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Increase wood stove efficiency with Intensifire  RSS feed

 
Johannes Wardenier
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Yesterday a bumped in a solution of increasing the efficiency of a woodstove called intensifire : http://www.intensifire.co.nz/

Has anyone experiance with this solution ? or an installation manual ?

Warm Regards, Johannes
 
David Livingston
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Very interesting .
I also would be interested.

David
 
Dale Hodgins
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The website is light on detail. I don't see a listing of countries where the unit is legal.

The NZ dollar is worth about 80 cents US. but then there's shipping and installation. It's going to cost a minimum of $500 total and possibly much more when all is said and done.

Then there's insurance issues. If it's not legally installed, this could void fire insurance. You won't find a reputable installer willing to install things that are not approved.

There are many good stoves on Craigslist for less than $500. If one can be found that is legal to install in your area, that seems a better option.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a free way to increase the efficiency of most metal units in use today. Learn how it works.

Burn small, intense fires.
Wasted wood is sent up the chimney when stoves are loaded to capacity. I've never seen one of those long burn units perform well, and I've fed a lot of stoves. Don't burn big blocks that barely fit in. They smolder away and bugger up the stove's gas flow design. I often see stoves operated as a sort of incinerator, disposing of massive quantities of wood while polluting the neighborhood. Poorly designed stoves are part of the problem but operation by idiots is also prevalent.

Finally, use your savings for a RMH or other masonry stove and forget about burning wood in a metal vessel.



 
Bill McGee
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The inventor of this, Jason Stewart is an interesting guy. He was shown on a TV show "Whale wars" where he was the helmsman on the innovative boat Ady Gil. They were taking direct action against whale hunting (I believe he was rammed, and sunk)

He is also a finalist in the Woodstove Design Challenge by the Alliance for Green Heat the article in Popular Mechanics can be seen fron the Intensifire site. My understanding is that this is for older woodstoves (not newer catalyzed or secondary burn stoves) so it may have a large worldwide use increasing efficency and decreasing emissions.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/interior/wood-stove-design-challenge-low-tech-way-to-change-the-world-12370143

Hopefully the price will come down as more units are manufactured. Now he seems like mostly a one man show. In reality it seems like this product is just in the concept stage and would benefit from a good Kickstarter.

Bill
PS adding a link. Take a look at some of the other slides (finalists) you may recognize some.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/energy-efficient/14-bright-ideas-for-a-better-wood-stove?click=main_sr#slide-2
 
Bill McGee
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Johannes, he got right back to me when I contacted him through his site/Facebook. He researched my stove and had accurate info on it. It has no application for my stove now (lol, maybe in 10 years when I burn out the secondary baffles)

My guess/understanding is that it acts like a carburator using a twin walled exhaust flue to introduce downdraft air to the bottom of the fire box.

Your post is inspiring me to go down to Washington, DC in November to see the finals of this Woodstove innovation challenge.

There are a lot of old stoves out there. This seems to be a low tech/low cost way to clean up a lot of stoves (assuming it works)

ps as an example of how he is mostly a one man show- him and his dad are looking for a place to stay in DC for the Nov finals and need a woodstove with these requirements:
-older, out of production stove (competion rules require company permission to use their stove so out of business is easier
- 6" top exhaust
- window to view fire
-no or removable baffles

Their NZ stove costs too much to ship over.

Bill
 
Jason Stewart
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A friend was searching for my website today and this site come up on google's first page. I will take the opportunity to answer the question posed in the thread, particularly by Dale.

First up it is a retrofit for a stove, not a stove itself. Although I am keen to see my new designs in production when the means becomes available to me.

As per the "History" tab on the website it has been tested by an independent laboratory in a calorific room with a sample train on the stack. The procedure is NZS 4012 & 4013. The test was only on the low setting and increased the efficiency from 52% to 75%. Those figures are on a wet basis, to get the equivalent dry basis figure for the equivalent USA test add around 7% to those figures. Output was lifted from 4.6Kw to 6.5kw although it peaked at 12Kw while warming up. Emissions were down from 4.5 g/hr to 3.5 g/hr. The test was a learning experience for me and I went home and made it better, particularly on the emissions side.

