Monday, July 22, 2013

Meet the Contestants; Kimberly Stoves

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
stove will be a big competitor this year. The stove combines a gasification chamber on the bottom and an afterburner on top to burn the smoke for a more efficient use of the fuel. The many other features and accessories, such as a thermo electric generator and hot water coils, help make Kimberly even more appealing to consumers.

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.

We are looking forward to seeing little Kimberly in action at the Wood Stove Decathlon November 16-19, 2013. Vote for your favorite stove at Popular Mechanics.


  1. Roger Lehet’s Kimberly stove is a marvel of technology and a jewel in design. I was surprised and impressed when I saw this little beauty, and can’t believe how many things it can do. Good job Roger! This is the kind of earth friendly innovation we all need. All that - and he is a great drummer as well. What can't you do :-)

  2. This decathlon is a terrific way to educate people about renewable energy sources and the need to move away from fossil fuels and the costs (both financial and environmental) of maintaining our power grid. We can all learn to produce our own power as a way to lessen the strain on our Mother Earth! Thanks to everyone at the Alliance For Green Heat and Popular Mechanics for this opportunity!