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Self-powered Stirling Stove

Energy, Mexico

Especially for the people who do not have access to electricity or gas, and for whom firewood is the soul source of energy, an ingenious cooking plate is developed. To give an impression, in Mexico alone, 28 million people depend on using firewood for heating and cooking. This was the pressing fact that moved the young Mexican graphical designer Eduardo Altimirano to design a portable electrical stove, which creates its own energy.

With his design Eduardo has won the third price in the Electrolux design lab of 2006, a yearly contest for inventing revolutionary household appliances. The electrical stove, or cooking plate, is named Vessto, which is an anagram for Stirling Stove. This is because it is based on an advanced version of the Stirling system, the external combustion engine invented by Robert Stirling in 1816.

Renewable energy
'Stirling' might ring a bell, but how does a machine create its own energy? The inside of the Vessto contains a small amount of gas. In a reaction to heat, this gas expands and contracts. The movement of the gas drives an internal motor, which in turn produces the stoves' power. The energy that is needed to heat the gas for the first time is provided by small batteries. When a high enough temperature is reached, the Vessto works independently and makes its own energy.