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Revolutionary Heating in Germany  RSS feed

 
Aldona Guenter
Posts: 28
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany
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Ever since I was a little girl, I always imagined having an open fireplace, but I'm in my 50's now, have always dreaded the Fall, Winter and Spring weather here in Germany, seeing that its always cold, windy and very wet. Ugh!

Even to this day, I have been nagging my husband for a fireplace. He says we can't afford it. We ended up buying a new furnace for the 3 storey house after the old one busted. It was a good 40yrs, and was mainly used for woodburning, so I know what that entails, with getting enough wood to heat a whole house the conventional way. No wonder I was always freezing up on the third floor, with drafty windows.

I've stumbled upon the rocket mass heaters by chance, and spent a whole week studying as much of the free information online. I can't get my mind off of this phenomenal way of living. It would be one way to bring the outside in, using cob, and having a massive heater with a fraction of the wood we used to use.

The other great thing is that I feel confident enough to be able to actually build one of these things... for the first try, I'd like to go with broaudio's youtube channel, and make something very similar to what he has built in his home and his backyard. I love the fire, and those windows he put in was the best idea to having an open fire, enclosed. I love the light and heat it gives off.

I've started looking for materials, which won't be an easy task, especially the huge barrels. I have no idea where to ask, since no one I know can tell me. Maybe there are some people living in Germany that may also be here somewhere in the forum.
I've order 2x25kg of clay powder to mix with sand and straw for the cob, and I've been able to encypher what fire clay is in Germany. There are 3 different kinds of bags I can order, one can take up to 1000°C, the next one up to 1330°C and then 1800°C.
I'm not sure which I should go for, I'm thinking to go for the one that will withstand 1800°C. I'm not sure what mixture contains which minerals, or how much of it. I also still have some vermiculite in the garden shed that I would mix up to fill the space in the riser.

I'll probably have questions as I get along with my project. The very first one I'll make is one with stones and a pipe for some heating in the covered patio area, where I'll make my outside cooking and seating area, ala Broaudio... Our chickens will enjoy the warmth as well, so I might even make them one before I start for our patio, since they will get more out of having one in the upcoming weeks, when we usually get our snow and ice.

Thank you, ernie and erica for being one of the pioneers, if not the pioneers of this wonder way of heating your home or any other living space, and for this forum. I hope to ignite the same enthusiasm in my fellow german neighbors.

PS... I'm new to forums, so bear with me.

 
Michael Scott
Posts: 46
Location: interior Alaska
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Aldona, I encourage you to spend the US$15 on the .pdf booklet, link in my signature.

I have built now 15 prototype j stoves in my backyard, I have found over and over that getting away from the "known good", established dimensions just doesn't work.

If you stick to the dimensions in "the book" your stove will work the first time.
 
Aldona Guenter
Posts: 28
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany
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Michael Scott wrote:
I have built now 15 prototype j stoves in my backyard, I have found over and over that getting away from the "known good", established dimensions just doesn't work.

If you stick to the dimensions in "the book" your stove will work the first time.


Thank you Scott, I plan on sticking to the dimensions given. I have downloaded a pdf file I was able to find on the internet. I plan on documentating my progress, and will report any failures, so I'll be back with more specific questions when they arise.
 
Brett Andrzejewski
gardener
Posts: 318
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Hello Aldona!

I had a great opportunity to live in Germany for a year. In fact, I lived near Heidelberg, (well Eppelheim and Schriesheim). So I am familiar with your area of Germany. I saw your concern about trying to find one of the 55 gallon barrels (200 liter). You should have little to no problem as you are close to Mannheim and the large industrial/chemical producer BASF. I think they even own an island on the Rhein-Neckar river. They will have the used 55 gallon barrel that you will need. The companies in the industrial area in Mannheim around BASF and the boat docks should also have them.

Ich war in Deutschland in 2005/2006 und alles mein Deutsch vergessen, traurig. I would say more in German but my German and grammar are a nightmare. I was sent to Germany to do research and all my coworkers spoke English as the scientific language. We rarely used German because the Chinese, Japanese, and East Indians didn't know German either. Thus, if my coworkers wanted to keep something secret from use they would switch to German. What German I did learn I learned while drinking beer. Thus, my German language only comes back when I sit in a Beer Garden.

Say hello to Germany, the Oldenwald, and Heidelberg Schloss for me.

Gluck auf!
 
Aldona Guenter
Posts: 28
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany
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Hi Brett!

Thanks so much for that tip... of course... just never thought of going to BASF. I must admit though, BASF is pretty intimidating... we just drove along BASF a few days ago, when we thought we could pick up some Ziegelsteine someone was selling for 50 cents a piece. I had my camera with me, and had to film some of it. It was the first time I had ever been that close to the plant.

That is so kewl that you know my area... then you know where Hemsbach is, I'm just a few kms from there. We're in the "pot" here, and I read in one of the threads about altitude... we're at 0 sea level here, I wonder if there would be anything special I need to take into consideration when making my RMH. I've decided that I want to build 4 of them here on the property, 3 in the garden, and then one up on the 3rd floor.

BTW, I have found a good source for those barrels just another town over, so hopefully I'll be well stocked. I've also been able to find 3 CO2 bottles which I might be able to use for the riser core.

I am having difficulty finding the refractory cement. Hate calling it cement, only because I'm afraid of buying the wrong stuff, but I think its called Tonerdeschmelzzement, then there is the Feuerfestbeton, and then the hochofenzement. Which of the three would be the best buy, not in price, but in quality. When I do something, then I want to do it right, and not have to take it apart and re-do after a short while.

Hey, if you're ever back in the area, you'll have to come by for a beer! Hopefully by then, I'll have my own Biergarten out back!

