Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Regional Testing and Knowledge Centre (RTKC), Nepal updates in 2016

RTKC has been implementing research projects and involved in standardization of the technology this year 2016. It’s current involvements include: 

  • RTKC’s Capacity Development activities through Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2nd phase grants are completed. The quality Assurance plan for testing centers has been developed and RTKC has enhanced service menu with Black Carbon monitoring along with calibration of the sensors using the cal gas mixing chamber.
  • USEPA funded Global Map of Faceable Residential Solutions, Emphasizing Stoves with Space Heating Uses – Nepal Section with objective to study the fuel consumption and emission patterns over the seasons in the hilly regions of Nepal executed by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The four seasons field monitoring has been over with the final/summer season monitoring done during April 2016. Documentation and knowledge product development has been going on.
  • The World Bank Funded Product Development and Labelling of clean cook stoves and fuels in the Nepalese Market through its DISC initiative in coordination with Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) with basic aim to promote standardization and labelling of clean cooking and heating stoves and fuels with added options. The first phase with basic understanding of cook stoves sector in Nepal has come to an end and second phase involving product development and labelling has been going on.
  • RTKC developed its first business plan with support from I-Dev International and Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves for its sustainability which has been into practice as the guiding document for business operations with RTKC services.
  • RTKC has been supporting national and International initiatives on standardizations of clean cookstoves through various involvements such as participating in conversations and building consensus along with expertise service as a member of ISO TC 285: Clean Cook stoves and Clean Cooking Solutions. It is also the member of Nepal National Mirror Committee and advocating and supporting the formation of Nepal Interim Benchmarks on Cook stoves (NIBC 2014) and its revision currently taking place based on stakeholders needs.
  • RTKC has been providing enhanced research and development services to the national and International clients. This year RTKC’s service was entertained by Filament Engineering Pvt. (For Muspana stoves) from Dhaka Bangladesh, Pure Flame Cookstoves (for Ganesha Stoves) from Colorado Boulder USA. 
  • Prof. Tami C Bond, the director of CACHE at University of Illinois visited CRT/N and also some remote households along the Kathmandu Rasuwa highway to observe the energy use situation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Summary of ICS Regional Knowledge Sharing Workshop 18-20 August 2014

Group Picture of the Opening Day Attendees
ICS Regional Knowledge Sharing Workshop, 18-20 August 2014 at Hotel Himalaya, Kathmandu Nepal has been one important intervention in bringing together the south Asian Cookstoves testers and related stakeholders to discuss on the issues of biomass cookstoves testing and setting up the ground for the outline of the ISO TC 285 Field Testing Guidance Document (Working Group III). It was participated by about 13 expert delegates from the region and about 45 from Nepal. The first day inauguration and policy session in general was participated by over 80 participants specially the people from related ministries  of Government of Nepal and associated stakeholders including colleagues from RTKCs from China, India, Cambodia and invitees from Bhutan, The World Bank representatives, Clean Energy Development Bank, GIZ among others organization in Nepal. The remaining two days were with the specific testing centers and closely related stakeholders.

Participants at the workshop
The Nepalese policy makers on the first day - inauguration session spoke about the context and its importance especially in Nepal with their commitments for providing friendly environments regarding ICS promotions by generating national and international cooperation’s. The need for updated, firsthand data availability on ICS and related Indoor Air pollution was highly emphasized and was committed by Nepal Planning commission Vice Chair Prof. Dr. Govind Raj Pokhrel (chief guest of the event) to incorporate these issues seriously in the upcoming plans.

The second session, the policy session was related to understanding the ICS and standardization policies/practices of China, India and Nepal. The success and failures of some policies in India, Nepal and China were highlighted with updates on the status of their existing policies/testing standard activities.

