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the 4 directions and rocket stoves  RSS feed

 
                                
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I am imagining this stove in a house....at the north wall...thinking of how a building may work...let nature - the sun, if it is out, help warm the south and let the internally fed 'furnace' heat the north...I would think the north side, if it is a bit cooler would help the draw of the smoke?  Also if one created a section of the building, the air movement would flow in a way to maximize the heat....
I am just thinking of overall design and placement of such a device, if it were built, to make it most useful........since it would be darn difficult to move!
 
Erica Wisner
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Bridget wrote:
I am imagining this stove in a house....at the north wall...thinking of how a building may work...let nature - the sun, if it is out, help warm the south and let the internally fed 'furnace' heat the north...I would think the north side, if it is a bit cooler would help the draw of the smoke?  Also if one created a section of the building, the air movement would flow in a way to maximize the heat....
I am just thinking of overall design and placement of such a device, if it were built, to make it most useful........since it would be darn difficult to move!


I don't like to assign a random direction to an object in a home - Feng Shui does not specify the location for Rocket Stoves.

More important considerations for your stove:
- Where can your exhaust go so that it does not end up funneling gusts from prevailing winds?  If there is a sheltered side of the building, or a side that typically has "vacuum" compared to another side that has high pressure, those are key considerations.

- Where will you put cleanout ports so you can access all parts of the stove and ducting for maintenance?

- Where will the barrel / radiant heater go?  It's nice to have it near the center of the building, but it's also important that it be away from combustibles and not likely for people to fall into it or brush past it and burn themselves.  Sometimes it works best behind a door, sometimes in an under-used corner, sometimes in the center of a room with a partial cob wall or bench to protect it from traffic accidents.

- Where will the wood feed go?  It's not as important for it to be near wood, as it is to have it where you can conveniently watch the fire while you are doing other things.  Most people light their stove in the evening or morning, whichever time you prefer for sitting around.  So near your quiet sitting area, or where you can watch it out of the corner of your eye while you do your checkbook balance, or where you can reach over and fiddle with it while socializing with guests.

- Where does your wood come from?  Being able to store kindling near, but not dangerously near, the opening is a nice bonus.

- Where and when do you like to be warm? 
When socializing, when going to the bathroom, when sleeping? 
If you prefer to sleep in a cooler room than the one you hang out in, or you have visitors who are susceptible to chill, then the social area is a good place to put it.  If you are in a very cold place and want a warm bed to keep you safe and snug in cold snaps, then you might want a rocket-heated bed platform, possibly on the (north)east side if you like to wake up to morning light.

- Do you plan to use the rocket barrel for winter cooking or warming a kettle?  You might want it near where you prepare or serve tea.

If all that works out for you, then yes, the north side is not a bad place to put a stove.  You're right that it's much easier to heat the south with passive solar, but that also depends on surrounding hills and evergreen shade trees
Putting the stove on the north will give you slightly more even heat.  In many cases that's good; but, you may want to preserve a cool corner for storing your breakfast milk and other fresh foods.

In other words, it's a decision that should be based on practical considerations more than cardinal directions.  Try to visit some small houses with woodstoves, masonry heaters, fireplaces, or other heaters installed.  See which places work well, and which placements leave the house less workable. 
 
                        
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Erica, very valuable information, as always. Just a quick question about this:

More important considerations for your stove:
- Where can your exhaust go so that it does not end up funneling gusts from prevailing winds?  If there is a sheltered side of the building, or a side that typically has "vacuum" compared to another side that has high pressure, those are key considerations.

Is there any reliable way to discern a side of the house that might be under vacuum conditions? You've got me really thinking (again) about this technology, but mostly how to implement with my particular conditions. I own a house. (or buying) Last year I bought a stove used. It is a nice one and I got a fair deal for it. In my ignorance I thought that I would just "get it installed" with no fuss. Well I found out that it is going to cost me around 3200.00 dollars to have it installed because of being a two story house and other code issues. I am beginning to think I should sell it and make a stove myself and kick it out the side wall. (doing so unregulated) (if I can also make it aesthetically pleasing for my wife!-She's still "form over function" at all costs kind of girl.) I really only have one side of the house that will work. That is south (viewable from the road), cold winters, lots of snow.

One more question that occurs to me now. Do these type of stoves lend themselves to a certain cut of wood? That is, is it better to have tall, small diameter pieces rather then the normal cuts?

I really should attend a workshop, but it is too far away. I need a shot in the arm. -Jeff
 
                                
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Erica,
I was thinking about one of the many design decisions that go into the placement of a radiant heat source and how air moves in the overall space for more comfortable even heating....not really random, just cardinal directions....or the use of feng shui

That said, thanks for a clear and full list of important considerations in placing a rocket stove in a dwelling.

