The History of InStove

Aprovecho and InStove staff Fred Colgan and Larry WiniarkskyFounder Fred Colgan (left) with Larry Winiarsky.

Worldwide, over 35 million displaced people depend on institutional settings--primarily refugee camps, schools, clinics, hospitals and orphanages--for the food they eat each day. Most live in regions devastated by droughts, desertification, deforestation and decades of conflict where fossil fuels and electricity are either unavailable or too expensive for cooking, and where wood and other fuel is scarce. In 2008, retired engineer Damon Ogle and carpenter Fred Colgan teamed up to develop a highly efficient, solid-fuel cookstove for use in institutional settings.


The First InStove Prototypes

Together, Damon and Fred developed and fine-tuned the design of a unique institutional stove based upon the "Rocket Stove" principles created by Dr. Larry Winiarski. Under the umbrella of Aprovecho Research Center (ARC)--world leaders in clean cookstove testing and research--The Institutional Stove Project (ISP) was born. Together, Fred and Damon hand-built prototypes, developed a production methodology and established pilot projects to field test the stove in countries around the world.

By 2011, word had spread about ISP's super-efficient stove--confirmed by USAID to be the world's most efficient, solid-fuel, natural draft stove. Organizations large and small, from the United Nations to small church groups, began buying stoves for schools, camps, hospitals, orphanages and clinics. To meet the growing demand, ISP trained a team of stove builders, opened a factory, and produced and shipped 350 stoves to over a dozen countries.


InStove’s Founding

In July, 2012, Fred and Damon founded Institutional Stove Solutions (InStove) an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. InStove and ARC continue to maintain a close relationship of collaboration and mutual support.

Since September, 2012, InStove has been designated as an "Implementing Partner" of both the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). InStove is an active member of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and participated in their global forum in Phnom Penh in March, 2013. As the organization has grown, the mission has expanded and now includes the design, production and dissemination of stove-related technologies including an autoclave for medical sterilization, a water pasteurizer for producing potable water, and an alternative-fuel "briquette" press.


InStove Today

InStove now has over 1,000 stoves in 31 countries.



InStove would like to thank the following people, without whose work, we would not be here:

Larry Winarski is the "father" of rocket stove technology, which is the heart of this stove. Larry continues to mentor, innovate, and educate in efficient energy technologies. His designs have improved the lives of millions of people.

Dean Still is the Executive Director of Aprovecho Research Center, through which our organization was formed. Dean's leadership has made Aprovecho the world leader in efficient stove and emissions-testing technologies.

Dale Andreatta is a tireless educator and inventor who has done much to advance this field. His concept sketch provided Damon Ogle a starting point in the design and engineering of our water pasteurizer.