Platform for Integrated Cookstove Assessment (PICA)

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
10 a
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Berkeley Air Monitoring Group Inc.
2124 Kittredge St. #57, Berkeley, CA, 94704-1486
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Michael Johnson
(510) 649-9355
Business Contact:
April Gavin
(510) 649-9355
Research Institution:

The primary objective of this project is to fill the need for robust, inexpensive instrumentation for measuring the in-field performance of cook stoves by developing the Platform for Integrated Cook stove Assessment (PICA). PICA is envisioned as a system for managing a suite of tools designed to collect stove performance data at key phases of clean stove development and programmatic evaluation. PICA would facilitate integration of data streams for easier collection, management, analysis, and reporting. The project also aims to upgrade and integrate Berkeley Airs current set of instrumentation -- our temperature-based Stove Use Monitoring System (SUMS), stove emissions monitoring system, and UCB Particle and Temperature System (UCB-PATS) -- into the PICA framework to increase their ease-of-use, applicability, and affordability. PICA would also be developed with the aim of compatibility with wireless communication approaches currently under development at UC Berkeley, Portland State University, and elsewhere. Phase 1 of this project has the following specific technical aims: develop a draft blueprint and prototype module of the PICA software; test and integrate prototypes of the UCB-PaCO (particle and carbon monoxide) air quality monitor with a PICA module; update the SUMS for integration with PICA. Phase II would then involve turning the PICA blueprint into a commercial product, with a suite of sensors and tools available under the PICA umbrella. Dependence on dirty solid fuels and inefficient stoves for cooking by over 3 billion people in developing countries has large negative effects on health, livelihoods, gender equality, and global climate. Current tools for monitoring stove performance and usage, as well as other household-level impacts in the field are generally expensive and time-intensive, failing to uniformly meet the DOEs requirements of affordability, reliability, durability, and user-friendliness. Efficient, robust, cost-effective monitoring and evaluation is critical for the development and uptake of clean cooking solutions, the assessment of impacts, and to support continued global investment in such solutions. To address the need for better household energy monitoring tools, we propose the development of the PICA. PICA is envisioned as a system for managing a suite of tools designed to collect stove performance data at key phases of clean stove development and programmatic evaluation. This project will develop a blueprint of the PICA software, update and integrate existing air pollution and stove use sensors into PICA, and then turn the PICA blueprint into a commercial product with a suite of associated sensors and tools. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits If this project is successful and carried over into Phase II and beyond, the public benefits are many. By creating a better, more integrated system for rapid, cost-effective feedback on in-field stove performance, this project will speed the design, production and uptake of clean cook stoves that are usable, highly-desired and provide real, sustained benefits. When clean and efficient cook stoves are used in place of traditional stoves, they have been shown to reduce ill health and save lives, relieve drudgery, improve livelihoods, and have the potential to empower women. Facilitating the direct in-field measurement of stove performance will support cook stoves in reaching their potential for reducing emissions of greenhouse pollutants, thereby contributing to the much-needed stabilization of the global climate that currently threatens the health, prosperity, and sustainability of our future.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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