New members of the SCALE project, Khin and Bo, whose objective is to scale-up improved cookstove dissemination in Myanmar, recently came to Phnom Penh to take part in a lab training. This session completed the training they attended a few weeks earlier in Yezin. The goal of those laboratory orientations was to transfer knowledge on stove testing and also train them on testing protocols.

Early June in Yezin (36 km from Nay Pi Daw), Khin and Bo, laboratory manager and technical manager, respectively, benefited from technical support from Iwan and David, our StovePlus experts, helped by Saly, monitoring coordinator of GERES Cambodia. During those five days of training, they acquired a lot of knowledge on stove testing. David, our biomass energy and combustion specialist, trained Khin on the laboratory operation processes, data management and storage, equipment check-up and calibration. They also worked together on heat capacity and emissions testing, and were shown how to prepare fuel and filters for those tests. With David’s help, Khin also practiced the Water Boiling Test* and the Adapted Water Boiling Test**. Satisfied with her lessons, Khin specifies: “David has a sharp knowledge of this field, he gave me much advice. Thanks to this training I am now more comfortable with international stove testing procedures.”

Bo mainly worked with Iwan, joining David’s training occasionally. His mission on the SCALE project is to trace cookstove production from the raw materials used by the producers to the purchase of the product by the end-users. Our lead technical advisor, Iwan, showed him how to measure the cookstove samples received from the different producers and also how to calculate the shrinkage factor of those stoves. The clay shrinkage factor is measured and established during three main steps of a stove fabrication: over the molding when the clay is wet, then during the drying process when water evaporates and finally once the clay is fired and reaches its final stage.

"Iwan trained me on the monitoring system, meaning the whole production line from the producers to resellers, distributers, retailers and end-users. Then, from David, I learned about equipment control processes”, says Bo.

Passing through Phnom Penh, our two colleagues benefited from another technical training in order to complete their first orientation. This time they learned from Guillaume, G-BEL’s manager (GERES Biomass Energy Laboratory). During one intensive day of training, they learned about G-BEL’s organization and its data management system. Guillaume also introduced them to all the stove testing procedures and processes, as well as ISO standard 17025*** and gave them a demonstration of the LEMS****. Khin, Bo and Guillaume worked together on quality issues and management in the laboratory, as Khin is in charge of the conception and revision of the quality manual for the stove testing laboratory in Myanmar.

Thanks to their newly acquired skills and all the advice they received, Khin and Bo are confident regarding the success of their project. “Improved cookstoves are a real issue in Myanmar, with my job and what I have been taught I can really respond to this particular need now and help my country to develop” declares Khin.

For his part, Bo has always been interested in the gender issue in Myanmar where, according to his research and field experience, women represent 80% of the stove producers. Joining this project was a unique opportunity for him to promote gender equality while reducing biomass consumption in his country, meaning that the pressure on natural resources is decreasing.

He affirms: “I won’t keep what I was taught for me. I will share everything I have learned, my new knowledge and skills, with my team, to strengthen it, and we will support efficiently our cookstove producers. This way we will take-up the SCALE project’s challenges and we will succeed in up-scaling improved cookstove dissemination in our country!

* Water Boiling Test (WBT) is a simplified simulation of the cooking process. It is intended to measure how efficiently a stove uses fuel to heat water in a cooking pot and the quantity of emissions produced while cooking.

** The Adapted Water Boiling Test (AWBT) has been designed by the GERES stove testing center in Cambodia. The main characteristics of the AWBT are that both cookstoves are tested at the same time (when possible); the same quantity of fuel is used in both cookstoves; there is no “hot start” step; the fuel is not weighed during the test; approximate local cooking conditions are used.

*** ISO standard 17025 is aimed at laboratories with a quality management system. It establishes the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling.

**** Laboratory Emissions Monitoring System (LEMS).

© StovePlus, a program by GERES
This project is funded by the European Union, by the FFEM, the Fondation RAJA and the Fondation Lord Michelham of Hellingly