The exhaust, if to code, could take care of the concern over the lee side of a structure... it would need to terminate 2' above and 10' away from the roof (if considered like a stove or fireplace chimney).  If it can be considered a lesser vent - the requirements are different but still have a distance from openings back into the structure...I would have to look info this up again to get specific dimensions and the definition for vents...of course the draw is a different issue and needs to be considered separately, as you mention.
 
Erica Wisner
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Bridget wrote:
I am imagining this stove in a house....at the north wall...thinking of how a building may work...let nature - the sun, if it is out, help warm the south and let the internally fed 'furnace' heat the north...I would think the north side, if it is a bit cooler would help the draw of the smoke?  Also if one created a section of the building, the air movement would flow in a way to maximize the heat....
I am just thinking of overall design and placement of such a device, if it were built, to make it most useful........since it would be darn difficult to move!


Bridget,
I think I'm understanding your first post more clearly.

Letting nature do the work of warming the south side makes sense.

Cooler wall temperatures around the stove don't necessarily help the draft - probably the reverse, in fact - but the stove is supposed to handle its own draft.  They do draft better when you've fired them recently, so that the interior of the stove / chimney is warmer than the outside air.

Yes, if you're doing a to-code exhaust, then wind direction is less critical (though some code-approved chimneys still backdraft in adverse wind conditions). 

Code-approved chimneys are a big part of that $3200 installation bill that JHi was wincing at.  All-new stovepipe costs an arm and a leg.

rocket stove exhaust is comparatively cool (the heat stays inside the house, not exiting with the exhaust) which can cause a very tall vertical chimney inside a house to have less than optimal draft. 
  On hot-weather days our stove (with a 25' vertical metal chimney) does not draft nearly as well as we would like, and occasionally leaks smoke.  This is embarrassing, as the only reason we light our stove on really hot days in the first place is to show it off to visitors or inspectors.
  The alternative is to make a heater with either a very short set of 'intestines', or a rather large diameter, and sacrifice more of the fuel to heat the exhaust and improve draft up that long chimney.

Chances are, Jeff, that if your wife is at all picky about form or function, it would drive her nuts to have you rip out the wall and fill the living room with mud for an extended period.  Is she excited about cob, natural building, or DIY stuff generally?

You could probably install your woodstove yourself, and that's going to get you cooking faster for this winter.  It's not legal to resell used stovepipe (except as scrap metal), but sometimes you can come across leftover pieces from someone else's project, in good condition. 
  The inspectors tend to look for UL stickers, black-painted or stainless steel pipe, installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.
 
                        
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Sorry, I sort of co-opted your thread Bridget with my own questions. I did not mean to jump in like that. I am a little slow on the net etiquette front. Thanks for the response Erika, design, (that is the actual look of the thermal mass rocket stove) is going to be very important in the implementation of my stove, to get it to pass my wife's judgement. We are both awakening to the need for sustainable, sensible design in all areas. Also there is just the matter of making something that I can maintain, that is the appropriateness of it. If I pay the 3200 to install my wood stove I will probably not even be able to shimmy way up on our steep pitched metal roof to clean the pipe. Overall, I would much prefer to install a thermal mass rocket stove then an ordinary wood stove and kick it out the side of the house. The main problem is that if I do so, I will not even try to get it to pass code, I may have to hide it. And I know that that has a whole bunch of ramifications. I am working mentally on a design for my space. I have some basics worked out but I need to ask a few questions in order to inform other design considerations. I thought I would start a new thread for that where I could ask a few questions and then post drawings with perhaps a few more questions. Very, very grateful for the community, the pioneer spirit, the forward thinking community. -Jeff
 
Erica Wisner
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Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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JHi wrote:
Sorry, I sort of co-opted your thread Bridget with my own questions. I did not mean to jump in like that. I am a little slow on the net etiquette front. Thanks for the response Erika, design, (that is the actual look of the thermal mass rocket stove) is going to be very important in the implementation of my stove, to get it to pass my wife's judgement. We are both awakening to the need for sustainable, sensible design in all areas. Also there is just the matter of making something that I can maintain, that is the appropriateness of it. If I pay the 3200 to install my wood stove I will probably not even be able to shimmy way up on our steep pitched metal roof to clean the pipe. Overall, I would much prefer to install a thermal mass rocket stove then an ordinary wood stove and kick it out the side of the house. The main problem is that if I do so, I will not even try to get it to pass code, I may have to hide it. And I know that that has a whole bunch of ramifications. I am working mentally on a design for my space. I have some basics worked out but I need to ask a few questions in order to inform other design considerations. I thought I would start a new thread for that where I could ask a few questions and then post drawings with perhaps a few more questions. Very, very grateful for the community, the pioneer spirit, the forward thinking community. -Jeff


Etiquette?
You mean, there's etiquette on these things?
I tend to just blather on and then wait for someone to correct me if I'm barking up the wrong tree.  I hope it's at least entertaining for folks to watch me change gears.

My apologies too, Bridget, if it seemed like I was taking your thread on a tangential ride. 

-Erica
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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