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Indoor wood furnace to rocket mass heater conversion

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Greetings from the great white north. I recently came into possession of a indoor thermostatic ran wood furnace. And after seeing the wood stove rocket conversion I got thinking. Why not throw a heat riser on the top into a barrel then ad a mass like normal.  The thermostat wouldn't open and close the air inlet as needed (there might also be a stoker fan attached but I believe it's just a air damper I'm not sure as it's not assembled and iv never actually seen it operating) and the furnace fan would blow the air around it in normal furnace fashion. Less heat wasted out the chimney and it was also built to accept a water heating loop that I could hook into a old cast radiator or 2. This is for my shop that's currently heated with a wood stove. I was going to build a normal RMH out there as a test run before attempting one in the house. But the thought of setting it and forgetting it with the thermostat seems appealing since it's the shop and not a building I'm in all the time. When I was going to build the normal RMH I was going to devise a hopper for wood pellets so no reason I couldn't also do something similar with the furnace ( at least in my mind). Any input is appreciated.
Rocket Scientist
Posts: 4588
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
cat pig rocket stoves
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Hi Tim;  Welcome to Permies!
Congratulations on scoring a new stove!  Just as it is, it would work well in your shop building.
Your thoughts on trying to make it a RMH are a little outside the box.
I have my doubts how well it might work for you.  The principle of a rmh, that enables it to push 50' horizontal. Is it runs Hot,  Really hot, wide open roaring hot...  With a thermostatic stove  the air will shut off and the flow horizontal will stall ... and then it flows backwards...  lots of smoke in your shop (hopefully no flames though). Or maybe it just smothers out , Causing ... YUP lots of creosote!  The fire causing kind that a normal rmh burns up.

Now you might make it work using lets say 2 55 gal barrels. One with an inlet and outlet cut into the lower side and the other barrel enters low on the side and exits out the top to your chimney.
Both barrels should have removable lids so they can be filled with heavy steel / cast iron / granite boulders... as long as the air can freely move thru, the mass will heat and you will get extra warmth in your shop.

On your thoughts about pellets.  Yes, some have managed to successfully build a hopper to feed pellets.  One fellow with a greenhouse has done it... he also had a fire in his early development that could have burned him out! (It didn't).  So it can be done, but it is not recommended for a new RMH  builder. Much better to build a tried design as a first build and then move into developing a Frankenstein rocket mass heater.
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