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Derk Smiles
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Hello

I just signed up, I'm Derk. question... what is being mixed in the clay being packed into the heat riser on the Rocket mass video on this web site?
 
Lolly Knowles
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There are various videos showing rocket mass heaters. However, I'm reasonably certain that what you are asking about is "cob". It's a mixture of soil, clay and straw.
 
Derk Smiles
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So the cob is being used for the bench mass and for insulating the riser? What is the feasability of heating a 400 sqf cabin in the north with one of these things?
I am currently in the process of transition from my mortgage box in the city to a small paid for cabin on 2.2 acres in southern Manitoba.
 
Lolly Knowles
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Derk, I'm sure it can be done if the heater is large enough, or two smaller heaters are used.

I haven't attempted a build yet, but have watched many, many videos and have the book on order at the library. I've checked the cost of firebrick at the local masonry outlet and have an old water heater sitting outside the back door. Now I need to select a time and get a crew together.
 
Derk Smiles
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Thanks Lolly I'm also curious how big I should make the unit?
 
Lolly Knowles
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Derk, how do you intend to set up your cabin? Will you use the mass for a sleeping platform, couch or grow bed? Where do you have space to add mass and still allow movement?

In other words, only you can really decide what and how to build build in your particular situation. If you check out the Alternative Energy forum http://www.permies.com/forums/f-10/alternative-energy you will find several threads that talk about RMH. They are full of drawings, videos and testimonials about what has worked and what hasn't done so well for them. I'd suggest you grab your favorite beverage and plan on a session at the computer. Some of those threads go as long as 10 pages, and the response count is 40 per page. It will be worth it!

 
Paul Andrews
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I think it was Perlite being mixed into the clay and packed in between the two metal tubes that make up the heat riser

aman
 
Lolly Knowles
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aman, I think you're right. I just re-read the question and realized I missed the essential "into the heat riser".
 
I do some of my very best work in water. Like this tiny ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
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