I am forbidden, for now, from messing around with the flue/chimney, so any alteration in that regard won't be happening in this first round! But maybe in the next, once I've got things proofed.
Sooooo, that probably also means I'll be using the J-tube rather than the batch box, for now.
Other things, far as I can see right now, remain the same. I might play around with the fireplace front, maybe try out extending the bell out over the hearth, once we get the J-tube working; that would give a bit more ISA for the batch bell.
Next week I might try to get a cast-iron reducer plate that can fit over the flue and reduce it down to the system size (probably being 6" or 7") to attach the plunger tube. I might need to have that reducer plate fabricated.
Satamax Antone wrote:You have about 3 cubic metre of stone, that's about 8 metric tons (well counting like massonry, if it was pure granite, it would be heavier) So, that's plenty enough.
Now, you have to decide how you want it to look, and if it is possible to keep the chimney as is, and have enough ISA (internal surface area.) for it to skip the front bell as i have drawn it. Can you calculate the ISA of the fireplace and chimney?
Allen had a point about insulating the stonework on the outside. I would go strawbales and cob. But i'm sure there's other options.
I prefer to do without the outside bell, if possible. But if it works better with, so be it. Maybe we can test it first without.
ISA of the firebox:
23”Dx30”H = 690” x 3 sides = 2,070”
+ firebox ceiling:
23”D x 35”W = 805”
23”D x 11”W = 253”
Equals = 552"
Total ISA = 2,070" + 552" = 2,622”
(not including the floor; that would be another.... 552", total ISA 3,174")
Anybody familiar with ceramic glass? It looks expensive
'Might be a good investment to preserve the look of the fireplace, covering the fireplace opening, and still be able to see the flame, maybe even the burn tunnel if it were also made of ceramic glass. The glass is stable up to 1400d F.
Wholly mole wow that's a mouthful of stuff! And I don't know what any of it means!
Anywho, as for the volumetric mass of the fireplace.... I drew it up in Open Office (similar to MS Office PowerPoint); Open Office let me add the "Wall" stone print on the facades of the shapes These are the measurements that I find on the fireplace as it is INSIDE and OUTSIDE the house, including the depth of the stone from the outer edge in the room to the surface of the wall, as well as the depth from the outside wall to the outside edge of the stone.
We are looking at volumetric mass of 183,986 cubic inches, though we probably need to also account for the missing volume of the flue. In any case, that cannot be too significant. I've already accounted for the firebox carve-out, so I believe that whatever might account for the flue is de minimus. Also, though I did account for the firebox carve-out, I MIGHT have put back some of it in the measurement of the outside wall, since I cannot see for sure how much of that exterior mass the back of the firebox might be taking up. But in any case, it should still be insignificant.
I think I've got it right. Can anyone confirm if I calculated the volumetric mass correctly?
I could also load more stone into the firebox, around the chimney pipe and against the walls, maybe a little more on the floor too.
That window in the back of the dining room used to be a built-in China cabinet. It probably made the place way too dark, assuming they used 12-volt lighting and they probably had good reason to minimize windows to keep the heat in. I think when they switched to nat. gas and filled-in the coal chute, they also knocked out the China cabinet in favor of this window.
A little more here on Satamax's drawing. I've done this in PowerPoint.
In the foreground, not shown in this picture, might be a mass of some shape also blocking the opening of the firebox, keeping the heat inside. I have it exposed for purposes of a view into the box to see the riser and the pipe up to the flue opening.
Presuming this might heat the house, what should the system size be? I'm guessing... 8" or 10"?
These are pictures of the inside of the firebox, looking up at the flue.
Given Satamax's SKP drawing, I believe he intends to have an enclosed bell, rather than it being open to the flue for all of the heat to escape Assuming this is true, then I would insert either a steel or clay cap into the top of the firebox, just beneath the flue. Inside the firebox, according to Satamax's drawing, I would insert a plumbing pipe reaching almost to the floor and up through the cap to the flue which I would then leave sitting open full-time, since the cap keeps opening closed anyway.
On another note, I just now remember this.... in case anybody might be interested in a beeeeutiful greenhouse, apparently custom, hand-crafted....
There is a gigantic greenhouse nearby here that is falling apart. It still has the original frame and most of the windows. I would estimate from prior visits that it is probably 50 feet long by 25 feet wide, maybe 30 feet wide, and a 16-foot ceiling (glass). The thing was probably built about 80 years ago as part of a very rich, very large estate that has since been sold off in parts. But the greenhouse remains, and nobody is taking care of it. Also, it used some sort of steam heat; I can see the pipes running through. The greenhouse sits on a concrete pad and has wooden shaped copolas over the doors. It has doors on all four sides.
I'm not sure what forum to post this in. Anybody know what to do with it. I may have some pictures that I can post later. Will try to find them.