Participants at the workshop
It was then followed by the panel discussion on “Development Partner’s Perspectives on ICS Programmes and ICS Testing Issues”. Panel Consisted of the representatives of The World bank, USA, UNDP Bhutan, SNV Nepal,  ENERGIA The Neatherlands and SE4ALL UNDP Nepal. The discussion was based on the pre-framed questions such as:  the organization's definition of program effectiveness; main criteria in choosing stoves for the program; What priority is given to tested stoves and which metrics do they use.. (efficiency, air quality…); perception on user acceptance through stove testing results.. If laboratory performance was significantly different from field performance, would that make a difference to the program's decisions.. etc.. The overall impression was that there is still lack of well-coordinated evaluation modalities for the cookstoves programmes and need to have one that addresses the needs of all the players – donors, ground users, implementers, policy people etc. Different Organizations has their own way of evaluating effectiveness while the test methods and results have not been considered seriously.

Participants at the workshop
The following session was based on Sharing Testing Experiences by 4 RTKCs (Nepal, India, China, Cambodia) – purposes/methods/results/ relationship with ISO IWA/ How do they support National Policies.. were some of the topics of presentations and discussions. Role of key parameters and standard units for evaluation of biomass cookstoves was presented along with Nepal Benchmarks of Clean Cookstoves were also presented on the same session. The testing experiences from the RTKC’s depicted the importance of Quality Assurance as one of the important aspect that has not yet been taken care seriously. Both the lab tests and field test are essential for the cookstoves programmes as well as Research and Development of technology, but there should be a mechanism to link up field test and lab test results. Question of durability testing was unanswered.

Panel Discussion
The late afternoon session dealt with Group Breakouts into five, each with 7-10 people to discussion on Integrating Stakeholders Perspectives on National Policy Framework. Each group contained development partners, RTKC representatives, policy makers. Each came up with certain issues to share as an outcome of their discussions at the end. The overall impression of the group discussion was that every programmes are to compliment national policies while there still exists gaps in between the international programmes and national policies specially in Nepal. National Policies needs more reviews to make it flexible to the private  sectors.

The Day two Sessions were based on the field testing issues- began with sharing on Field Testing Experience – methods used; results obtained; use of results by 4 testing centers and followed by group discussions on : Field Testing Protocols -  Do we have all the protocols we need? How can we gain confidence that field performance reflects design performance? The general outcome was that we do not have a concrete protocol that address all the needs and need one that has it all. Linking the lab results with field has been a long standing issues with the presently available/followed field testing methods. Incorporating user acceptance, durability would add to the field testing guidelines to be worked on in future. Certain projects with CDM requires just efficiencies of stoves in the field where WBTs in the field has been the basis. The issue is the efficiencies in the lab and field using same protocol gives  significant variations and we need to address this issue in the protocols as well. These were some of the issues being raised including others.
Panel Discussion

Another discussion was based on the ‘performance and usage metrics to be examined in the field’. Programme needs and user acceptance were important parameters to be included while the performance matrices should have easily comparable units and identities.  The last discussion topic of the day was on structure of writing Field Testing guidance document for ISO TC 285 Working Group III- with questions to answer such as: what facets are required? Who can participate? Etc. It took quite some time to let people know what is going on in the ISO TC 285 and the next WG meeting in Guatemala. And then the issues of field information as required depending on the programme/project scope were raised.

Day three sessions began with presentations incorporating Strength, Weakness, Challenges, and Opportunities of Stoves Testing. Five testing centers presented opening discussion questions to the floor. Some of the important issue rose regarding the topics were the GACC supported RTKC have been well capacitated for conducting tests while the sustainability issue has been overlooked. Especially in the developing countries people/stoves entrepreneurs are not willing to get their stoves tested unless they are required by the programmes or projects. R & D has not been so much emphasized by the programmes/projects but need to be done that can be one of the means of sustainability to RTKC.   The challenges incorporating calibration issue was important one where the equipments and instruments available in the neighboring countries like India would reduce this problem to some extent.

Group works at the workshop
The following session was associated with the in fractures for ICS Design and Testing Quality Assurance and clearifying the concept of Round Robin Testing initiated by GACC. The infrastructure for Stove Development units was shared by RTKCs having the separate unit for development of stoves. The Round Robbin Testing by GACC was clarified to the participants and views discussed on this initiatives urging all the testing centres to participate. 

