Rating: 5 / 5
Technical review of Zelph's Stoveworks SS Starlyte Ultralyte Alcohol Stove and E-Z fold windscreen.
The stove is a wickerized open top alcohol stove with a built in pot stand.
I am a machinist and a have a strong interest in designing and making BP stoves and I am very critical of the manufacturing quality of other MYOG stoves. When I unpacked the Starlyte stove I noticed that it is well made and presented, the stove came with a well made E-Z fold windscreen, the quality of the Starlyte actually impressed me.
Construction and materials
The stove is made from a small aluminum tin with the top cutout and filled with fiberglass with a stainless steel cover to hold the fiberglass in, four holes have been drilled equal spaced around the edge where the integrated pot stand was then place, the pot stand is made from two pieces of stainless steel wire which have been spot welded together and then bent to fit into the holes. The windscreen is made of aluminum which has been crinkled, the clip that came with the screen is a hanger from a curtain.
Weights as measured on my scales
Stove: 14.8 grams (this is as advertised)
The E-Z fold windscreen: 21.2 grams
Clip that came with the windscreen to hold it together: 3.4 grams
Measuring cup: 3.4 grams
Total of 42.8 grams
Diameter of stove: 55 mm
Height of stove and pot stand: 44 mm
Test condition was in my garage at 600 meters elevation, the ambient temperature was around 170C, I used Australian denatured alcohol 95% ethanol content. In each test I place 20 grams of fuel in the stove and after reaching 950C as quickly as possible I placed a tin over the stove to put the flame out, this was the same for all tests.
I ran four tests on the starlyte stove (heating rates can be seen in graph below) in each test I heated 0.5 liters of water from tap temperature to 950C and then normalized the results to grams used to heat water 800C (g/800C). As the stove was sitting directly on my test bench and the test surface was warming up between tests I placed a cooled piece of 3 mm ply under the stove before each new test.
1/ 14.0 g/800C
2/ 16.0 g/800C
3/ 13.1 g/800C
4/ 12.3 g/800C
Average of test 1,3 &4 = 13.1 grams or about 16.4 mls
Note test 2: while doing the test I noticed that the pot was not central on the stove, I must have knocked the stove off center while placing the pot on it, I decided to leave this incorrect placement until the end of the test, this non central placement showed more fuel being used than the other tests.
Notes test 1&3: in these tests the windshield was left slightly open so I could look at the flame, I suspect this might have some effect on the efficiency.
Notes test 4: in this test I had the windshield full closed, as can be seen in the results this was the most efficient test.
Discussion of results
When used correctly the Starlyte stove used similar amount of fuel to my Trangia 27-1 which I consider a standard amongst alcohol stove this is very impressive as the Starlyte system is much lighter than the Trangia
Testing the no spilling claim.
I filled the stove with 20 grams of alcohol, lit the stove and then tipped the stove over on my testing bench to try and see what would happen, surprisingly as can be seen in the photo no fuel spilled out of the stove, the flame just stayed coming out of the stove.
Trying to spill fuel from the Starlyte stove (CAUTION DO NOT TRY THIS WITH OTHER ALCOHOL STOVES)
I found the Starlyte very easy to use, I had no problems with the filling of fuel, the fiberglass wick filling had no problems absorbing the fuel. The stove ignited very easy, it only took a touch of the lighter that I was using.
The windscreen was easy to unroll and rollup and to setup around the pot, the clip that was supplied was also easy to put on and the clip was useful in removing the windscreen after the water had reached the desired test temperature.
The stove pot is supported by 4 legs these where not perfectly leveled and the pot had a very small amount of rocking but with a little bit of adjustment this can be easily fixed.
I have not used this stove in the field as yet and if I like to cook gourmet meals and for this reason I prefer Canister stoves, but I have ran a lot of tests on many different alcohol stoves and I really enjoyed using this stove.
SS Starlyte Ultralyte Alcohol Stove
Starlyte flame under pot