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Team blogs

Updated August 2018

Meet the Teams is a series of 12 blogs introducing the 12 teams competing in the 2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge. Each blog looks at what is new and unique in the stove technology and what drives the team that came up with the design.

Backed by the EPA and DOE, top cookstove designers tackle the heatstove
Dean Still is a world renowned cook stove designer and tester has spent decades making stoves that cost less that US$20. When we asked Dean if he could design a really clean, automated heat stove that cost between $500 and $1,000, he laughed and said "you would think that should easy."

Fighting global warming with a gravity fed, thermoelectric pellet stove
Fred Leavitt and Jill Elsner took the Wiseway gravity fed pellet stove and made it into a electricity producing powerhouse for off-grid or back-up electricity uses. Pellet stoves provide a more even heat source for thermoelectric and they are shooting for a up to 100 watts.


A New Zealand entrepreneur automates the wood stove - without using electricity
There is a huge need for automated, “idiot proof” stoves all over the world. A New Zealand man discovered an innovative valve and in 2008, he hired Ben Myren to help integrate the valve into a stove. So began one of the most innovative and promising new stove technologies on the US market.


Canada’s largest stove company looks to the future in automated stoves
Guillaume Thibodeau-Fortin, an SBI mechanical engineer, believes that automation of the wood stove is likely to be a main trend in stove manufacturing in the future. "We designed this for multiple reasons - not just to build a stove that operates cleanly in our customers' home. Automation also serves to improve safety, efficiency and ease of use,” Guillaume said.

A father-son forge an entirely new breed of hybrid wood/pellet stoves
Its not often that a new breed to wood stoves is introduced. This has some of the best properties of a wood stove and a pellet stove. Its consistently clean and high efficiency and gravity feeds one log after another into the fire chamber. And its already on the market.



An aerospace university department tackles an earthly challenge: electricity from a wood stove
Getting electricity from a wood stove is easy. Getting a steady, reliable supply that can do more than charge your phone and power a few light bulbs is not. These guys may make some breakthroughs.






A micro CHP pellet unit makes its debut on the Washington Mall
This electricity producing pellet boiler can be paired with solar and thermal panels and is so smart that it turns itself off and on depending what source of heat and electricity is cheapest that day. Dutch Dresser at Maine Energy Systems is a true visionary when it comes to decarbonizing household energy.



A wood stove for off-grid lefties, right-wing preppers, and everyone in between…
Roger Lehet and his family lost almost everything they had in the 2008 recession. From this painful time, Roger was inspired to create an off-grid energy source that can help those in the most difficult of circumstances. Learn how Roger took an idea to a competition ready thermoelectric stove that may redefine what we see as viable off-grid living.


Stony Brook University
The SUNY Stony Brook team’s main focus is to show that clean, efficient, wood combustion is possible without sacrificing commercial viability. They use an innovative drying chamber, sensors and a Venturi draft inducer.




Wittus blog
This German downdraft stove strives to "produce 100 watts of electricity as a mean value a day." The stove heats water to distribute heat to other rooms and also comes with a large battery that is designed as a backup electrcity for the home, or to augment a solar photovoltaic system.