In order for testing to be effective, it must be done well. This requires proper training, procedures, and equipment. Testers need to accurately generate data and know how to modify the stove design to improve performance. Stove projects often send their stoves to ARC for thorough evaluation and recommendations for improvement, but ideally this service should be available worldwide if all projects and people are to benefit. ARC works to help set up regional testing centers where locals will become experts in stove design, testing and evaluation so that projects can improve stoves. Regional testing centers:
- Provide ongoing support to stove projects, through grant-based funding or by charging fees for testing services,
- Have quality equipment and an experienced, knowledgeable staff capable of interpreting the results, and
- Understand stove design in order to help identify problems and recommend improvements.
Regional testing centers (most with a PEMS or LEMS manufactured by ARC) that are being established include:
ARC has trained staff from these organizations in stove testing and use of equipment, as well as the principles of stove design. ARC intends to continue in close relationship with these testing centers, sharing discoveries and experiences, and continuing to support their efforts to help develop better stoves in their communities. Regional testing centers will result in standardized evaluation, improvement, and certification of improved stoves worldwide. Transferring the technology and knowledge to local organizations is an essential part of widespread adoption of improved cook stoves.