Powerstove Provides Cleaner and Safer Cookers but it Might not be Very Affordable
Powerstove Energy is a startup that was founded by Okey Esse. The company uses tech to create an efficient powerstove that doubles as an energy source for other household appliances. It was launched in 2016.
Cooking accounts for about 91% of domestic energy consumption in Nigeria. Inefficient stoves fueled with kerosene, biomass and coal have been estimated to cause about 4 million deaths yearly with women and children making up a sizeable portion of the victims.
Indoor pollution, as well as pollution from cooking with wood, have been linked to childhood pneumonia, chronic respiratory diseases, burns and cancers. This creates the need for stoves that can supply clean energy and are affordable.
Powerstove Energy’s solution provides a stove that solves that problem with a techy twist. It implements an IoT System that controls the fan as well as the electricity supply.
What Powerstove offers
Powerstove converts non-recyclable paper as well as wood and agricultural by-products of different crops into biomass pellets. The startup manufactures the stove as well as the pellets for biomass fuel available to users.
The lifespan of a powerstove is a minimum of 5 years and in the course of that time, it can charge electrical appliances as well as be used for cooking. It can be used to charge mobile phones, rechargeable lanterns, power LED bulbs and power banks.
The startup’s latest product is a powerstove with a high power output of 18,000mAh which can charge a television set as well as fans. This stove has an inbuilt inverter. The 18,000mAh powerstove can charge a TV set for about 8 hours, according to Okey.
The stoves are built with an IoT System which has internal pre-programmed and programmable computer chips that control the fan, electricity supply, and data transfers over 2G/3G network. The IoT system uses input sensors and output components to control all the functions.
The range of the startup’s powerstoves is from N35,000 to N52,000 with different price points in between. The fuel, which is the biomass pellet, costs N60 per Kilo. One kilo of the pellet can cook for an hour and thirty minutes which also means that it can cook dericas (a derica is a tin can used to measure foodstuffs in Lagos) of beans completely.
These resources are available at Powerstove sales outlets in central markets and mobile kiosks, online and through partnering distributors.
At N600 for 10kg, the biomass fuel (made from wood pellets) is affordable than kerosene is. The cost of a powerstove is relatively higher than that of kerosene stoves and small gas cylinders.
On Konga, the average cost of kerosene stoves is N8,000 while gas cylinders can cost more than N12,000 depending on the size.
A 6kg gas cylinder filled with about N2,000 from Fastgas may be used for about 7 weeks, depending on what you cook with it. The same amount may be used to buy 30kg of powerstove pellets which can be used for about 7 and a half weeks based on the instance of the family of four mentioned earlier.
Alternatives to powerstove
Alternatives to the powerstove include regular cooking stoves that are fueled with kerosene as well as the gas cookers. The cost of using gas and kerosene stoves is heavily affected by the fluctuating price of petroleum products in the country.
At N60 per kilo, the biomass fuel (made from wood pellets) is affordable than kerosene is. The cost of a powerstove is relatively higher than that of kerosene stoves and small gas cylinders. On Konga, the average cost of kerosene stoves is N8,000 while gas cylinders can cost more than N12,000 depending on the size.
A 6kg gas cylinder filled with about N2,000 from Fastgas may be used for about 7 weeks, depending on what you cook with it. The same amount may be used to buy 33 powerstove pellets which can be used for about 3 weeks if you cook a lot based on the average cooking time of 1 hour 30 minutes for each kilo of biomass pellet.
Depending on your need, opting for a gas cooker might help you conserve more money, however, considering the electrical capabilities built into the powerstoves, it may be a more productive alternative.
The startup raised $5,000 from the Tony Elumelu Foundation and raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Greentec Capital in September. The next step for the company is to increase its production capacity to 25,000 units of powerstoves monthly.
Powerstove Energy currently operates in Abuja, Niger, Nasarawa and Kaduna and will be expanding to Lagos and Kano states soon. Nationwide delivery is available from any of its distributors as well as from its website.
The multiple functions of the stoves, as well as the IoT-enhancements that help it to regulate its features, make powerstoves a viable alternative in Nigerian homes.
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