On the issue of legality, going by the local example in New Zealand it falls between the cracks because no legislator or bureaucrat thought it could be done. It can't be made legal, but it isn't illegal either. Insurance is an issue but there are simple methods to make sure it won't burn your house down. Keep in mind that safety tests are also known as "clearance tests" and are for the most part about the distance between the appliance and your walls to make sure they don't catch fire. They are also a worst case of abuse type scenario not about every day use. I believe a sensible person can work a solution to the issue I have been lobbying for two years now and there is just a brick wall.

Freight: I will freight to the US for the prices advertised. Freight is expensive, probably $80+ NZD but the bigger issue for me is that ground shipping isn't available and air freight doesn't really fit the green image of a product like this. I might have to wear that in the short term with the greater picture in view so I am busy designing out some of the excess weight. If you know of someone looking for a business opportunity, or simply a manufacturing and distribution role for the US send them my way.

Cost: I hope that one day mass production will bring this down and allow me to make further improvement to useability, but a distribution cost has to be factored in. If you buy a cheap second hand stove you will still want The IntensiFire to improve its performance

Yes I am a one man band.

I am a designer and inventor not a businessman, hopefully things will go my way. My hope is that one day I can commit to permaculture on my own block of land. I brew beer from grain in my spare time and got my hands dirty in the weekend planting hop rhizomes. A good little journey because I found out about, then executed, willow water.

Because it isn't a successful venture just yet I deliberately hold back on giving away too much technical information away, even the website information was going beyond my comfort zone. Essentially it is an internal flue extension that turns it into a downdraft burner. When I can draw a comfortable income then I will consider open sourcing it, dreams of riches are not what motivates me. As for how it works I do have some design ideas that I believe are an advance on conventional design, and I will likely advance things further. I had to apply for a second patent this year to cover additional ideas.

Dale your fire advice is excellent and applies to The IntensiFire as well. It gets very hot and I recorded 1100°C before the wires melted out of the thermocouple, hence the name. Masonry stoves are a place I will go one day but in the US alone there are 8 million old stoves to fix up first!

Yes I was at the helm of the Ady Gil when we were rammed by the Shonan Maru II. I had previously spend 10 weeks as a volunteer on Earthrace in the role of Engineer as she toured around New Zealand. I got a last minute call as replacement for the Antarctica campaign. A 25 minute close encounter with three humpbacks on that trip was absolutely amazing. You can find a short clip of that on Animal Planet. Pete Bethune is still a close friend.

I hope some of you come to see me at the wood stove Design Challenge in Washington DC, November 16-19th.

Regards

Jason
 
Bill McGee
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Great that Google drew you in Jason!

I am full guns a'blazin and would like to invite you up to New London, CT (formerly the Whaling Capital of the world, and still the Whaling City). I am working with metal scuptors and welders who would like to invite you to New London. One of the founders of the Hygenic Art gallery is very keen on having you and your father up for a visit. We can arrange for Journalists, our local newspaper and ABC, NBC, CBS TV affiliates to cover your story. Also Mystic Seaport museum has a whaling connection and I believe would be interested. This area loves whales and wants to atone for its history.

If you have time after the woodstove challenge we want to sincerely invite you and will pay to get you up here.

My belief is that you don't necessarily have to "open source" the intensifire technology. If you can license it to 3rd world producers at an affordable price that makes it available to the billions of biomass burners who use chimneys this could be win win for the world,

Bill

 
John Polk
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Welcome to permies Jason.

As you can see, wood burning is a popular topic here.
We welcome your input. It is always nice to meet the person behind new/better ideas.

Make yourself at home here.

 
Dale Hodgins
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Thank you for such detailed clarification Jason. I like to rake every idea over the coals and to examine it from many angles. Judging from your extensive knowledge in this area, I'll bet you do the same to your own work as well.

Have you considered licensing your design to big manufacturers to be incorporated into their models or as an add on for their older units? This would allow you to have a guaranteed royalty stream so that your time can go into future inventions. This would also relieve you of the unpleasant task of defending patents against big players. Often, the inventor gets paid to do PR work and to participate in professionally done promotional videos. No shipping, no investment, no major financial risk.

