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Straw poll: RMH testing  RSS feed

 
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Just to get beyond thinking about it:

How many people would put down actual money to see lab testing results for rocket mass heaters - for clearances, emissions, and perhaps other data?
Please "like" this post to give me a quick count.

The lab tests run $3500 to $5000 per test, might be more as it could require a new protocol. We'd probably need to build on-site in Portland, OR with all-new or mostly-new materials, so we'd factor in materials, time, and travel when setting up the crowdfunding campaign.
 
Erica Wisner
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We could also spend $350 to $4000 per piece for about 4 pieces of equipment reliable enough to do on-site tests for existing stoves, and perhaps get more data points for our money before doing the EPA-approved tests.

Please "like" this post instead / as well if you feel that you could support this goal, or a combined funding campaign to cover both goals.

If you already have access to such equipment, and would like to offer in-kind testing help, please post below.
Or if you have a specific test requirement that you'd like to add to the wish list.

I've seen a few data sets, e.g. on Proboards from Peter van den Berg, that suggest some stovers already have the gear, but unfortunately Peter declined to lend me his ''
(Can't imagine why a person would hesitate about sending a $4000 piece of frequently-used equipment overseas for an indeterminate length of time...)

Thanks,
-Erica
 
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The rocket heater world desperately needs testing protocols that both the epa and the various states, most particularly WA will approve. Then official testing and approval can be done. But detailed protocols must be developed by an independent lab. Both the EPA and the state of washington are eager, and have positive attitudes about working towards these protocols. The issue is that money is needed to pay the lab. We put in a Kickstarter project at the beginning of the year to try to raise money for this, but kickstarter turned us down. said it was not a "creative" endeavor.

We would certainly aid and contribute to any ones endeavor to get these testing protocols written. This is the only way rocket heaters can be assured of a regulation, trouble free future. They plan on removing the current exemptions on rocket heaters. So this is an important and urgent issue. It would be fabulous if everyone could get behind some sort of effort to write these protocols.
 
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I think this is an awesome idea and one I'd like to get behind. Testing and moving sustainable ideas forward so that they can enter the mainstream is a critical step.

This is exactly what Watershed Management Group is doing down in Tucson to quantify various forms of water harvesting and changing policy/creating incentives to implement these measures.

As for Kickstarter - they are not the only kids on the block! Check out this Wikipedia entry on the various crowdfunding sites out there and what their specialty is. There is also We The Trees which is a crowdfunding site just for permaculture type projects and education.
 
Erica Wisner
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The lab in Oregon that we talked to thought they could do something similar to how they test for masonry heaters. Though the non batch-burn might require some adjustment. That one involves a 10-hour cycle where the stove is fully pre-heated, then tested on a second burn for surface temps and fire cleanliness. Masonry heaters are not required to test, but can do so to get certified emissions numbers. As long as they're comfortable with a written loading instructions to follow, it should be possible to do a test on 'one full load' even if the heater is typically run on multiple consecutive loads.

If we did the woodstove emissions test I guess they'd run about 1/3 of the test (the lowest burn rate in lbs/hr, which we would actually be able to achieve), with a hot firebox that is let burn down to embers and then re-loaded with a fresh charge to start the test itself.

If a new protocol was required, I suspect we'd be helping to write it up. Paying down some money and building the heater in their lab opens the option of showing them how it's run, and seeing what they think.

Masonry heaters in the USA have a door that shuts; and if we need to show one with outside air, the complexity of the on-site build goes up quite a bit.

The funny thing is that these requirements get written up and added to by various small teams of experts. And then changing them (even if you have an equally qualified body of experts) becomes exponentially harder than just writing them up in the first place.
One reason we want to test the basic firebrick version first is that it paves the way for a lot of existing DIY heaters. Proprietary stuff would be easier to test after they have the protocols, and that's where the moneymakers will be. But for the affordable DIY folks, having one firebox they can build with local materials, and point to testing results, would be huge.

-Erica W
 
What's wrong? Where are you going? Stop! Read this tiny ad:
five days of natural building (wofati and cob) and rocket cooktop oct 8-12, 2018
https://permies.com/t/92034/permaculture-projects/days-natural-building-wofati-cob
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