A home made turbo stove designed for back packing.

Image This stove base is made from a small biscuit tin which cost $2 including biscuits.There burner is a 430ml doubled walled traveling mug at around $10. The fan was originally a 30mm, 5 volt fan but his was replace by a 40mm fan. The fans are under $20 from farnell.

Image A couple of centimetres were removed from the bottom of the mug to allow a gap between the mug and the bottom of the tin. With a deeper tin this wouldn't be necessary. Holes were drill in the bottom and around the inside of the lip as usual.

Image To stabilizer the burner a stainless tube/cup was cut to size and pop-riveted into the bottom. This was made from a salt-shaker which happened to be the perfect size. Air holes were drilled and reamed out. A matching hole was made in the lid so the cup could be plugged into the base.Image

Image The test burns were quite successful. In this photo it is actually burning rubber from a small solid tyre - indoors without smoking the place out.

Image Version 11 stove sitting on version 10 for size comparison.

The first problem.

6-th march 2008,
The 30mm 5V fan shown in the above photos and video clip worked fine when run off a 6V lead acid battery.
It did not work fine when run from 4-AA NiMH battery (about 4.5V).
I had to give the fan a spin to get it started and even then the flow rate was way down.
Fortunately the 40mm 5V (also a sunon) seems to work fine at the lower voltage so I will be using it instead. The large fan also has a lower power rating so battery life should be pretty good.

5'th April,
I was demoing the stove last week and used a bit too much oil to start it. The fuel was macadamia shell and the flame was impressive.
After maybe 20 minutes with a large flame and fuel well alight - the oil which had run inside the stove ignited - the fan overheated and stopped.

The stove (tin) base was quite hot and I think the base of the mug had expanded so it was a much tighter fit than when it is cold. I had a lot of trouble getting the stove apart to cool it down (this was indoors on the table).

The fan got so hot the label on it had melted.

When I did get it apart and cooled a little the fan worked again. The shroud was distorted but the blades look ok.

Today I added a little heat shield between the base of the mug and the fan. This was a piece of sardine tin cut to size and jammed in place - I may rivet it.

I also put a 3 watt, 50 ohm potentiometer in series with the fan as a crude speed controller.

I tested it and all seems well but the fire was not a hot as this time.

Image A steel ruler cut and slotted to work as a pot stand. An aluminium one I made couldn't stand the heat.


USB powered.

The reason for using a USB plug isn't to power the stove from a computer but it can be.
The reason is that the USB socketed battery pack doubles as an emergency phone charger. Such chargers don't seem to exist for my phone so this pack plus the phone's USB lead equals one charger.

I was going to make the pack but found them ready made at Jaycar.

The speed control pot wiring is embedded in polymorph (CAPA) this was heated to 115C and molded into shape with bare fingers. It is a bit like hot-melt glue except much harder and stronger.
FYI it is just a pot - there are no other components in there.

Image More or less complete stove. Could still be tweaked a little but basically what I had in mind.

Image The stove base just happens to fit perfectly inside my pot for safe storage in my pack.

Image Two $2 stainless steel trowels were the source of thick sheet metal for my second attempt at making a stand.

Image I was planning to ream out some lightening holes but found the metal was difficult the work with the tools I have.

Image Yet another kettle boiling.

For real.
Turbo-stove 11 was tested in the field on a five day unsupported hike. About half the cooking for two people was done on this stove using a variety of fuels from coconut shell to plastic bottles.
It basically worked but the wet conditions made it difficult.

Image Yet another kettle boiling but this time on a picnic table in a camping ground.

August 2008.
Last weekend I went to Nimbin where I camp in an old dairy. It took me less time to setup the turbo-stove and boil water than it did for my friends to set up their portagas stove.
It is a frosty winter here and we had a smokey campfire at night.
I collect the charcoal from the fire next day and use it for making toast and hot water for the rest of the day.
When using charcoal fuel, I only have a tiny gap between stove and kettle. It is a little slow but very clean and easy.

Video clips

Low res - v11-1-lowres.mpg (12.76 Mb)

Hi-res - v11-1.mpg (30.78 Mb)

Low res of complete stove boiling water usbtskettlesml.mpg(3.83 Mb)
Low res of complete stove cooking eggs usbtseggssml.mpg (3.53 Mb)

Success - the stove being used for real on a backpacking trip >ts11nina.mpg (17.84 Mb)