The SCORE Stove


SCORE Stove demonstration
Paul Riley, via Score Stove

Liz Waid and Ryan Geertsma look at a cooking stove that can make electricity. It is easy for people to use, and it does not cost a lot of money.

Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2 

And I’m Ryan Geertsma. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

One in four people in the world live without electricity. They cannot store food in an electric refrigerator. They have to cook using dangerous fires. And they cannot see at night unless they have light powered by fuel or battery.  Without electricity, many small jobs are more difficult - especially daily jobs, like cooking.

Voice 2 

Lack of electricity is a major problem. But a group of scientists and one not-for-profit organization are working together to try and solve this problem. They have created an unusual, new stove. This new SCORE Stove can do much more than just cook. It can also produce electricity and work as a refrigerator - to keep food cool. Teo Sanchez, is a writer from the not-for-profit organization, Practical Action.  On their website, he wrote:

Voice 3 

"This amazing stove has the ability to greatly change the lives of people living in poverty. It can bring electricity to people who have never had it. It can give them dependable light, heat, education and health care for the first time in their lives."

Voice 1 

But how does this stove produce electricity? It does it in a very unusual way.  The SCORE Stove produces electricity from sound waves!  Today's Spotlight is on the SCORE Stove and how it produces power from sound.

Voice 2 

In the early 19th century, scientist Robert Stirling proposed an idea for a new kind of engine. It was a “thermodynamic” engine.  The engine’s name comes from two words – “thermo” meaning heat and “dynamic” meaning moving.  His engine translated heat energy into mechanical power.

Voice 1 

In 1999, scientists Scott Backhaus and Greg Swift produced this new kind of engine. This new engine was called a “thermoacoustic” or “heat sound” engine. The new engine was based on Stirling’s thermodynamic engine. However, it also used new technology. This technology translated heat into sound energy.

Voice 2 

The thermoacoustic engine has no moving parts. Instead, it uses a system of pipes containing hot and cold air. When the hot and cold air meet, powerful vibrations or sound waves are produced. And this sound energy is more powerful than traditional heat energy.

Voice 1 

The first thermoacoustic engine cost a lot of money to develop. It was also difficult to use. However, many scientists could see the ways that this new engine could help people living without electricity. So scientists at Nottingham University in the United Kingdom decided to try and improve the new technology.  They decided to change the engine’s design a little. They also decided to power the engine using a cooking stove. This was the beginning of the SCORE-Stove.

Voice 2 

The SCORE Stove is powered by a small wood fire. The stove traps the heat and smoke produced by the fire. This reduces the amount of smoke that escapes into the air. It makes cooking a lot easier. The stove also uses less wood than a normal fire stove. Joe Jamieson works for the not for profit organization Alstom UK. He told the University of Nottingham’s news organization:

Voice 4 

“This technology is life changing and very creative. It helps to solve a very serious problem by reducing the risk of death from cooking smoke. Cooking smoke kills more people than malaria each year. The stove also provides electricity in a safe and easy to produce way.”

Voice 1 

The stove is also good for the environment. In many country areas, people use large amounts of wood to make cooking fires. With the SCORE Stove, they do not have to use as much wood. The SCORE Stove requires very little heat.  It is able to create a lot of electricity by translating the heat into sound energy.  The electricity can also be used to power other things in a home - like lights, a refrigerator and even a mobile telephone.

Voice 2 

After creating the SCORE Stove, the University of Nottingham scientists decided to test it. They began working with a not for profit organizations called Practical Action. Together, they started testing the stove in areas of Nepal and Kenya.

Voice 1 

The University of Nottingham scientists also began working with scientists from Kathmandu University in Nepal. They produced a Nepalese version of the SCORE Stove. It is made of low cost, local materials, and it runs on local fuel.  Bim Prasad Shrestha is a teacher at Kathmandu University. He helped test the stove in Nepal. He was very excited the first time they were able to run the stove on Nepalese fuel. He told Teo Sanchez of Practical Action:

Voice 5 

“It was a great day for us! We managed to create powerful sound waves in our system. We could make electricity using the new stove. It was a great time for our engineers. They successfully lit a small light and boiled water at the same time using the wood fire stove.”

Voice 1 

Powering a small light may seem like a small thing. But for the engineers working on this project, it was very important. It meant that people who needed electricity in Nepal could create it with this stove.

Voice 2 

SCORE Stoves are also helping people in Kenya - people like Betty. Betty lives near the city of Kisumu. She works very long days. She awakes at five in the morning to cook food for her family. After noon, she works cleaning the house of another family. The Practical Action organization gave Betty a SCORE Stove to use in her house. Now, Betty can cook complex meals quickly. And she has more time to spend with her family. Teo Sanchez talked with Betty after she received her new stove. He explained,

Voice 3 

“We talked to Betty about how to start, operate and use the stove safely. Immediately she started to cook. She found that the stove was quick, that it worked well and that it was smokeless. She prepared a meal of meat and vegetables for her family and for us.  She prepared it in about 30 minutes. I have to say I enjoyed the food Betty prepared. I also enjoyed watching her face filled with happiness.”

Voice 1 

The writer of this program was Dianna Anderson. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, “The SCORE Stove.”

Voice 2 

If you have a comment, you can email us at radio@radioenglish.net. Or you can leave a comment on the script page of this program.  You can also find us on Facebook - just search for Spotlight Radio.

Voice 1 

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Do you like to cook? What is your favorite thing to make?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
MinhDuc
said on December 17, 2012

Thanks for this episode. It make my mind more creative to finding new ideas to improve my life and other lives in future hopefully.

Avatar Spotlight
paulo86nirisco
said on December 18, 2012

I loved this program and all the other my is improving, marvellous I receve a lot of praise

Avatar Spotlight
georgino
said on December 19, 2012

Great idea with score stove. Thanks to scientists and the universities that help in this purpose in benefits of the poor communities.

Good topic

Bye..Friends

Long Pham's avatar
Long Pham
said on December 23, 2012

This is new techonology, it save more money for our life. I hope this technology will be applied widespread in rural areas or remote areas where without electricity for use in daily life. It will help to improve more people’s life quality, especially in poor areas.
Thanks a lot the scientists.

Kaleb Kolaibi's avatar
Kaleb Kolaibi
said on August 14, 2016

It’s a good idea but I think that this program is against the last problem (palm oil problem) because they use the wood, that means they damage of environment even they use a little wood. In generally I like this and I encourage to develop it for humanity especially the people in the poor areas whose need to the electricity.
Yes I like cook sometime and my favorite is rice with meat.
God bless you