The Score Stove™: using thermal waves to generate electricity from cooking

Application of Thermo-Acoustic, electrical generating engines in rural areas; The Score Stove ™, Paul Riley



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Speaker: Paul Riley, SCORE Director, University of Nottingham

Riley PH, Saha CR, Johnson CM.
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the University of Nottingham, UK
Tel +44 115 9515356 paul.riley at nottingham.ac.uk

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Miriam Hansen
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Over 1.6 Billion worldwide have no access to electricity (1), and cook on an open stove. The cost of installing the electricity is a major barrier to very large scale (i.e. to cover over 90% of the population) electrical distribution, whether PV, mains wiring hydro, or wind, being an order of magnitude greater than can be afforded by the rural poor. Recent developments in Thermo-Acoustic technology (2) (3) (4) have shown the potential for producing low-cost bio-mass fuelled, electrical generators in the 25 to 100 Watt range. Results of surveys in Nepal, Kenya and Uganda have shown that as the price of an appliance drops below €90 it becomes affordable to 60 Million people and at €30 the target to supply electricity to 90% of rural poor becomes achievable (2). For such penetration, very large scale manufacture is required (over 50 million units per year) which puts many constraints on all aspects of the product design. The Score research project led by Nottingham University, is aiming to reach these cost targets with a travelling-wave, Thermo-Acoustic Engine (TAE) that can cook, generate electricity and heat a dwelling powered by smoke free wood burning technology.


Paul H Riley, is the Score Project Director, at the University of Nottingham, and MD of Inovex Limited and Technical Director of RoKD Limited. Score is a £2M, six-institution EPSRC funded, research project to develop a wood burning stove that will generate electricity and cooling utilising thermo-acoustic technology for use in developing countries. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, FRSA and MIoD. At Rolls Royce (Aerospace), he managed many £multi-million and international projects and was pivotal in improving the reliability of engine-borne electronic control systems; he led the team that developed and he approved the electronic-engine-control certificate for the RB211 535 E4, the most reliable aero-engine in the world. He is an influential speaker and has presented at worldwide events at all levels. Spede was a £2M research project that gained “approaching world class and outstanding” from an EPSRC independent peer review. This 3-university, 3-industrialist consortium was project managed by Paul who exploited the results of the research both within Rolls Royce and externally. Previously the Technical Director of Ramtech Electronics Limited where he reduced manufacturing costs by 28%.


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This presentation will start by outlining basic TAE technology (5) and its application in a number of areas including the Score™Stove, CHP (combined heat and power) and waste heat recovery. It will cover results of market research to capture technical requirements and outline the cost modelling used in Score to predict the cost of a mass produced product before detailed drawing are available and how this modelling technique can be used to reduce costs at the system and detailed design stages.


  1. People with no electricity (millions) in 2008, Afghanistan = 23.3, Bangladesh = 94.9, India = 404.5, Nepal =16.1,Pakistan = 70.4, Sri Lanka =4.7, Total for South Asia = 613.9, http://www.iea.org/weo/electricity.asp
  2. Riley, P.H., Saha, C., and Johnson, C.J., “Designing a Low-Cost, Electricity Generating Cooking Stove”, Technology and Society Magazine IEEE, summer 2010. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MTS.2010.937029,
  3. 1932-4529/10/$26.00©2010IEEE.
  4. Abduljalil ARS, Yu Z, Jaworski A J. "Experimental Characterisation of Low-Cost Regenerators for Travelling-Wave Thermo-acoustic Devices". Proc. 7th Annual International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference. pp AIAA-2009-4580. 2-5 August 2009
  5. Mao X, Saechan P, Jaworski A J. "Evaluation of Random Stack Materials for Use in Thermoacoustic Refrigerators". Proc. 10th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis; Paper ESDA2010-24763. In Press
  6. Swift, G. W., 1992. “Analysis and Performance of a Large Thermoacoustic Engine”. J. Acous Soc. Am., 92(3), September, pp. 1551-1563

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Last edited by miriam@ecoharmony.com .
Page last modified on Thursday November 18, 2010 18:17:56 GMT.
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