Thermoelectricity - A Promising Complementarity with Efficient Stoves in Off-grid-areas
Thermoelectric modules produce electricity from heat flow. In areas without electricity, biomass is generally burnt in open fires or rudimentary stoves in order to generate heat, to cook and to produce domestic hot water. Combustion quality in these devices is very low and needs a large amount of wood extracted from surrounding forests. “Planete Bois” develops highly efficient clean multifunction stoves based on double chamber combustion. As an exhaust fan is necessary to adjust the primary and secondary air flows for optimal combustion, these stoves cannot currently be used without electricity. Thermoelectric modules incorporated in a heat exchanger between the flue and the hot water tank can supply the exhaust fan and also produce some electricity for other basic purposes. Our paper presents tests that were done on one of these stoves to size the thermoelectric generator and thus the produced electricity. These preliminary tests are used to identify an outlook for the successful implementation of these stoves.