I had a chance to play with Satamax's drawing. Very interesting. Soooo simple I cannot believe it.
Satamax, did you mean to put a top plate inside the fireplace to complete the barrel effect? I understand the bell outside the fireplace, but if I let all that heat go up inside the fireplace, it will never make it into the flue!
I've got a few clips of the drawing here from SKP, but I forgot to save the drawing :/ It is simple enough though; the only thing I did was to copy those two top plates and paste them inside the chimney. See pictures here.
Also, that port on the left side at the front - is that a clean-out, or an optional horizontal feed?
Simple drawing with feed tube on the left, riser in the center, and the bell on the right side. Charlie showed something similar with firebrick at donkey.proboards.com.
Please forgive the rudimentary drawing. This is about the limit of whatever I know how to do with Powerpoint in a short period of time this morning.
The barrel over the riser is 25 inches high; the riser might be 22-24 inches high. The bell might be 17 inches high. And the bell feeds rock or brick mass wrapped around the setup in the footprint of the hearth. In this drawing I'm not using the firebox; I don't know how to use it. Besides, right now the firebox has a gas line and I don't want to mess with that too much right now.
First, thank you everybody for being engaged in the discussion, call-outs to Sandy, Al, Len, Satamax, and Matt Walker as well, since I've been following his discussions and videos for a while.
The bell idea I had not considered. Until now I had thought only about a more traditional rocket stove design, with or without the mass. The bell might address the lack of space for a thermal mass.
I don't know about the local availability of clay. I presume there is a lot of it around here even within the property (5 acres), in addition to millions of tons of stone and probably also several hundred cords of wood (see pictures). Nearby is the Hudson River; would the river beaches be a good source of clay? I wonder if they might be too much laced with PCBs.... Most of the PCB cleanup on the river is done, though I still see the barges out on the river occasionally.
The idea of a still visible flame in or around the fireplace has me captivated, maybe like something Matt did on his outside RMH. I'm trying to get my head around it. However, given the CURRENT layout of the living room, it looks like the taller barrel would have to be on the left side. Of course I'm not saying we couldn't change the layout, but the whole thing will encounter much suspicion from one here who is loath to accept new ideas, has little vision for the future that the rest of us see, I believe, with eyes wide open.
I will play around with a drawing this morning and post it here.
Correct, again! Both the water heater and the furnace are directly below the fireplace, and both of them vent out the wall beneath the fireplace, and of course directly beneath the fireplace ash dump. Like I said, not the best circumstances here!
Anywho, I am also considering the RMH in the cabin as a practice for a larger RMH in the house. Perhaps a 4" or 6" system would be easily sufficient in such a small space as the cabin. I believe the cabin is approximately 8 feet by 12 feet. I have attached a picture here.
On another note, regarding energy markets, I've been kicking around the approximate dates a little bit, waffling back and forth and in between the years 2014 and 2017, though my best guestimate remains early 2015 when we begin to see some pretty heavy dislocations in the markets.
Here is a picture of the water heater and furnace (pardon the junk!). The furnace feeds water (steam?) radiators upstairs. These are the original cast iron radiators; they weigh several hundred pounds each. Until about 1930 or so the house was fueled by coal, and the coal dump was in the back corner of the house beneath the dining room. The coal chute has been filled-in with concrete. Now we use use nat. gas.
Another option might be, rather than having the RMH in the house, to have it outside on the cabin terrace or on the deck. See pictures. Maybe I could build a short cob wall into and around the bench to concentrate the heat inward.
Yes we have a gas water heater and gas furnace in close proximity beneath the fireplace. Not the brightest arrangement, but that's where the water and gas lines come into the basement. Probably these days in new construction that would not pass code. I will get a picture of it in a few minutes and post here.
In the meantime, I have completed a simple drawing of the hearth and firebox with measurements. See picture below.
Also here is a picture of the oven in the kitchen. This is an Aga, a cast-iron heat-storage oven, nat. gas. The house had a similar oven in its original construction, fueled by coal. I'm curious if this stove could be converted to a rocket stove from nat. gas. Of course I won't be doing any messing around with it for now! But someday the conversion or replacement will become a necessity, given what I believe will be the exponentially rising cost of fuels.
In my former professional life, I studied securities and energy markets, for about fifteen years. By now I am pretty darn confident that between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015 we will begin to see lots of volatility in the energy markets especially, and overall energy prices will rise, probably at a geometric rate in the first few years, then turning toward exponential increases three to five years out. Hence my interest in rocket stoves and all things alternative energy!
The house was built in 1910 by a local businessman, Stephen Underhill, whose family owned the Croton Brick Works (something like that) and Croton winery before the brick works was torn down to make way for the New Croton Dam. The family went bankrupt by 1925 and moved to California.