The closing sessions was followed by RTKC lab visit by international participants and then closing reception dinner.

Overall the feedbacks from the participants were encouraging and way forward for building on collaboration among the South Asian RTKCs and other development partners. It was commonly agreed that knowledge sharing activities as such should be organized periodically so that everyone could be aware of the developments of each other and position themselves in the pool that could help further development of the sector. Programme Effectiveness needs to be well defined with appropriate modalities and methods.

For the complete report please contact, RTKC Nepal at CRT/N

Friday, July 25, 2014

ICS Regional Knowledge Sharing and Networking Workshop Kathmandu Nepal

Dates: 18-20 August 2014
Venue: Hotel Himalaya Kathmandu, Nepal

Regional Cookstoves Testing and Knowledge Centre (RTKC) Nepal activities have been commencing since November 2012 at Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal (CRT/N) with support from Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC). Establishment of RTKC in Nepal has been considered an important intervention to Nepalese cookstoves testing and knowledge service market. RTKC have also been serving as a facilitator to link up Nepalese cookstoves issues with the global networks such as GACC and serving national authorities such as Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) and National Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) to initiate the national standards on cookstoves and develop/improve testing protocols suitable to Nepalese context with reference to IWA.

ICS Regional Knowledge Sharing and Networking Workshop aims to bring together Biomass Testing laboratory representatives from South Asian region and share the ICS testing issues amongst all and discuss on the strength, weakness, opportunity and challenges of the participating testing centers. The workshop will also aid for brainstorming on the field testing guidance document as the New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) for field testing guidance has been passed and will be added to the TC 285 Program of Work by the Committee Secretariats.

The workshop will be organized jointly by RTKC at Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal and Nepal Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (NACC) in coordination with Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), under Ministry of Science Technology and Environment (MoSTE), Government of Nepal (GoN) and with support from Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) and University of Illinois, Urbana-Campaign.

Expected participants are stove testing laboratory representatives, stoves testers, researchers, ICS designers, manufacturers and other ICS related stakeholders from the South Asia Regions: China, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Mongolia, Cambodia, Indonesia and other interested countries.

Basudev Upadhyay
Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal (CRT/N)
Bhanimandal, Lalitpur
G.P.O. Box 3628, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: +977-1-5530071, 5544758, 5547627 I Fax: +977-1- 5532962
Email: basudev@crtnepal.org I Web: www.crtnepal.org

Monday, March 3, 2014

RTKC Nepal Calls for Research Proposals from Graduate Students from Universities and Colleges in Nepal

Regional Cookstoves Testing and Knowledge Centre (RTKC) at Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal (CRT/N)
RTKC Graduate Students Research Grant 2014


Due to overwhelming requests the deadline for submission of concept paper have been extended to  April 15, 2014.

Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal (CRT/N) is a partner of Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC), a public –private initiative led by United Nations Foundation (UNF) to save lives, improves livelihoods, empower women and preserve the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean cooking solutions. Regional Cookstoves Testing and Knowledge Centre (RTKC) an initiative of GACC roofed under CRT/N has been functioning since November 2012 providing testing and knowledge services in line with Government of Nepal’s ambitious mission of ‘Clean Cooking Solution for all by 2017’.

Establishment of RTKC has been considered an important intervention to Nepalese biomass energy sector with the first biomass stoves testing laboratory of its kind in Nepal. Besides, RTKC has been well recognized by stakeholders and have been offering testing orders to RTKC since its inception. RTKC has also been serving as a facilitator to link up Nepalese cookstoves issues with the global networks and serving national authorities to initiate the national standards on cookstoves and develop/improve testing protocols suitable to Nepalese context with reference to International Workshop Agreement (IWA), 2012.

RTKC under its student support programme aims to prepare fresh graduates to develop interest and build up competency in the future job market for which it announces grant that will help produce quality research for their thesis work and contribute to the biomass energy sector.

