure that the devices are acceptable at a technological, economic and social level and that there is sufficient scope for the communities to develop numerous businesses from the manufacture, repair and innovative applications of SCORE.The operation of the electricity generating and refrigerator parts of the proposed device will be based on a novel application of thermoacoustic processes. Fundamentally, these rely on the interaction between an acoustic field and solid boundaries, leading to a range of fluid- and thermo-dynamic processes, which do not require harmful working fluids or moving parts in the traditional sense; the electrical power extraction is accomplished by a linear alternator.The concept of the device is based on the proven thermoacoustic Stirling engines and refrigerators developed by Los Alamos, NASA and the US military for applications including: cooling of satellite systems and radar arrays, gas liquefaction and cryogenics, use of waste heat for air conditioning, separation of binary gas mixtures and many others. There is a significant level of innovation in the proposed work in three respects: 1) research into the combination of the thermoacoustic engine, linear alternator and cool box in a single device, powered by a biomass stove, which has not been attempted before,2) design of a rugged and inexpensive linear alternator that could be easily mass-produced, 3) the overall system design from the viewpoint of low cost, application of indigenous materials, use of local manufacturing skills and simplicity of assembly, which are major research issues compared to the high-cost and high-tech thermoacoustic systems produced so far. These challenges form the backbone of the proposed scientific and technological work programme.Within the overall 5-year duration, there will be two stages to this project: the first 3 years will mainly focus on conducting the necessary social and scientific research, while the last 2 years will broadly focus on technology hand-over, including representative field trials and a wide dissemination among target communities.

Publications

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Description The Score project aims to improve the life of over 60 Million people in developing countries. It started as a £2M research consortium, to significantly improve health, quality of life, economic growth and social and educational opportunities, and thus reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian sub-continent and South America by understanding the energy needs of their rural communities and working with them to develop the capability to manufacture an affordable versatile domestic appliance.
There are two major variants of the Score-Stove™. Score-Stove™1 is a low-smoke cookstove that does not generate electricity that has been installed in Nepal, Kenya and Zambia. Some installations also have PV cells to generate the electricity. Score-Stove™2 is a low-smoke cookstove that also generates electricity using the thermo-acoustic effect.

Score-Stove™2 combines the functionality of a high-efficiency cooking stove, with an electricity generator that may be fuelled by burning a range of biomass products. The original Score Team was a research partnership that brought together four UK universities, Nottingham, City University London, Leicester, Queen Mary University of London and NGO (the international charitable organisation Practical Action). The results were disseminated at an international conference in April 2012. www.nottingham.ac.uk/lmh. City University London holds a world first of 23W electrical power from a wood burning thermo-acoustic engine, with new versions being developed.



The project has now widened to include other interested individuals and organisations in what we call the Score-community. Additionally, a Score-centre comprises a local University and organisation with field experience, normally Practical Action. The purpose of each centre is to adapt the stove for local use, provide training for manufacture and maintenance etc.



The ongoing goal of the project is to collaborate to ensure that the Score-Stoves are acceptable at a technological, economic and social level and that there is sufficient scope for the poor communities to develop numerous local businesses from the manufacture repair and innovative applications of Score and that the developed world contributes to the overall Score ethos.


The operation of the electricity generation is based on a novel application of Thermo-Acoustics originally based on a development by Los Alamos, NASA and the US military. Applications include: cooling of satellite systems and radar arrays, gas liquefaction and cryogenics, use of waste heat for air conditioning, separation of binary gas mixtures and many others.



There is a significant level of innovation in the Score research work in three respects:
1) research into the combination of the Thermo-Acoustic engine, linear alternator in a single device, powered by a biomass stove, which has not been attempted before.
2) design of a rugged and inexpensive linear alternator that could be easily mass-produced,
3) the overall system design from the viewpoint of low cost, application of indigenous materials, use of local manufacturing skills and simplicity of assembly, which are major research issues compared to the high-cost and high-tech Thermo-Acoustic systems produced so far. These challenges formed the backbone of the scientific and technological work programme. Future work is concentrating on field trials and performance monitoring. If successful and affordable, we intend to mass-market the design aiming at multi million installations.
Exploitation Route Application of knowledge to improved cook stove design
Deployment of improved cook stoves and electricity generating technologies in rural areas of developing countries
Management of field trials for new technologies
Sectors Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

URL http://www.score.uk.com/default.aspx
 
Description A wide variety of beneficiaries of this technology have been engaged including Practical Action (PA) - a charity with offices around the world, Kathmandu University (Nepal) and BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology). The commercialisation plan was aimed at facilitating pre-production demonstrators to enable the organisations to promote the technology. Similarly, within the UK, there is a significant demand for low cost generation of electricity in a sustainable or low carbon manner. CHP and cooking stoves of the Aga variety (attached with a thermo-generating device) are two examples. A KTP with Warrior Stoves was initiated to establish the feasibility of a UK manufactured product suitable for the domestic market. Score Centres were established in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Nepal to provide local support for research and demonstration. Significant media interest was generated including coverage on CNN and a BBC schools program as part of The Imagineers initiative.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Alstom
Amount £82,562 (GBP)
Funding ID Project 2012 - Score Village Trials (SViT) 
Organisation Alstom 
Sector Private
Country France
Start 07/2012 
End 06/2013
 
Description Alstom
Amount £82,562 (GBP)
Funding ID Project 2012 - Score Village Trials (SViT) 
Organisation Alstom 
Sector Private
Country France
Start 08/2012 
End 06/2013
 
Title A HEAT EXCHANGER ARRANGEMENT 
Description Heat exchangers can be utilised in thermo-acoustic engines to facilitate through acoustic oscillations electrical power generation via linear alternators and/or cooling effects. Provision of a heat exchanger arrangement 31 which can be associated with a traditional open flame stove utilised in third world countries would be advantageous. However, such heat exchanger arrangements must be lightweight and robust to withstand operational use. By creating a heat exchanger arrangement formed from plates having apertures which develop a folded conduit to act as a resonance tube of appropriate length it is possible to more easily accommodate thermo-acoustic electrical power generation and cooling effects in a traditional stove configuration. 
IP Reference WO2009156717 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2009
Licensed No
Impact None to date
 
Description News report: The Gurkhas test out a new clean cooker on BBC News 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Queens Gurkha Signals regiment tested out a new cook stove which could save thousands of lives back in Nepal in front of a special VIP audience in an event organised by Practical Action. World Health Organisation figures show that some four million people worldwide die each year from smoke pollution inside their homes generated by cooking over open fires. In Nepal most of these deaths are a result of respiratory infections and most victims are women and children under five.

To publicise the event the Gurkhas put the Score cook stove pioneered by The University of Nottingham through its paces in front of the Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University, the Nepalese education minister and the chief executive of Practical Action, Simon Trace.


Strengthening of links with Katmandu University (visit by VC to Nottingham)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXfgyMQLAds
 
Description SCORE stove field trials 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Field trials of the SCORE stove carried out in Bangladesh and Nepal.

Led to development of further links with Katmandu University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMpiOhfI790&list=UUa1eddRA3l7sfg4Zt2y0d9w
 
Description Television programme: BBC2 Imagineers broadcast 04:30 on 21st May 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Video produced for BBC schools on the SCORE stove

Discussion on social media
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/102255847/papers/Theimagineers/VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_1.VOB