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M Heat Exchanger Stove Shootout: Part 1
Introduction and Test Method

by Roger Caffin

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Article Summary:

One of the problems a walker faces in choosing a stove is how to compare their performances. The claims by the manufacturers are notorious for spin, hype and, in a few cases, a bit worse. In this series of articles we will present solid scientific measurements of the performance of a wide range of canister stoves, principally in terms of heating efficiency (grams of gas required) and heating rates (aka boil times). The series will include a 'shootout' between most of the heat exchanger stoves currently on the market to see under what conditions, if any, they deliver a net reduction in weight.

Part 1 of the series (this article) will explain how we make these measurements, including a test rig developed especially for the task.
Part 2 will survey a good range of conventional canister stoves for performance, thereby setting a baseline.
Part 3 will survey heat exchanger stoves and see if and when they offer a weight reduction over the baseline.
Part 4 will examine the effect of pot diameter on stove efficiency.


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Introduction and Test Method"