That contest that you're in will probably bring many of those potential partners to one convenient place. Some will want a piece of every other invention that you produce. It's usually a bad idea to sell rights to anything other than what you currently have to offer. You're going to need a lawyer or two.
 
Bill McGee
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Not to give out your technology, but somehow I think Bernulli's involved. Their are also two rocket stoves (Dragon and Walker stoves) in the wood stove Innovation Challenge as well as many masonary heaters and hybrid secondary reburns + catalytic converters. Also of interest are units using Automotive Oxygen sensors and catalytic preheaters to quickly get up to 400 f
 
Bill McGee
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No doubt, Dales a straight shooter who calls them as he see's them.
 
Bill McGee
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Jason, tomorrow me and a friend Carl (from Germany) are sailing in to New London. We will meet with New London artists from the Hygenic and discuss how to support you. We will be at Dutch's tavern at 8 pm. (the only tavern Benedict Arnold didn't burn when he sacked New London and Groton during our revolution). We will find a way to support you and the Intensifire in DC, NY, Boston however we can.

Bill


 
Dale Hodgins
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Bill McGee wrote:No doubt, Dales a straight shooter who calls them as he see's them.


Thanks Bill. I sometimes don't wait to see it all before I pounce.--- I think Jason is one of the good guys. ---

I usually prefer to go after charlatans who peddle medicinal snake oil, since they're easy marks who can offer no defense. Like fish in a barrel. Great fun.
 
Bill McGee
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Hey Dale, you are living the life I have some Connecticut friends in the same business as you: demolition and rigging. You are living the life, solving problems as they face you. It amazes me how a skilled technician can move tonnes with experince.
 
Jason Stewart
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Thanks for the welcome guys. Some good input, ideas and an invitation to chew over.

Dale I would love to license it and then be able to focus solely on R&D, hopefully the Design Challenge will offer up an opportunity or two.

Bill I will discuss that offer of yours with my father as he is coming with me. Actually he is my sponsor in this and has stumped up the patent costs to date. Depending on how things pan out with the stove I hopefully have lined up then I may have a few days before the setup day at the National Mall. We have allowed some time for a bit of sightseeing afterward with the Blueridge Parkway in our sights. I haven't traveled internationally that much, and not at all to America, so I am keen to get a good look around.
 
Leila Rich
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I'm always pleased to see NZers around here
I know nothing about this fire stuff, and apologies if the info's on your site.
My folks are building a new house on the West Coast of the South Island, and the plan to put their old Shacklock woodburning stove/oven in there.
The thing is pretty useless actually; and considering I've used some great ones, it's likely to be the flue/installation/draw etc.
But that's another issue...
Anyway, is your kit suitable for those kind of stoves?
It's pretty warm down there and getting more heat's not a major factor, but the emissions/efficiency certainly is!
 
Jason Stewart
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Leila Rich wrote:I'm always pleased to see NZers around here
I know nothing about this fire stuff, and apologies if the info's on your site.
My folks are building a new house on the West Coast of the South Island, and the plan to put their old Shacklock woodburning stove/oven in there.
The thing is pretty useless actually; and considering I've used some great ones, it's likely to be the flue/installation/draw etc.
But that's another issue...
Anyway, is your kit suitable for those kind of stoves?
It's pretty warm down there and getting more heat's not a major factor, but the emissions/efficiency certainly is!


Hi Leila,

nice place for your parents to be although they can't mind the rain in those parts. Yes it is possible to retrofit and old range although it wouldn't be off the shelf. It would take a custom engineering to make it fit if they have access to someone with a workshop that could do that. Get them to contact me through my website if you like although my head is going to be around the "Design Challenge" for the next couple of months.
 
Johannes Wardenier
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Dale,

You were right when you mentioned, how to increase efficency of metal burning units : small intense fires.
The cold senson in the Netherlands started, and I tried it. The result : more heat output and less wood consuption.
Its a little early to announce exact numbers but I guess : 30 % less wood consuption, maybe even more.

I wasn't familiar with this approach, but I am confinsed and encourage other people to try it. There fore this replay and thanks to Dale !

Warm Regards,
Johannes
 
Dale Hodgins
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I'm glad it's working for you Johannes. I'm sure that both your grandparents and mine knew how to burn a clean fire and conserve wood.

