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Rocket stove powered radiant floor?  RSS feed

 
Gert Kahn
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My house has solar heated hydronic radiant floors. There are collectors on the roof heating water which heats a tank in the basement full of water which is then pumped through the floor. I use a more or less conventional wood stove as a cloudy weather backup both for the convection and to heat the water to pump through the floor. I've been doing this for about five years now and haven't blown up my house yet. This is because I'm not storing the hot water in the tank. As soon as the water in the tank heats up to about 100f the floor pump turns on and pushes the water through the floor, cooling it to about 75-80f. The floor will warm up to the upper 70's at most and it's just wonderful to walk around on barefoot in the winter.

I've recently been thinking of building a new house and using a rocket stove to heat it. Most installations I've seen discussed use the exhaust pipe to heat the thermal mass. If I wanted to replicate the hydronic radiant floor I have now, but use a rocket stove to heat it, what would be the best way to arrange that? I saw one example with copper pipe coiled around the outside of the barrel. I suppose that's better than inside, since the creosote that accumulates on the stainless steel water pipes inside my current wood stove is really gnarly.

Does anyone have suggestions or ideas?

Thanks,
GK
 
Ernie Wisner
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best bang for the buck is to do the coil around the exhaust for the first 5 feet and build a well insulated box around it. Taking the heat from the barrel the way cold water flow can affect the burn and thats not a good thing.
We dont get creosote and keeping things that way is a good thing. the rest of the system is pretty much the same you will have to tinker a bit with the rate of flow to get it right. I have seen no flash problems in the layout suggested so far. keep your fingers crossed and in another 6 months i will publish the plans. I like to give things a real good test before i make them public. So try the idea at your own risk and please proof it on a test platform outside your house first.
 
Gert Kahn
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Draw the heat off from the exhaust. Yes, that makes perfect sense. Thanks. I look forward to seeing your results/plans. I most likely won't be building before then.

gk
 
                
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Looking forward to this information as I have a log house build and would like to do something like this with rocket stove mass hydronic heater / solar hot water. Love any links and additional information. Anything on getting these things up to code (canada) ? Building in May 2012
 
Ernie Wisner
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Neo first i have to get more work in canada. the way canada seems to like things is if i can show the folks who make policy. I like that but have yet to look into getting things coded there. We are currently working on code for portland oregon and should have some info soon. we live 15 miles from the border so i expect i will soon have a few installs up in and around BC and am looking forward to it. Erica and I like going to toronto to work with thors hammer timber frame and have stoves east but not to many folks have been listening in BC. Ah well its the middle of Jan and we have not yet used a cord of wood up on our mountain while our neighbors have run through 3 to 4 so far this an 8 cord area so we will see how it shakes out.
 
Travis Toner
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Is there any kind of calculation or a general rule about how strong of a flow one can get from thermal siphoning? For instance, is there a way to do a rocket stove powered radiant floor with out the use of pumps?
 
Ernie Wisner
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Travis
I dont know. I would assume that you could gravity feed it but that is just speculation. our radiant floors will be done on battery power from a solar cell. I have yet to figure out a passive flow system. if you find one let me know.
 
George Hartung
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Ernie Wisner wrote:best bang for the buck is to do the coil around the exhaust for the first 5 feet and build a well insulated box around it. Taking the heat from the barrel the way cold water flow can affect the burn and thats not a good thing.
We dont get creosote and keeping things that way is a good thing. the rest of the system is pretty much the same you will have to tinker a bit with the rate of flow to get it right. I have seen no flash problems in the layout suggested so far. keep your fingers crossed and in another 6 months i will publish the plans. I like to give things a real good test before i make them public. So try the idea at your own risk and please proof it on a test platform outside your house first.


Hey Ernie,
I was just wondering if you had any additional information yet.
I guess the question is open to everyone else as well.
I just found this site a week ago and am toying with the idea of combining the rocket heater to do in-floor heating. Any additional information on things like design and performance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,

George
 
Ernie Wisner
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We will have lots after Oct for folks to read and see on this subject. thanks for keeping the thread alive.
 
Dan Hampleman
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Has anyone considered running copper pipes threw the heat storage or the cob and then to a storage/expansion tank? I'm wondering if you would always have to have water flowing threw the pipes and what to do to keep it from getting too hot. Another thing I'm dreaming of is having the rest of the floor made out of cob and the PEX tubing running threw that. You could have a separate water pump for each zone or even pump the hot water out to your greenhouse using hot water PVC.
 
R Scott
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Thought about it. Basically an outdoor wood boiler setup except being driven by a RMH. Water is a lot of thermal mass!!

I stopped thinking about it when I realized it is cheaper to build multiple RMH's.
 
C Schwinn
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Ernie Wisner wrote:We will have lots after Oct for folks to read and see on this subject. thanks for keeping the thread alive.


Ernie, curious if you were able to test the systems as planned? Any informaiton available on this schematic? Appreciate your willingness to share.
 
Susan Miller
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I wanna know, too, how it's going. I wanna make my garage a tiny house and I saw Peter Bane talk about doing this radiant floor heating with a rocket mass heater in Indiana. I'm in Northeast Ohio - it gets cold in winter. Small space already a leaky cement garage floor. And yes, I have to fight to change codes for accessory dwelling units, but I want a garage do-over - granny flat. Not a granny yet, but hopeful.
 
Rob Irish
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Did anything ever come to fruition in this?

Are there any diagrams with the concept of how this would work?
 
Miriah Glenn
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Is there any more information? My house has wood floors and wont support a rmh. But I was hopeful that I could build a rmh adjacent to my building to use for radiant in floor heating, and possibly heating water as well.
 
David Miller
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Wouldn't the best approach be to try and tie all of your domestic hot-water needs into the system? Stack all your functions. RMH with a pex coil running through its exhaust mass tied into a storage tank that also services a solar hot water heater setup. Then tie that into your hot water heater for domestic hot water. RMH and Solar should take care of all hot water needs, radiant included! You'd just need to scope out the storage needs for utilizing all solar and rmh buildup so that it doesn't go to waste. Preferably the solar would heat the bench too so that the RMH could be backup only and storage for the solar could happen in the thermal mass of the RMH cob too.
 
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