Thematic Area: Development and adoption of clean cookstoves, Indoor air quality assessment and improvement, biomass combustion efficiency enhancement.
Study Site: Throughout the country, preferably in the remote areas of Nepal.
Eligibility: Masters Final Year Students, preferably environmental science, related engineering (including B.E. 4th year), energy studies or any other related fields. Meritorious women and candidates from socially and geographically marginalised communities will be given preference.

Grant Amount: NPR 25,000 (NPR Twenty Five Thousands ) each and selective use of RTKC Laboratory with other resources

Please Apply Before March 21, 2014 with following documents:
1.    Brief Proposal consisting of Background Information; Statement of the Problem; Objectives; Methodologies; Study area; Budget/Time Plan – Not exceeding 3 pages
2.    Letter of Recommendation from the department/institution with the name and short detail of the supervisor
3.    Copy of Students Identity Card
4.    Brief CV (not more than 2 pages)

The right to accept/reject the proposal will entirely depend on RTKC, CRT/N’s mandate and limitations.

Please email the documents to:
Drop in to our office at
Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal
Bhanimandal Lalitpur
Tel: +977 1 5000083; G.P.O. 3628                                                                           

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Intensive Training Workshop for Regional Testing and Knowledge Centers, held at Zamorano University, Honduras 10-14 December 2013

Participants posing for group Photo in front of the Zamorano Stove Centre
The Intensive Training Workshop for Regional Testing and Knowledge Centre was organized to strengthen the global consortium collaborating on testing and improving clean cooking technologies, as a follow up to the Intensive Training Workshop held in January 2013 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. This event aimed to foster the testing capacities of RTKCs, and to ensure quality and uniformity in their services. Topics/activities covered included establishing a laboratory, quality assurance, data management and integration, field testing, field visits and lab observation, round robin testing, among others.

The workshop was organized by Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC), a public-private partnership under the umbrella of United Nations Foundation. The Alliance, in an effort to serve its goal of enabling 100 million households round the world to adopt clean and efficient cooking technologies by 2020 has supported establishment of Regional Testing and Knowledge Centres (RTKCs) in many different countries. As such, the alliance has also been working on capacity development of and collaboration between the RTKCs. Zamorano University hosted the programme and facilitated associated activities. It has a dedicated Stove Unit and also hosts RTKC for Honduras.
Ranyee (GACC) and Tim (ZU) opening the floor with
Introduction of  participants at the Opening dinner at Zamorano Cafeteria

The program brought together participants from various RTKCs and relevant academic, governmental and non-governmental organizations like the US EPA, University of Illinois, Approvecho Research Centre, Berkeley Air Monitoring Group etc. from Asia, Africa, and North, Central and South America.

Various presentations, demonstrations and site visits were employed in the workshop to disseminate pertinent information and for demonstration of facilities and infrastructures, practices, services and practical application of knowledge. Discussions were integrated within these means to foster interactive environment, and separate discussion sessions were held for certain topics.

The presentation (and discussion) topics and rotations/site visits that were performed during the workshop are outlined in the next section.

The workshop enhanced the participants' (particularly from RTKCs) awareness regarding stove testing and provided techniques for other aspects like quality assurance, data management, uncertainty calculations etc. Moreover, it also provided means for RTKCs from all over the world to come together and share their experiences. The programme paved a way for collaboration among all RTKCs for sharing of plans, results and to ensure uniformity in practices.

A tentative plan was formed for the Round Robin Test, through rigorous discussions among the Interim Committee at first and among all participants later. The prototype of base stove model to be tested, fuel and operation methods were determined. Participants also agreed upon means to share related information amongst all associated to make the testing a huge success.

Prof. Rajendra Prasad (Teri, India) discussing with (Gracia, ZU)
on the fire starter at the Zamorano Stove Lab 
Demonstration of new innovations and more readily available technologies gave participants knowledge on recent development in the field of stove testing. Observation of Zamorano Stove Centre's facilities, infrastructures and equipment provided information about their lab, services etc. Site visits provided insight into the scenario of cooking sector in rural households in Honduras.

More Insights on the Workshop:

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