The ARC Auto-Damper

Adding a chimney to a cooking stove may not decrease exposure to PM 2.5 enough to protect health. When the pot is removed from the stove top the cook can be exposed to the escaping emissions and smoke can pour into the kitchen instead of going up the chimney. ARC designers wondered if an automatic device that immediately diverts the smoke up the chimney when the pot is removed might help to reduce exposure. Andy McClean developed the working models used in the prototype stoves.

The auto-damper is activated when a vertical stick above the surface of the cook top is pushed down by the bottom of the pot. The weight that holds the damper closed is pushed down, the damper opens, and the hot flue gases go up to contact the bottom of the pot. When the pot is removed a weight moves the open damper, balanced on a fulcrum, back to the closed position.

Yes, it’s probably too complicated! We’re hoping that someone will simplify the concept and the Indoor Air Quality will be improved. Please contact us with your ideas!

Cut away views of the auto damper. The drawings on the left side show the flow path of the exhaust. The drawings on the right show the linkages that move the auto-damper up and down.