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clearance for RMH

 
Posts: 4
Location: WV & Saskatchewan
tiny house fiber arts homestead
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Blessings!

[size=12]We are building a micro home and my partner insists on a RMH, which is cool.  Though we have drastically different (everything, lol) heat requirements...typically, I need more.
And I am working diligently to fit 2 full house lifestyles into the size of one of our bedrooms!  I'm the crazy designer and he's the practical doer.
One idea is platforms; the bed will be partially under a platform, to be pulled out fully at night for sleeping (and used as a daybed/sofa during the day).
Another idea is for the bench of the RMH to extend under/next to the kitchen & wash room.  I realize many people use them for seating, however, it's simply not fitting our needs to do so.  Additionally, he does not want a concrete foundation on this particular build, so weight/size will be an issue.
[b]My question is how much free space/clearance is needed before something can be placed over the bench[/b] NOT the barrel; the barrel can stick out and I've read other posts on clearance there...depending on the heat output and insulation, 4" min from the barrel, up to 36"...not planning to put anything above the barrel.
Above might simply be cabinetry and shelving...made of local wood...so, combustible.  Or possibly the platform floor.
Hope that makes sense!  Thanks for sharing![/size]
 
gardener
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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I think a traditional RMH with barrel is not suited to a tiny house: the barrel requires significant clearances which may be difficult, and the bench mass necessarily takes up a good bit of space. Also, even a 6" J-tube RMH probably puts out much more heat than a tiny house can absorb without big temperature swings from barrel radiation. Making a J-tube smaller than 6" can be tricky even for experienced builders; 6" is the smallest reliable size.

I would suggest that you consider a small batch box style RMH with a masonry bell, which can have a footprint less than 2' x 3' x 5' high, with minimal safety clearances required. It would probably need to have a footing pier located near or under it, but would not require a significant foundation.
tiny house rocket mass heater: the cyclone batch style
[youtube]  
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Jule Dargini
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I appreciate your input and will pass on the info to my partner!  :)
 
pollinator
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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Why not use the cabin stove with a bench?  Eg. Matt's one http://walkerstoves.com/tiny-masonry-cook-stove-plans.html
That looks kinda tiny house friendly.
 
Jule Dargini
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Honestly, I'm not sure why he wants RMH over MH...he said they were different.  I'm familiar with MH, or what we called (in Peace Corps) HES estufa mejoradas.
Thanks; all suggestions welcome!
 
Glenn Herbert
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A rocket mass heater is technically a subset of masonry heater. The essential difference is that the RMH firebox is optimized in a certain way to get complete combustion and lower pollution emissions. There are many differences in typical practice, but that is the essential one.

Peace Corps practice as I understand tends to be in warm climate countries where a masonry heater would not be a major item; efficient cooking stoves with possible heating components are more likely the focus. The rocket core has great potential for improving lives there, whether coupled with a thermal mass or not.
 
Jule Dargini
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Ah, yes...we did want as complete combustion as possible/low pollution.  And all wood is from Beaver fall...UGH!  No love for beavers here...any tips to teach THEM sustainability?!
Agreed that PC focus is on minimal inputs.  Though they have served in northeastern Europe for at least a couple decades...so not just warm.  Yes, good idea!
 
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