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My New Rocket Stove / Heater Project  RSS feed

 
                            
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Hey guys.

I am just starting to build a rocket stove for the first time. I am planning on building a portable stove that can be easily converted into a heater.

I am using an old water heater and food cans (tins).








A Video of the test run:

http://youtu.be/VUwdbkT_Nro

The draw was not as strong as I would of liked, although there was some good lateral burn at times. I think this was due to two issues. The chamber being short and not very well insulated & the space under the water heater. The heaters base is raised and is not flush with the floor of  the old water heater.

I plan to extend the combustion chamber below and above to extend the insulated chamber and  reduce any negative affect of the space under the old water heater, which I think was influencing the flow and loosing allot of the heat.

I want to be able to place a lid on the old water heater so its instantly converted into a heater. The exhaust will be redirect through the side of the water heater (as low as possible) and run through Flue piping or similar tubes.

The idea is I can run it to heat my house or green house, but then also be able to disconnect it from the exhaust tubes , remove the lid and use it for cooking outdoors.

I plan on keeping you all updated with progress and would welcome any advice, thanks.
 
Shawn Bell
Posts: 156
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That is really interesting, you may want to check out some of the rocket mass heaters on this forum.
They should be able to help you troubleshoot yours.

Keep up the good work.
 
                            
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Adding the wood feed to replace the temporty bricks:








Combustion chamber will be extended



Testing Again







Worked very well as a stove, with the wood feed inside, but I would like an extra compartment for a wood feed.

 
                            
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Next I decided to add more insulation (Perlite & Woodash Mix):



Perlite & Woodash added with clay to hold it all in.





Made a larger chamber with more insulation.

Also added a tin can as an external wood feed.



Video of it in use:



 
                            
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Having now read through the "rocket stove and butt warmer" thread. I realise I should of paid more attention to the cross section area  rather then guessing based on the first few video’s I have seen. The pull is good at times, especially with well sized, supper dry wood, but as soon as the wood is not perfect (ash sticks with bark rather then pine scrap wood) I get a lot of smoke and back draft. Reducing the area if the wood feed with a brick definitely reduced smoke rising out the feed, but did not complete prevent the smoke. I have a feeling that my burn tunnel needs to be slightly larger. I think the next step is to take measurements and see if its comparable to the values stated in this forum and elsewhere online.

At the moment I only have the feed tube, burn tunnel and heat-riser. I plan to seal the top of my water boiler which will be acting as the heat-exchange barrel and run the exhaust gasses down to an exit flue.

My feed tube also needs an ash pit as the ash build up seemed to reduce the burn and the pull the longer it was in use, when I was expecting it to improve as it heated up.
 
Lisa Maureen
Posts: 7
Location: Gulf Islands, BC
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Thanks for posting!  I really found it interesting and helpful as well - keep on going!  It looks good from here, and I hope you fix the smokeback issue.
Lisa
 
                            
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Lisa Maureen wrote:
Thanks for posting!  I really found it interesting and helpful as well - keep on going!  It looks good from here, and I hope you fix the smokeback issue.
Lisa



Thanks Lisa.

After further testing I have discovered that the stove can cope with larger wood and does not suffer from smokeback when the burn chamber is extended to twice the height, although 50% more seemed enough for improvements. Also smoke back is not an issue when using the driest of wood and when keeping ash out the horizontal burn tube even without the extended chamber. Therefore for cooking as a stove its good enough as it is, but there is room to improve it.

I have also tried blocking off the top of the water heater and diverting the gasses through 3 meters (10 feet) of aluminium tubing which worked well, but it reduced the pull and made it slightly smoky. Ideally I would double the hight of the burn chamber and the water heater, but that would require another water heater! Will have to think about this some more.. Ideally I wanted to keep it contained inside the old water heater.
 
Craig Conway
Posts: 79
Location: Maine, USA
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Cool thread
 
                                
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Hi -
I have been interested in masonry stoves forever.  But they are expensive and feel like a daunting DIY project.  So when I happened upon the Rocket Mass Stove about a year ago, I got really psyched.  I am currently playing with rocket [mass-less] stoves to get a feeling for the basic principles (and to cook some great food outdoors!).  Also am gathering materials to build a RMS in my pottery shed.  Am looking forward to learning a lot from this site.
Is there anyone in the greater DC area who has built a RMS?  Would love to have a look-see and hear how their RMS turned out.  Thanks.
 
Len Ovens
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Goji Cafe York wrote:

After further testing I have discovered that the stove can cope with larger wood and does not suffer from smokeback when the burn chamber is extended to twice the height, although 50% more seemed enough for improvements. Also smoke back is not an issue when using the driest of wood and when keeping ash out the horizontal burn tube even without the extended chamber. Therefore for cooking as a stove its good enough as it is, but there is room to improve it.


I found in my own project, that adding air after the main burning area worked really well even when all that was left was embers. I was able to just stick a piece of pipe in to about 2 or 3 inches before the riser. The already sparse smoke vanished to heat waves. Most rocket stoves for cooking put a shelf under the wood for this purpose. Mine is a RMH (or will be when I add the mass ) but I am using a horizontal air intake even though the feed is vertical. I am using an 18 inch x 4ft water heater core. With the mass, the foot print will be 25inch diam. with no bench to start. If it looks like a bench would help, I am thinking to use a second core for that.

To see where I have gone and maybe find some ideas (not sure if any will help) see:

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/10653_0/alternative-energy/yet-another-portable-rmh

Or

http://www.ovenwerks.net/family/2011/RMH/

One day I will figure out video on my camera and post some of those too.
 
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