Wind-proof camp stove

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Wind-proof camp stove

Post by cv66er » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:00 pm

"Students and a doctoral candidate at ETH Zurich have developed a camping stove with the flame on the inside, greatly reducing the negative effects of wind and heat loss. The new design was made possible by additive manufacturing."

PeakBoil! It reminds me of a mongolian fire pot. No word on if/when it will go into commercial production...

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Re: Wind-proof camp stove

Post by Asymetryczna » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:27 am

Interesting. Thanks.
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Re: Wind-proof camp stove

Post by Ellywick » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:28 am

Cool. The video demonstrating the unique building process in the link is interesting as well. Although, I am curious how expensive it will be due to the high-tech method of construction.

I am also curious if it is made just to boil water or actually cook with a substance surrounding it. There's a difference between just cleaning water off something and actual food...
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Re: Wind-proof camp stove

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:59 am

So if I'm understanding the concept correctly (I read the article and watched the video, but without sound): in essence, this arrangement places the burner unit and a fluted spiral heat defuser inside the liquid being heated. Interesting, and I can see the inherent efficiencies. But I can see a whole host of practical problems:

1) Cleaning will be a nightmare if you're heating anything other than water.
2) The whole arrangement requires a special pot that has a hole in the bottom through which the burner assembly is attached.
3) Point 2), above means the pot cannot be used over a fire, another stove or really in any way other than with this stove unit. Short of packing another pot, you're SOL if this thing ever breaks down or you simply run out of fuel.
4) It looks unstable as hell.
5) [Jerk, nitpicking mode activated] Isn't the term 'additive manufacturing' sort of redundant? I mean now I know it means something along the lines of creating complex structures with sintered metal particles. But conceptually, isn't all manufacturing "additive"? 8-)
Last edited by majorhavoc on Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wind-proof camp stove

Post by JayceSlayn » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:27 am

I've always been somewhat ambivalent about various additive manufacturing processes. Their main draw is that they can make any complexity of shape for basically the same capital and time cost per volume, with some caveats about finishing steps (e.g. removing support structures, tumbling, etc.). Their main drawback is that their scalability is poor, because the per-unit cost starts fairly high (compared to conventional processes, for similar shapes which are possible in both realms) and stays basically flat with increased volume.

Additive manufacturing shines in cases where production volume is inherently low (prototyping and ad-hoc repair), or complexity is very high (like this case, with very complex, small geometry). I think if the design is sufficiently good, and the added complexity makes a significant performance improvement, then additive manufacturing is a great boon. But I've seen it applied to needlessly-complex projects, as well as ones which could be accomplished much more efficiently using conventional manufacturing processes.

I think this design is interesting. They've clearly tried to focus on the heat transfer efficiency, but there are some obvious trade-offs with usability/maintainability as pointed out by majorhavoc. They actually showed some restraint in the complexity (e.g. it could have fins internal/external to the "vortex chimney", but that would have made cleaning the chimney even harder), and maybe missed some simplification opportunities in other areas (e.g. that burner candelabra?).

It would be interesting to see what kind of thermal efficiency gain they get out of this design over a standard pot. I don't envision that it is great for anything than boiling water, and using a gas-phase fuel (e.g. propane): anything other than water could be cumbersome to clean out, and anything other than very cleanly-burning fuels would rapidly coat the chimney, reducing efficiency. In any case, it could still have a sizeable niche amongst people who cook nothing but dehydrated food and drinks while being particularly fuel efficiency conscious.

EDIT: It also seems that they are only half-focused on the camping stove design, and more interested in demonstrating the kinds of things that additive manufacturing design can accomplish. In its application as an improved industrial boiler component, this might make more sense. Tube-in-tube heat exchangers or finned radiators are already pretty complex objects, but we've also managed to build them pretty efficiently using conventional processes so far, and improvement to their engineering design is somewhat limited.
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Re: Wind-proof camp stove

Post by cv66er » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:05 pm

Ellywick wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:28 am
I am also curious if it is made just to boil water or actually cook with a substance surrounding it. There's a difference between just cleaning water off something and actual food...
Like I said, it reminds me of a mongolian fire pot. You heat a broth based soup in it, and cook meats and vegetables in the hot broth. I couldn't see why you couldn't do the same with this.
majorhavoc wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:59 am
Isn't the term 'additive manufacturing' sort of redundant? I mean now I know it means something along the lines of creating complex structures with sintered metal particles. But conceptually, isn't all manufacturing "additive"? 8-)
"Subtractive Manufacturing" would be using tools like a mill, drill, lathe, or other tool that removes material, instead of a 3-d printer that adds it.

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Re: Wind-proof camp stove

Post by JayceSlayn » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:27 pm

I did a quick calculation: assuming that the chimney is 1 inch in diameter, and 8 inches tall (immersed in water), then the heat exchange area is ~25 square inches. This is compared to just the bottom of an 8 inch diameter pot, which is ~50 square inches. This is obviously pretty far off what their actual design surface area is, but I would guess that with the "bulb" around the burner, that it could be about the same area as a standard round-bottom pot. That isn't as advantageous a comparison as I was expecting, so this thing might have an uphill battle to significantly out-compete a standard pot, at least in its current configuration. The small diameter of the chimney is deceptively underwhelming compared to a large plate.
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Re: Wind-proof camp stove

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:17 pm

cv66er wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:05 pm

"Subtractive Manufacturing" would be using tools like a mill, drill, lathe, or other tool that removes material, instead of a 3-d printer that adds it.
Bolting (or welding, or gluing or stamping) one piece to another piece during the manufacturing process is also adding material to it. Conceptually, its also "additive manufacturing". That's all I meant. :wink:

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Re: Wind-proof camp stove

Post by emclean » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:30 am

cv66er wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:00 pm
PeakBoil! It reminds me of a mongolian fire pot. No word on if/when it will go into commercial production...
made ma thing of an over engineered Kelly Kettle. https://www.kellykettleusa.com/

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