Starting in the 70s, there were many stoves marketed on the idea that they were almost as easy to use as an oil or gas furnace. The oil embargo combined with the back to the land movement, got millions of people into burning wood a generation or more after automatic central heating systems had pretty much conquered the home heating market. Stoves were sold with the promise that they could be stoked as little as twice in a 24 hour period. Huge fireboxes were stuffed to capacity and then allowed to slowly smoulder away. Vast quantities of unburned wood went up heavily creosoted chimneys in the name of resource conservation and convenience. Houses burnt down.

None of this waste could have happened in the 40's and early 50s when my dad and grandfather cut all of their wood with had powered cross cut saws. They simply didn't have time to chop 3 times more wood than they really needed. The arrival of the chainsaw as a consumer product opened the door to all of that waste. It was fun to run a chainsaw. If people had had to pay even minimum wage for all of the various steps and costs involved, many would have realized that wood heat was not quite free. Saws weren't nearly as good as what is available today and the stoves were crap.

Another drawback to these giant smouldering fires was that of the big smoke puff
that entered the house every time that someone opened the door without first opening the damper. Matters were made worse when the door was blocked by a far too large "night block". The problem is that if there is a fire, people like to mess with it. A stove that could just sit for hours unattended ran counter to all of our ancestral history with fire. So, instead of feeding the fire every half hour or so, families who owned a behemoth 12 hour burner would open it regularly for a peek and to see why it was going out.

While all of this was going on
, my grandmother, who never stopped using wood, continued to burn, small, white hot fires in her 1920s cook stove. The stove was made more efficient by the 25 ft. run of uninsulated pipe. My dad would occasionally do a "controlled" chimney fire to deal with creosote.
 
David Livingston
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Thanks for the advice Dale I am just about to move into a new house with a Wood fire as the son of a coal miner I have had coal fires before And was very interested in the difference .

David

Thought about asking the LL for a RMH but nô go
 
Jason Stewart
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Hi all,

well I am pleased to inform you all that I won an award at the wood stove Design Challenge for the most affordable clean burning technology. It has been a mission doing this on a budget and that probably cost me a better result as I tried to tune a monster Treemont stove with a 60 lb fuel load for the tests. I didn't get a rest so am exhausted from the 7 10 hr + days tuning the stove but a late result with an emissions test(that couldn't really be considered for the results) was rather satisfying as it backed up the zero emission capability of The IntensiFire.

 
lenny Klinger
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What I seem to be missing is how this connect to a stove and my stove is a WESO #125. Why would people spend about $500.+ - n not understand how this would connect to their stove.
He won a prize and good on him for the passing the test.
But to buy one at that cost and have no idea if it would work, NO WAY
 
Jason Stewart
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Lenny an interesting response for me to consider.

There are generally two types of question I receive about my product. The first is would The IntensiFire work well in my stove? To which my response is usually a repeat of the laboratory report commented on earlier in this thread, an increase in the heat delivered into your house from every piece of wood you put in your fire from around 50% to about 75%. If they haven't sent me the make and model (which isn't necessarily determinative) I then ask for photographs or drawings, particularly of the inside around the flue exit area.

The second and very common query I get asks "I can't see any information on how it fits to my stove". With the three winters I have been selling these for in New Zealand my interpretation of this question is "I can't see how I can build one for myself". It also contains the presumption that the questioner has the ability to both understand my technology to successfully duplicate it and to know it is possible to convert their stove. I find this type of person usually wastes my time in email exchanges that have even gone to the extreme of some people asking me for plans or they won't buy it! It is actually very simple and thus easy to copy, but not easy to copy it right. I don't want lots of bad copies giving the technology a bad reputation, which has actually happened to me here in New Zealand in a small way.

The question to you Lenny is why wouldn't you want your stove to be 50% more efficient? Some further questions. How old is your stove, or how long has it been inefficient and polluting? How long will your stove last? And do you intend to continue to let it be polluting and inefficient for the rest of its life?

The difficulty I face as the inventor is actually making this affordable but at the same time making it fit the many different models of stove out there. I realised three years ago when I invented this technology its significance that other people would want it. I have continued, unpaid and in debt to date, to solve the problems associated with it while at the same time fighting people that would take of my time and effort for free.

