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Rocket stoves in Greenhouses , our own forum topic  RSS feed

 
Posts: 21
Location: Butte County Idaho zone 4 but more like zone 3 Lots of wind and average of 8-9 inches ann. precip.
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thomas rubino wrote:Hi Dina;  Possibly the book you are referring to is the original Rocket mass heater book by Ianto Evans  & Linda Jackson. For years this was the RMH book of choice. Its still a good choice for backround.
There is now a newer option called the RMH Builders guide by Ernie & Erica Wisner.  This book is now the RMH go to book for accomplished builders and first timers.
My green house in northern montana has an 8" J tube and uses less than 5 cords all winter to keep it 40-70 all day and all night with NO FIRE from 10 pm -6 am .... pretty neat huh.
If you are just learning about RMH's be prepared to get the bug ... you'll be up half the night reading ... and soon .... you'll want to become a rocket scientist yourself!
ENJOY !



Awesome! Thank you! I would LOVE a visit to see how you have things set up and operating! There is so much to read and so many different ways to 'skin this proverbial cat' depending on materials on hand and location on the planet and all that changes with that pinpoint that my head doesn't seem to stop spinning!
 
garden master
Posts: 1362
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Sounds to me Dina, that you have caught the BUG!!!  OH NO, No hope for you ....  Now you will have to build a RMH!! 
Looks like your down in the Salmon area.  To get up to where we are, its a long haul up US 93 . You would be passing numerous RMH's some with greenhouses , including the Wheaton ranch. We are 2 hrs NW of Missoula.
Our greenhouse is actually an artists studio now with nothing edible growing (unless you count the coffee & lemon tree... err bushes.) 
We did start out as a working greenhouse but my wife is now more interested in her art than a year round garden.
Visitor's who want to talk rocket science are always welcome. 
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studio / greenhouse
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humble beginnings
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danger artist at work
 
gardener
Posts: 2153
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I haven't really paid much attention to the rocket options for greenhouses.  But now that I'm building a greenhouse, I should keep it in mind if my initial heat source fails me (compost).  

Is there a mass heater for a green house that you can load a bunch of wood into once or maybe twice a day and that's it?  I don't want to be tending a little fire for an hour+, I want to get a larger firebox burning and let it convert that wood into heat that lasts all night (and day). 
 
thomas rubino
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi Mike;
Your asking for a lot... In an insulated home 2 fires a day is plenty , in an uninsulated greenhouse... that really won't cut it in winter.  RMH Jtubes burn 45-60 minutes , batchbox rmh they say burn 60 minutes but at a hotter rate.   If you want a mass in a greenhouse to stay warm overnight in a northern climate it has to burn the better part of the day.  Its really not that hard to set a timer for 45 minutes and pop over to stuff more wood in the dragon.  
 
Mike Jay
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I know, I like to ask for a lot.  Luckily my greenhouse will be insulated and passive solar with nighttime deploying insulation for the glazing.  I think it will be able to keep itself warm during the day with the sun, I'm just trying to get it through the night.

So "batch box" sounds like what I'm talking about right?  A batch of wood?  Versus little splits and twigs?

According to my crude thermodynamics, my greenhouse will theoretically lose 345KBTU per day maintaining a 60 degree difference to the outside.  On an "average" day in December it will receive 483KBTU of solar energy.  So if I have a day with half the gain of average, I'd be short 100KBTU.  If wood is 7KBTU per lb, and if I could convert 14 lbs of wood perfectly into heat, I'd be all set.  So a batch that holds 25 lbs of wood could do the trick.  Unless I'm way off on the math or overly optimistic (which I often am).
 
thomas rubino
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Posts: 1362
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Always good to be optimistic !  I like the sound of your greenhouse. Is that automatic deploying or manual on the glazing insulation ? I hope you post photo's ,Would be nice to see your build.
Yes, a batch box holds its wood horizontal,uses split,but larger wood and more of it than a J tube. It is also a closed unit with no sparks able to get out.
Peter van den Berg has been making some really nice units.  There seem to be new innovations in design every few months.
A batch box with  brick bells  would have a smaller footprint than a long low mass. Might be something to investigate.
Seems like northern Wisconsin would get mighty cold in December. Also seems your predicted solar gain might be a smidgen overly optimistic for that time of year ??? :) We have clouds and snow or snow and clouds at that time of year.
We love our rmh in the studio / greenhouse , it is evenly warm thru the whole building, not the typical hot by the stove and freezing by the wall wood stove effect.  Of course going from 12 plus cords to less than 5 sure helps.
 
Mike Jay
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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My plan is for manually deploying insulation at first so I can "feel" for issues as it goes up and down.  Then once I get sick of doing it manually I'll put a motor on it.  I've been documenting the design and build in this thread: Mike's Passive Solar Greenhouse Design/Build  The thread is rather long but now I'm building and there are pictures to look at.  Design chatter is mainly on the first page but I've evolved the shape a bit over the last year.

Yup, it gets rather cold here in December.  Jan/Feb is worse but it's sunnier then.  Mid Nov through Mid Jan is my challenge due to cloudiness.  My calculated solar gain is from a few online sources but the data is hard to really understand.  They list things like "average" and "average minimum".  I really want to know what the worst day is, the 5th percentile, etc so I can predict better.  Oh well...

Thanks for the batch box info and the brick bell option.  Hopefully my compost will work but if not, now I know where to begin my RMH research.  Thanks!
 
Dina Johnson
Posts: 21
Location: Butte County Idaho zone 4 but more like zone 3 Lots of wind and average of 8-9 inches ann. precip.
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thomas rubino wrote:Sounds to me Dina, that you have caught the BUG!!!  OH NO, No hope for you ....  Now you will have to build a RMH!! 
Looks like your down in the Salmon area.  To get up to where we are, its a long haul up US 93 . You would be passing numerous RMH's some with greenhouses , including the Wheaton ranch. We are 2 hrs NW of Missoula.
Our greenhouse is actually an artists studio now with nothing edible growing (unless you count the coffee & lemon tree... err bushes.) 
We did start out as a working greenhouse but my wife is now more interested in her art than a year round garden.
Visitor's who want to talk rocket science are always welcome. 



I would love a road trip with many stops along the way! I am located in Arco Idaho...

I just got back from a dog rescue run to Dillon Montana on Monday and had a lovely experience with a flat tire on a back mountain road on my way home. I was able to see a lot of elk bedded down while finding my 'center' and strength to break the lug nuts loose and change the tire to an old donut and drive ever so slowly BACK to Dillon (I only managed 'slow' on the gravel but once the pavement was under the rubber, desperation kicked in to get to a tire shop before they closed) I was unfamiliar with that area between Grant Montana and Leadore Idaho... I am ready to take that road again with my new tires! Maybe I can get a critter sitter for a long weekend so the husband can tag along, maybe mid October. We need to get our chicken coop winter ready and our high tunnel finished before it cools off too much...


Would ya happen to know anybody in my area willing to help out with building the end walls and draping the double plastic over the 24Wx88L ribs??
 
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Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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