Nexleaf Case Studies StoveTrace: How Clean Cooking Technologies Save Lives
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StoveTrace: How Clean Cooking Technologies Save Lives

Equipment & Machinery
Process Control & Optimization

» Approximately 3 billion people, about 40 percent of the world’s population, depend on traditional cookstoves that use fuels like firewood, cow dung and crop residues for their cooking needs. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 estimates that 4 million people die each year as a result of inhaling the smoke and soot produced by cooking over traditional cookstoves.

» Switching to clean cookstoves can reduce the amount of firewood used for cooking, as well as the amount of smoke indoors and outdoors. This could lead to reduced pollution and improved health for the women and children who are most exposed to the smoke. Unfortunately, not all clean cookstoves perform well in the field and preferably only the most advanced clean biomass-burning cookstoves should be used. While even these cookstoves still burn locally available biomass, but dramatically and measurably reduce harmful emissions.

» At a cost of approximately 2700-6500 Indian rupees (US $42-$100) each, advanced clean cookstoves are currently unaffordable for the estimated 2 billion people worldwide living on less than US $3 per day. Registered carbon credit programs are beginning to provide financial incentives for reducing carbon emissions through the use of clean cookstoves. However, it is difficult and expensive to verify that these stoves are being used, and the reduction in carbon emissions that results from use of clean cookstoves, making it a challenge to apply carbon credits for improved cooking technologies.

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» To address this challenge of accurately and affordably verifying the use of a clean cookstove, StoveTrace, a state-of-the-art mobile-phone-based temperature sensing application, has been developed.

» The StoveTrace system includes a mobile-phone-based temperature sensing application, a thermal sensor that connects to the mobile device and a web-based analytics dashboard. Each time the clean cookstove is fired up, the StoveTrace senses the cooking event via the temperature probe and stores and uploads cooking event data.

» The temperature data is wirelessly uploaded from the mobile phone to a central server via a wireless broadband network.

» The data collected includes the number of times a stove is used and the duration of each use, enabling remote verification of stove usage. This data can be used by carbon market investors as verification of reduction in carbon emissions. » A web-based dashboard has been developed which shows the number of times the stove has been lit and duration of cooking.

» Vodafone mPesa enables remittance of the carbon market payments directly to the clean cookstove users.

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Continuous monitoring of clean cookstoves through StoveTrace improves understanding of cookstove usage and reveals insights to drive behavior change for increased adoption of clean cooking technology without using tedious and unreliable surveys.

 StoveTrace data has also enabled clean cookstove implementers (including NGOs, manufacturers and entrepreneurs) to detect mechanical breakdowns, allowing implementation teams to quickly repair the stoves resulting in resumed usage by the families.

Stove users were rewarded with micro-payments commensurate with hours of usage paid directly to their bank accounts. Additionally, remittance of carbon credits to families based on clean cookstove usage has led to increased clean cookstove usage among families.

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