The ICEED Resource Centre Afikpo (IRECA) was established in 2012 with the aim of enhancing the technical quality, standardization, research and training services that support national and regional clean energy technologies in Nigeria and the West Africa Sub Region. The activities of the resource centre include:
- Provide quality assurance and standards for solar and cooking energy;
- Provide solar and cooking energy education;
- Demonstration of clean energy technologies;
- Product development; and
- Research, development and certification.
IRECA is comprised of a laboratory – the Clean Cookstoves Testing and Development Laboratory – and a clean cookstoves workshop. A solar laboratory and training facility is scheduled to be established by the fourth quarter of 2015.
The IRECA Laboratory
The IRECA laboratory performs the following services:
- Develop technical standards for stoves manufactured or imported into Nigeria;
- Provide testing and certification services related to stove technical quality, indoor air pollution, and energy efficiency;
- Assist stove developers in improving stove design and construction methods;
- Conduct research and development in collaboration with Nigerian and international research institutes and laboratories;
- Serve as a national demonstration center for clean cooking technologies; and
- Carry out public awareness campaigns.
The IRECA lab has the following equipments:
- Laboratory Emissions Monitoring System (LEMS): This is a senor box that is comprised of CO2, CO and Particulate Matter sensors and computer connected output. Sample emissions from stoves during testing are passed through this box and the results are logged onto a computer for recording and analysis.
- Laboratory Emissions Monitoring Hood: Stoves for testing are placed inside the hood and emissions pass through the ducting.
- Gravimetric system: This comprises of black carbon filter box and a suction pump. Sample emissions are sucked through this system and black carbon is trapped in a filter placed in the box.
- Miscellaneous equipments including two highly sensitive weigh balances, desiccators for drying filters and thermocouples for taking water temperatures,
All these equipments are used to carry out Water Boiling Test. The test essentially measures and analyses thermal efficiencies of stoves, fuel efficiency when compared to traditional stoves, and emissions (CO2, CO and PM).
The Laboratory also has two Indoor Air Pollution Meters. These meters are miniaturized versions of the LEMS and are used to carry out field tests of stoves. The meters have CO2, CO and PM sensor and worn as a back pack by cooks. A hose connected to the meter is placed close to the nose of the cook so that the air sample it collects is roughly the same as what the cooks breathe in. A memory card in the meter records the emissions which are analyzed in a computer after a test.
Since establishment, the IRECA laboratory has achieved the following:
- Constitution of a Mirror Committee on Clean Cookstoves and Clean Energy Standards for Nigeria: The National Technical Committee on Clean Cookstoves and Clean Cooking Solutions Standards has been launched with following Terms of Reference:
- Determine products and parameters that should be covered by national standards;
- Identify key stakeholders in the clean cookstoves value chain;
- Document international best practices in clean cookstoves standards;
- Develop draft national standards;
- Evaluate available clean cookstoves testing capacity and recommend a designated national testing centre for standards enforcement;
- Conduct pilot testing of standards;
- Conduct workshop to present and validate draft national standards;and
- Submit draft national standards to SON.
The committee is currently in the process of finalizing standards for cooking stoves and fuels in Nigeria.
- Capacity building on clean cookstoves testing and analysis: The center in collaboration with Energy Commission of Nigeria organized two capacity building programmes for relevant stakeholders on clean cookstoves testing and analysis in January/February, 2014 and April, 2015. The programmes successfully took participants through the entire process of stove testing, analysis and maintenance. These capacity building programmes will be held annually for relevant stakeholders in the sector.
- Assisting stove developers in improving stove designs: The center has assisted a couple of institutions in improving their stove designs. The center assisted the Jigawa State Government, one of the states in northern Nigeria, to improve on its stove designs. The state government is producing and disseminating efficient household and institutional woodstoves at no cost to its inhabitants. The state has distributed over 70,000 stoves before it commissioned the center to assist it in improving the designs. The improved designs, made in June, 2014, were subjected to tests which proved far better than their original designs. The center also helped the National Centre for Energy and Environment, University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria, to improve on two stove models it developed in June, 2014.
- Stove Testing: The Center provides testing services to both government and private sector organizations. Testing services were provided for the following:
- Jigawa State Government, Nigeria;
- National Centre for Energy and Environment, University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria;
- National Centre for Energy Research and Development, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; among others.
The centre has tested the following stove models:
- Envirofit G3300 and M5000 woodstoves;
- Envirofit CH2200 and CH5200 charcoal stoves;
- Save80 Woodstove;
- Fast Fire Woodstove;
- Happy charcoal stove;
- Musa Raymond charcoal stove; etc
The IRECA Workshop
The IRECA workshop performs the following activities:
- Research and development on efficient woodstoves technologies;
- Design and construction of efficient household and institutional woodstoves;
- Capacity building for SMEs on stove design, construction and maintenance; and
- Assists stove developers in design and production of stoves.
The IRECA workshop has the following equipments and tools:
- Custom jigs for production of efficient 60 litre institutional woodstoves;
- Welding, grinding, drilling, rolling and bending machines;
- Cutting tools and accessories for design and production of efficient household woodstoves; and
- Tools and accessories for design and production of clay and ceramics based household and institutional woodstoves; and
- Various types of stove insulating material including vermiculite and fibre glass.
Since establishment, the workshop has achieved the following:
2013. Trained 12 entrepreneurs on efficient 60 litre institutional woodstoves design, construction and maintenance in 2013. Some of the entrepreneurs have since established thriving clean cookstoves businesses;
2013. Produced and disseminated over 200 efficient 60 litre institutional woodstoves in boarding schools across Niger, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Nasarawa and Akwa Ibom States; and
- Conducted capacity building programmes for over 20 stove distributors and retailers on effective business development approaches for clean cookstoves.