Und Dein Deutsch ist wahrscheinlich gar nicht mal so schlecht! Mit Alcohol fliesst alles viel Besser, auch die Sprache! LOL

Viele liebe Grüsse zurück!
Aldona
 
Cindy Mathieu
Posts: 242
Location: near Houston, TX; zone 8b
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In the U.S., the stuff we use to assemble our castle builds costs about $1. per pound. It is pre-mixed in a bucket. Whichever of those 3 you mentioned is the most expensive is probably the stuff you want to use.
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6698
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Brett Andrzejewski wrote:Hello Aldona .... Gluck auf!


What does Gluck auf mean? There's a similar sounding English term that I sometimes end conversations with, but it doesn't really work well for ending friendly exchanges.
 
Aldona Guenter
Posts: 28
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany
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Cindy Mathieu wrote:In the U.S., the stuff we use to assemble our castle builds costs about $1. per pound. It is pre-mixed in a bucket. Whichever of those 3 you mentioned is the most expensive is probably the stuff you want to use.

www.dragonheaters.com


Hi Cindy,

I can tell you, anything that is premixed here will cost much more than if I were to mix it myself, especially in the amount that I will be needing. I have also learned that the price does not tell you, or guarantee you, quality material, I've noticed that whatever is "in" sells good and plenty, so the price goes up. Then I've learned that if I can find the source, that would be my best economical buy, but sometimes you might be lucky and find it in your neighborhood.

Cindy, if you could send me the name of the buckets you used, I could look them up and see if I can see what exactly is in them, and to what percentages of each.

grateful for any tips!
 
Aldona Guenter
Posts: 28
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany
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Dale Hodgins wrote:
Brett Andrzejewski wrote:Hello Aldona .... Gluck auf!


What does Gluck auf mean? There's a similar sounding English term that I sometimes end conversations with, but it doesn't really work well for ending friendly exchanges.


Hi Dale!

Glück auf means as much as Good Luck! Its actually something very positive... I've been wracking my brain, trying to think of what could sound similiar in the english language that would be offensive, LOL

 
Ludger Merkens
Posts: 171
Location: Deutschland (germany)
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Hi Dale,

"Glück auf" actually is a regional term, used in regions with mining operations only. "Glück" translates to Luck. "auf" is the direction "up". It addresses the good wish to a miner entering a mine to come back up from the mine again, healthy and well if even possible.

--- Ludger
 
Cindy Mathieu
Posts: 242
Location: near Houston, TX; zone 8b
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What we are using is 50% alumina. That's all the details available on the manufacturer's website. I said pre-mixed because errors can be made in hand-mixing and its not recommended. A lot of the time, I would agree with you about pricing not necessarily indicating quality. However, fireclay mortar is not very subject to being "in" or "out". You want to find a refractory supplies dealer. They are in my "neighborhood" because I live around a lot of refineries.
 
Satamax Antone
gardener
Posts: 2282
Location: Southern alps, on the French side of the french /italian border 5000ft high Southern alpine climate.
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Aldona, may be look up for mapegrout refractory.

Cheap enough, and good enough for rockets. Well, they give it for 1000C°, but i think it can handle more.
 
Brett Andrzejewski
gardener
Posts: 318
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Hello Aldona,

It's been a while so my scientific German is rusty but I will try and list the fire mortars you lists from good to bad:
Tonerdeschmelzzement - this is a high alumina refractory mortar (zement) and will handle the highest temperatures and last the longest
Feuerfestbeton - is a refractory mortar (zement) and will work in the rocket mass heater but may degrade over time
Hochofenzement - is a Portland cement based mortar (zement) mixed with blast furnace slag and will fall apart if used in the rocket mass heater core

I never got to visit Hemsbach. I once rode my bicycle to Wienhiem for a visit.

My friend from Aue, Germany, got me hooked on Gluck Auf. Aue had been a mining town since the 1200's. He took me on a trip into an old silver mine. After about 500 feet of descent we reach the water table. The mine went much deeper than that but it had flooded. It was crazy to think that it had been dug all with small iron hand tools. After spending a day down in the mine he handed me the region beer 'Gluck Auf'.

If I return to Germany I'll stop by and see how your rocket mass heater project is going.

[edit] grammar correction
 
Aldona Guenter
Posts: 28
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany
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Brett Andrzejewski wrote:Hello Aldona,

It's been a while so my scientific German is rusty but I will try and list the fire mortars you lists from good to bad:
Tonerdeschmelzzement - this is a high alumina refractory mortar (zement) and will handle the highest temperatures and last the longest
Feuerfestbeton - is a refractory mortar (zement) and will work in the rocket mass heater but may degrade over time
Hochofenzement - is a Portland cement based mortar (zement) mixed with blast furnace slag and will fall apart if used in the rocket mass heater core


Hi Brett,

Thank you for that input. From what I had found, Tonerdeschmelzzement seems to handle heat up to 1800°C. I guess that should be sufficient for the core riser.

Hemsbach is not as picturesque as Weinheim, a medieval tanner's village. Alot of the older buildings have been torn down. They finally tore down the old mill to build some luxury appartments. Its really sad to see these beautiful old structures be demolished to make new modern buildings. Oh well...

I asked my husband about Glück Auf, I should have asked him before I answered Asche auf meinem Haupt...





 
Peter Peterson
Posts: 28
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Hi Aldona,

I am quite often in Germany because of friends and business partners. That's why a thread of this forum announcing a workshop in Germany is still in my mind. It was some month ago but may be its interesting for you, may be you can contact this people.

http://www.permies.com/t/28021/rocket-stoves/Workshop-Germany-Sept#221441

Peter
 
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