René Nuñez Suárez
The Turbococina is a biomass-burning steel cookstove which integrates an electric fan to regulate air and fuel gas flow.
The Turbococina is a forced-draft wood-burning cookstove and it is the first practical application of the “Pressurized Combustion and Heat Transfer Process and Apparatus” designed and patented by Salvadoran inventor René Núñez Suárez. The license holder for the technology is the Swiss-based company Soter AG but the product is distributed by Tecnologías Ecológicas Centroamericanas (TECSA).
Latin America and the Caribbean.
Tecnologías Ecologicas Centroamericanas (TECSA) is the entity responsible for the stove’s final assembly and distribution. However, the Salvadoran Ministry of Education, the Fondo de Inversión Social para el Desarrollo Local (FISDL), the Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social (FUSADES), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are implementing organizations of the Turbococina in El Salvador.
The Turbococina has not yet been marketed to final users for which no retail price is available. However, its mass production cost is estimated at $140 USD. The stove was registered with the Clean Development Mechanism in 2011 with the objective of providing the stoves for free using the income generated from the sale of the carbon credits.
Plancha-type cookstoves disseminated in Central America, more than 20 stove models are available in the region.
Low-income households and public schools.
IP Protected: US Patent 6651645.
Users can obtain the product directly from Tecnologías Ecológicas Centroamericanas (TECSA).
Exact number unknown. However, by 2013 an approximate of 1,200 stoves were donated to public schools as a joint initiative with the Ministry of Education in El Salvador. At the moment TECSA planned to scale up the dissemination of the Turbococina up to 3,500 schools and 120,000 households through its carbon financing project.
The Turbococina is completely made of stainless steel in the shape of a cylinder which contains an internal disk with ten air injectors and two 15 – Watt internal axial fans. The entry and exit of air is regulated with a steel plate. The stove is designed to obtain a heating power of 3.2 Kilowatts with a wood consumption at nominal power of approximately 800 grams/hour. The stove is mounted on a carbon steel table covered with white paint. The pot capacity is 30 L.
Provided by Tecnologías Ecológicas Centroamericanas S.A, de C.V.
May be provided by the manufacturer.
Manufacturers specify an average savings of wood between 90% and 95%, for which they state a reduction in both respiratory diseases caused by smoke and deforestation caused by the collection of firewood.
The United Nations under its Clean Development Mechanism stated that the usage of the Turbococina had the following associated benefits:
- Socio-economic benefits: less time needed to collect the wood, saving of money to buy wood, less time needed for cooking, no smoke and ash released into the air, the cooked food tastes better, the stove is easy to handle and needs less effort to keep it going, it is possible to cook inside the house, and more hygienic.
- Health benefits: reduction of health problems such as respiratory diseases associated with common cooking practices.
- Environmental benefits: fuel wood savings (around 90%), reduction of the deforestation in the country, reduction of CO2 emissions, and elimination of NOx emissions.
The Household Energy, Health and Climate Change Research Group from the University of California at Berkeley conducted a field evaluation of the Turbococina in schools at San Lorenzo, Guatemala. The researches stated that the Turbococina shows a significant promise in reducing fuel requirements in schools, but that the evidence that the Turbococina will reduce the exposure of PM 2.5 and CO in the kitchen compared to the Plancha stove was inconsistent.
The safety concerns associated with the usage of wood-burning cookstoves are primarily related with carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide emissions.
Another significant safety concern is domestic accidents such as accidental burning or spill-overs.
The stove requires an external power supply. A plancha can be placed on top of the stove to cook tortillas.
Hahm, M., & Pratson L. (2010) An Environmental and Financial Analysis of Improved Stove Projects in Guatemala (Unpublished master’s thesis). Nicholas School of Environment of Duke University.
Northcross, A.L., Smith K.R., & Hernandez, M.T. (2012) TURBOCOCINA Field Assessments in Schools: San Lorenzo. Household Enery, Health, and Climate Change Research Group. UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
Wang, X., Franco, J., Masera, O., Troncosco, K. & Rivera, M. (2013) What Have We Learned about Household Biomass Cooking in Central America?. Washington DC.
Complies with all relevant UNFCC requirements for the Clean Development Mechanism.
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