TL;DR – Envirofit is using Particle to remotely monitor the the indoor emission reduction impacts of their clean energy cookstoves. Read the complete highlights and case study here.
The high cost of traditional cooking
Over 3 billion people around the world cook with biomass over open fires inside their home. That’s nearly half of the global population that must rely on antiquated, unsustainable harvested energy sources like wood and charcoal to warm their houses and cook their food.
And while cooking over an open fire might seem romantic to some, it comes with a heavy price to families and the environment. The use of wood-fired stoves releases large amounts of CO2 and other harmful emissions that actively contribute to climate change. In fact, open fires produce over 1 billion tons of CO2 per and are responsible for roughly 25% of all global black carbon emissions.
Although the governments in emerging markets are working to bring electricity, modern cooking, and a better quality of life to their citizens, those efforts are typically slow moving. That’s why there remains a strong need for more immediate and accessible solutions to the problem of energy poverty.
A clean, efficient, & comfortable solution
One of Envirofit’s most recent campaigns took them to Honduras, where the government partnered with the company to deploy 300,000 plancha cookstoves to families living at the base of the economic pyramid. As in many Central American countries, the tortilla is a staple of the Honduran diet. Because of that, Envirofit had to develop a specific stove with a flat “plancha-style” grill top suited for making tortillas as well as heating pots and pans.
However, despite being specially designed for the Central American market, Envirofit and the Honduran government still wanted to ensure that its use was being adopted. Thus they took a sample of 1000 customers from the stoves that were deployed to understand cookstove adoption.
Particle provides a path forward
To overcome that hurdle, Envirofit integrated the Electron and the Particle Device Cloud into their operations and began collecting data. In addition to solving the problems of physical data collection, Particle also helped stave off data loss, and reduce time to market. With the Electron and Particle platform in place, Envirofit looks to add even more functionality in the near future. Although they perform extensive emissions testing on their stoves in the lab, Lorenz explained that real, in-field conditions can be different.
“We didn’t have to do all that heavy coding or worry about security and all sorts of other major headaches associated with IoT. It really was a much quicker, easier, and cost-effective way to get operational than trying to build something from the ground up.” – Nathan Lorenz, VP of Engineering at Envirofit.
That’s why Lorenz and the Envirofit team are exploring the possibility of adding real-time emissions monitoring to their IoT application. As many of their initiatives are done in cooperation with governments and NGOs, having robust, in-field evidence of their products’ benefits could prove incredibly valuable in their efforts to forge new partnerships. More importantly, having that data will help the engineers at Envirofit fine-tune their designs to become even more clean and efficient.