Why did I invent the IntensiFire?
I have always been able to see when appliances, equipment, or systems are badly designed and naturally dream up ways to improve them.
I found myself in a renting situation with an old clunker of a wood burner that smoked badly. I knew that smoke is wasted energy, so I thought about how I could modify the stove to capture that energy and get it into the house.
I built my first wood burner back in 1996 when I lived in the city of Invercargill, a climate where a fire is needed for 9 months of the year. My woodburner was worn out and I was working in an engineering shop that had the equipment I needed, so I built a new multi fuel stove, recycling some of the parts from my old one.
Obviously I don’t own the one where I rent so I couldn’t make major modifications, and my landlord was not interested in replacing it.
While living with an inadequate stove I had pared back my lifestyle so I could do an Architecture Degree, and formalise my designer and innovator inclinations. The IntensiFire had to be a cheap solution as my R&D budget was $10 per week.
After six months of playing around with ideas, I made The IntensiFire Mk I while on summer break from University. I video recorded one of the early prototypes burning and you can view it here on you tube. It was so successful that I could immediately see that others might want one. I paused my study towards becoming an Architect to develop it further and launched it for sale on auction site trademe. I also started a facebook page for the IntensiFire.
Further developments led to the Mk II single tube design which overcomes one of the weaknesses of the twin tube with the room it takes up in your firebox. Another improvement is in durability, it should now outlast your wood burner.
Testing is expensive, but in April 2012 I paid an Auckland based independent laboratory to test The IntensiFire. Whent tested on the low setting it improved a Magnum P200 fire from 52% to 75% efficiency, and raised the output from 4.6Kw to 6.5Kw. Critically emissions were also down. I learnt from the experience then went home and made it better! Later at the international contest called the The Wood Stove Design Challenge it proved 83%+ efficient.
With the technology validated it made me even more motivated to provide an upgrade option for those with a smoky old wood stove.
A little more about Jason
My journey through life has included serving in the Airforce (RNZAF) and later as a Police Officer in New Zealand. During my time off as a Police Officer I designed and built a unique timber framed house in a groin vault configuration.
Along the way I have studied engineering part time but it was at Architecture School where I finally learnt to understand the design process, something I had been doing all my life. Although in my late 30’s when I started Architecture School I succeeded in wining a prize for my design work.
My formal tertiary study matched to the work I have done on aircraft and with textiles in the RNZAF, various building work, and some engineering work, have given me a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving.
I have two adult children, one who is also looking to be multiskilled and is nearly finished three professional degrees.