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Can I convert a Stovetec Rocket Stove to a RMH?  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 254
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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We're building ourselves a little cabin at the moment and due to some unforseen expenses (emergency surgery ) we're a little short on cash. I was planning on looking for a woodstove but I was just thinking, we have this Stovetec we'd bought for emergency cooking, would it be possible to convert it to a rocket mass heater?
 
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Location: San Francisco, Ca
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no
 
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Bethany Dutch : If there is a rocket mass heater R.M.H., in your future you have come to the right place, with over 19,000 members you can come here and ask a
question and someone will help you find out how to solve your immediate problem !

If at anytime in my explanation what I am saying no longer is something you can follow or stops making sense to you- refer to Larry Ng 's answer ! However-
basically the Stovetec stove is NOT capable of sustained use as a cooker, When sold for that purpose in Third World Countries after about 5 hrs of operation daily-
cooking for extended ,multi generational families, which the good people at Aprovecho some how forgot about - the Stove lasted mostly around 1/2 to 1 year
before the cast iron top or the base failed !

One of the Original creators of the Stovetec has made a major improvement, the SilverFire rocket stove, While this is a major improvement on the Stovetec, it too
fails short of your needs !

In a more perfect, kinder world it might be possible to make a combustion/fume hood with an air gap directly above ether of these two stoves, allowing you to bring
them indoors where you could easily monitor these stoves and channel extra heat into a thermal mass for a little heat storage, but, you still would not have created
the conditions for the flow of hot exhaust gases to flow sideways for 20 or 30 ft thru a thermal mass ! Also the size of ether stoves combustion area would require you
to split every piece of wood fuel that you fed it down to the size of a fat to a very fat pencil to achieve near the efficiency of a rocket mass heater, in which case I
would expect the Stovetec, or the Silverfire to last a few months when exposed to the temperatures that is common with any merely good rocket mass heater !

The amount of time that you would spend, crouched over ether of these two models until they failed, with or without a fume hood over the top to carry your exhaust
gases away and past a thermal mass and then out of your house would cause you to pray for the day that your ' rocket stove ' finally failed due to metal fatigue !

However, you are way ahead of most other people in that you have already grasped the simple science of the operating characteristics of a Rocket Stove and can more
easily move forward to have a 'rocket mass heater' R.M.H., in your future !

May I suggest that you go to rocketstoves.com to download a PDF Copy $15.oo of rocket mass heaters , with over 100,000 R.M.H. created around
the world, most of them were made by people reading out of 'The Book', and nearly all of the 1st time builds (that worked) were made by people following the outline in
' the Book', there is STILL no other book that contains as much Rocket Mass Heater family information in any language ! (and I don't make a dime ! )

For the Permies Crafts! Think like Fire, Flow like a gas, as always, your comments and questions are solicited and welcome, PYRO - Logically BIG AL !
 
Bethany Dutch
pollinator
Posts: 254
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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Allen - thank you for such a thorough response! I mainly asked just because I had bought one for emergencies and now we're finding ourselves in a situation where we would like to move into the cabin for the winter but if we're going to be able to make it work financially we need to be very very creative

Our cabin is only 720 sq feet so it won't take much to heat, and I was not even sure if we could build a RMH that would take up little enough square footage. But we haven't had luck in finding a regular woodstove within our price range, so I begin thinking about a mass heater. We're ultimately going to add on to the house and the first addition will have a decent size mass heater in it, but in the meantime we'd thought to just use a woodstove. Can't find one in our price range, though! I'll go get that PDF and check it out - might be more work to build a mass heater than just installing a stove, but if we are able to make it work, we'd MUCH rather rough it in the cabin as opposed to renting a place in town for the winter.
 
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Location: near Houston, TX; zone 8b
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You may want to consider a 4" Dragon Heater for your small space. It won't take you long to build it and it sounds like you have lots to do.
 
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