I believe the house was built from Croton brick and stone from the dam building project.
Stephen Underhill's nephew visited a few years ago and gave us some pictures of the house shortly after it's construction, showing a large kitchen garden - almost 1/4 acre - and a large chicken coop behind the shed in the backyard. The shed is now converted into an insulated cabin; it has chestnut beams under the floor.
In the basement of the house is a barrel-vaulted root cellar / wine cellar, under the front porch, extending the width of the house, made of the red Croton? Brick.
In the basement, the ceiling joists are 14 inches apart, from the inside edge of one to the inside edge of the next. The joists are just under 2 inches wide. I believe they are made of chestnut (hard to say). Against the outer wall, in the basement ceiling under the fireplace, I see a brick barrel vault; however, I cannot tell if it is supporting the fireplace hearth as well, or just the firebox.
I can think of an ideal position for a good size thermal mass (see pictures) - but I'd get in trouble if I did that. Instead, the fireplace hearth, which you will see in a picture this afternoon, might be a better candidate, for now. I would estimate it at 6 feet long by 2 feet wide, in front of the fireplace; the fireplace opening is approximately 24 inches deep, 34 inches high, 30 inches wide. I will try to get more exact measurements today and hopefully get a few more pictures....
I will attach a few pictures here of the house and the floorplan (approx. scale).
My neighbor had a copy of the book, but hasn't done anything with it!
I thought I might put the rocket stove (rocket mass stove, preferably) on the hearth next to the fireplace, if I can vent it out the fireplace like I saw Charles doing with his "Mini Rocket Mass Heater" on Proboards.com.
The house is two-story with a full basement, walk-out.
I have fire clay, refractory, perlite, vermiculite, and 1/4" fiberglass strand that I planned to use for the core and the riser, then set a barrel (either 15 gallon, 20 gallon, or 30 gallon) over the riser. Ideally it would be great if I could have the barrel low enough that it might tuck into the fireplace, though of course I prefer that it be outside the fireplace for the radiant heat.
My house is in a microclimate zone here on the side of a mountain in New York, about 35 minutes north of 42nd Street. We typically get a bit more snow than the surrounding area.
Thank you both for the responses. For now I will just keep it simple. Gotta start somewhere!
I am dealing here with a partner suspicious about anything remotely responsible or sustainable. Soooo, I need things to be conservative and as small as possible and still work....
Along those lines, can you suggest what might be a reasonable thickness of the core material surrounding the burn tunnel? I was planning on 4" on all sides of the tunnel, though I'd like to go with 3" if I can get away with it safely.
I'm curious about adding two additional barrels on top of the usual barrel design, to work as stored heat radiators, similar to a masonry stove like a Finnish or Swedish Kakelugn.
The idea here is to have the first inner barrel sitting 2 or 3 inches above the riser, then have another barrel over that one forcing the radiant heat downward, then another barrel two or three inches above that one, with a gap at the bottom, radiating heat up to the top again, and finally a flue exiting out the top rather than the bottom.
Will this improve the overall design, or diminish it? See image here.
IMHO.... I have to agree with Sandy, no reason for hostility.
Things like this are the bedrock of our capitalist system, and if someone or some company can find a way to serve some aspect of a much under-served market, and make money doing it, then they are free to do so, they put their money where there mouth is, they take risks to develop the market. Who are we to say one way or the other what is right or wrong about it? By making a profit on development, they may better answer the needs of the market.
Many people around the world might see the benefit of and the need for rocket stoves, rocket mass heaters, etc., though not have the means, the skills, perhaps just not the interest in building their own, as many in the DIY community here have done. That they may buy a rocket stove from Dragon serves a public good for all of us.
My two cents. I'm a capitalist to the core! In capitalism we have commerce, jobs, and wealth generation. While I realize that much of the movement is about LESS - winding down everything - it doesn't have to be that way. It could just be a smarter way of doing things, being more harmonious, encouraging and capitalizing on nature's way rather than obstructing it.
This afternoon I assembled the burn tunnel form (interior / Inside form) for my first rocket stove, thanks to tips from Matt - broaudio - on YouTube. I also glued the walls of the outside form. I used a jigsaw to cut the inside forms from hardybacker board from Home Depot (3' x 5', $10) using a glue gun to assemble the forms. I might put up pictures tomorrow ciao
Good evening. I have and continue to follow JMG's blog for at least the last four years, and I have several of his books. While he may not be an expert in rocket stoves (who knows?) he is clearly among the top few leading lights of the peak oil "movement," for lack of a better word, whatever it is.
I'm convinced that RMH and much older technologies including the kakelugn (Finnish/Swedish) will be in our very near future. At the moment I am making my first rocket stove, without the mass, forgive me. In the future I will take a shot at the kakelugn. I've been at this stuff for almost ten years, probably like many others here on permies.com.