The other question is do you want me to continue to develop this technology towards what at this points seems revolutionary in terms of emissions? Most electricity doesn't even come without an environmental cost so the only sustainable fuel better than zero emission wood is passive solar. Well that I can think of right now. I can't do this unpaid forever.

Yes the technology will fit your stove Lenny but it isn't an off the shelf solution. If you are interested then please PM me some drawings of the internal dimension of the internal structure of the stove. There will have to be custom made components and I have to work out the best way to have these made for you.

BTW I am only just back in New Zealand to finally find out that the challenge of making the wood stove Design Challenge pushed me beyond my ability to cope. I didn't realise it but I contracted pneumonia half way through the competition and still have it. Looking forward to some R&R to recover.

PS. There was also a later correction on the rankings. IntensiFire placed 2nd= for affordability and 3rd for innovation.

 
Woody Chain
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Jason Stewart wrote:Lenny an interesting response for me to consider.

There are generally two types of question I receive about my product. The first is would The IntensiFire work well in my stove? To which my response is usually a repeat of the laboratory report commented on earlier in this thread, an increase in the heat delivered into your house from every piece of wood you put in your fire from around 50% to about 75%. If they haven't sent me the make and model (which isn't necessarily determinative) I then ask for photographs or drawings, particularly of the inside around the flue exit area.

The second and very common query I get asks "I can't see any information on how it fits to my stove". With the three winters I have been selling these for in New Zealand my interpretation of this question is "I can't see how I can build one for myself". It also contains the presumption that the questioner has the ability to both understand my technology to successfully duplicate it and to know it is possible to convert their stove. I find this type of person usually wastes my time in email exchanges that have even gone to the extreme of some people asking me for plans or they won't buy it! It is actually very simple and thus easy to copy, but not easy to copy it right. I don't want lots of bad copies giving the technology a bad reputation, which has actually happened to me here in New Zealand in a small way.

The question to you Lenny is why wouldn't you want your stove to be 50% more efficient? Some further questions. How old is your stove, or how long has it been inefficient and polluting? How long will your stove last? And do you intend to continue to let it be polluting and inefficient for the rest of its life?

The difficulty I face as the inventor is actually making this affordable but at the same time making it fit the many different models of stove out there. I realised three years ago when I invented this technology its significance that other people would want it. I have continued, unpaid and in debt to date, to solve the problems associated with it while at the same time fighting people that would take of my time and effort for free.

The other question is do you want me to continue to develop this technology towards what at this points seems revolutionary in terms of emissions? Most electricity doesn't even come without an environmental cost so the only sustainable fuel better than zero emission wood is passive solar. Well that I can think of right now. I can't do this unpaid forever.

Yes the technology will fit your stove Lenny but it isn't an off the shelf solution. If you are interested then please PM me some drawings of the internal dimension of the internal structure of the stove. There will have to be custom made components and I have to work out the best way to have these made for you.

BTW I am only just back in New Zealand to finally find out that the challenge of making the Wood Stove Design Challenge pushed me beyond my ability to cope. I didn't realise it but I contracted pneumonia half way through the competition and still have it. Looking forward to some R&R to recover.

PS. There was also a later correction on the rankings. IntensiFire placed 2nd= for affordability and 3rd for innovation.



Greetings folks,
It has been a while since anyone has posted here about the Intensifier. There were lots of questions about this technology. Jason was a bit overwhelmed at the responses he received and how to proceed. He began looking to partner with someone in North America to move this technology forward that he felt he could work with and would properly protect his interests. Obadiah's Woodstoves and Jason Stewart have joined forces to achieve that goal. We have been working together since last winter on this project and is all continues to go well, will have the ability to provide the Intensifier technology to North America in about a year. We are working hard on our Prototypes and various products that we plan to product that incorporate the Intensifier Technology. There is a lot of logistics involved in introducing any solid fueled appliances these days with EPA and UL certifications and testing, it gets very expensive quickly. This is probably the main reason the Rocket Mass Stove technology took the path it did.
 
Johannes Wardenier
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Woody Chain, thanks for the update.
Lenny, keep the good work going.

Warm Regards,
Johannes.
 
Consider Paul's rocket stove mass heater.
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