With the first Wood Stove Decathlon only a few months away, we here at the Alliance for Green Heat have started a weekly blog post to showcase the Decathlon competitors. Take this opportunity to learn more about the design teams and their stove’s innovative features.
Kimberly may be small, petite even, but don’t underestimate her. Standing just over two feet, the wood
Roger Lehet, designer and team captain for the Decathlon, created the stove with off-grid and emergency preparedness in mind. Easy to use and portable, the latest models of the 56-pound stove can heat up to 1500 ft2 of well-insulated living space. However, it was originally designed for heating small spaces such as boats, RVs, and cabins. In fact, the first version of the Kimberly stove that Lehet ever built was used for a boat.
During the financial crisis, Lehet lost his business of 25 years as a wood stove dealer. He lost his house and many of his possessions. Financially anchorless, he moved with his wife and daughter to live on a boat floating on Puget Sound in Washington. When winter came, the cold and the damp were unwelcomed guests, inviting melancholy and mildew. The need for warmth and dryness mothered a new stove, one that used a small amount of fuel to burn nearly smokeless all night. Lehet used his knowledge of wood fired products to build the first Kimberly. The family could now heat their boat, cook all their meals, and heat water for sanitation and cooking.
|Roger and Bridget Lehet|
From there, without a single loan, Kimberly stoves took off. Lehet now has had his EPA certified stove manufactured and sold for over a year. He also has had great success in promoting his product and efficient residential biomass heating in general. Lehet has attended the past two Mother Earth News Fair events in Washington. The fair is meant to deliver practical, hands-on training, and experience taught by leading experts in renewable energy, organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, and green home building. Lehet spoke on off-grid technologies such as thermo electric generation, wood-fired in floor heat, and domestic hot water.