In the initial stages, the project focused on meeting with Indian collaborators to understand how the Cool Mesh Berkeley India Stove (CMBIS) could facilitate time savings in wood collection, identify villages to pilot the stove in, and understand how to incorporate it into the daily lifestyle of the communities identified. The project conducted focus-group discussion and preliminary cookstove usage trials in pilot villages to understand how to tailor the CMBIS to local cooking practices. The project finalized the CMBIS design and how to secure the Geocene Dot sensors (temperature data-loggers) to the CMBIS. Baseline data of the two new villages was collected.
By the end of the project’s first year, the finalized design of the CMBIS was manufactured by Shri Hari Industries and around 200 cookstoves were delivered to IITB-CTARA. In order to disseminate the cookstoves, the project conducted one-week trials to approximately 70 households, collecting stove usage data based on their trial periods. Fifty-four follow-up interviews were completed with households in the Karjat and Khardi region, to understand their stove usage. In total, 149 stoves were distributed to households in the Khardi and Karjat regions, of which the project followed up with about 100 households to gather feedback on their usage, at least two times per household.
Over the course of the project, the team gathered data through various means: focus group discussions were conducted with participants to gather feedback on the CMBIS design, one-on-one interviews were conducted to better understand reasons for usage or lack thereof, and furthermore, sensors were attached to the cookstoves which recorded reliable stove usage data. Through these feedback mechanisms, the project investigated the user-experience (“UX”) to gather data, such as information about women’s daily schedules, household income/spending, fuelwood collection effort and time budget, and cooking practices. The team adjusted its implementation strategy based on the feedback collected.
Overall, CMBIS stove demonstrations were conducted in three villages and the results demonstrated 50% fuelwood savings in the CMBIS compared to the traditional chulha.