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Can I build a mass heater in this space?  RSS feed

 
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Last winter was long, cold and hard, and I burned though my 10 cords of wood by February. I've had enough with paying $1000 worth of heat in the winter (would be $2400 in electricity). I'd like to build a rocket stove mass heater, but I don't know if I can fit it in this space.

Side to side, I've got 92 inches, but there's a 32 inch door, with a 9 inch space that I could turn into a wide step (where one sees the ramp). It would have to exhaust out of the same spot. I've got 36 inches of depth. Here's the irony: the stone wall is a massive fireplace chimney that is indoor/outdoor. What a waste! Perhaps good news is that the grey floor is a garage cement slab, and could act as some form of heat sink... maybe(?)

Based on the images found below, do I have enough space to setup a thermal mass rocket stove? If so, then I imagine that the 4 DVD set would probably tell me what I need to know (would it?)

Also, and I'm sure none would have a precise answer, but might have some general guidelines, how is this presented/dealt with with municipal building codes and insurance? Any suggestions as to things to look up? I'm quite sure that my semi-rural small town doesn't have Thermal Mass Rocket Stove under section 2 sub-paragraph3

Woodstove - https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4tOeWhpeET2aEFVR0RibW0tQW8&usp=sharing

What are your thoughts?
 
gardener
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Location: Southern alps, on the French side of the french /italian border 5000ft high Southern alpine climate.
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Zeph, check the two following posts and the rest of the thread.

http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/40/31382#246585

http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/40/31382#247574

Be sure to check the sketchup files.

I think you could use your chimney as a bell, insulating it on the outside of the house. Either do a hole in the wall of the chimney, and build a normal rocket besides it, without the bench. Get the exhaust in the chimney, block the top and put a plunger tube of the right CSA. Or if big enough, fit a batch rocket in there. Even more if it's not in the main room, where you can babysit a J tube rocket.

Hth.

Max.
 
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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10 cords? Wow!

Location? (consider adding your location to your profile).
 
Zeph Zhang
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Unfortunately, Satamax, I cannot put a hole in the 10 inch cement + 6 inch stone chimney. Part of it is local law, part of it would be insurance and home value, another part is that I'm just not skilled enough to mess with that kind of job. What I was hoping is that I could replace my woodstove with a thermal mass rocket stove, independent of that giant hunk of cement, or next to it, which, incidentally, is also on the outside of the house (the exterior walls were built around it.) The floor is a giant cement slab, which I hope would also absorb some of the heat.

@Cj Verde Québec, Canada. Our winters are not unlike Russian winters: long, cold and f'ing miserable. -20C is not uncommon. By the way, the 10 chords are for a very small house, 10-20 is average for my area, based on discussions with neighbours. If the thermal mass rocket stove is not doable, my next step is a high efficiency wood stove.

 
Satamax Antone
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Zeph, could you explain further?

Local law? Home insurance, what do they say exactly ?

House value? Well, if you have a huge massonry heater which consumes peanuts, i would think it increases the house value. And nowadays, drilling and making holes through stones and concrete is pish easy!

This "outside chimney" does it have a firebox/hearth on the other side? Or has it been put to rest? If it's just because your flue in this case wouldn't be code legal, that can be avoided. Frankly, it's the best oportunity you have to make something eficient, safe, good looking etc!

Would you mind drawing the dimensions of the chimney, inside and outside?

Well, use it just as a bell, call that a massonry heater, and i think it could be code legal.
 
Satamax Antone
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Location: Southern alps, on the French side of the french /italian border 5000ft high Southern alpine climate.
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If need be, you block the top of the chimney (pouring concrete in it, over a piece of metal for example. ) Drill two holes at the bottom, and send a pipe back up to your existing stove chimney.



https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/XmablvnuRkuRzPRb-y2rYN24oP-6-qBW7wNn3qfWMoJY4zeEXMMT4MD1sVV_ySkC0A


https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_uuJlE4HpKN0hubU-Z14kYP_xYBBKNUYGNpMlHDcLXILfcIScmQGLxjxAvFkwSFb8g

You have more than half the blady work done there already. A self suported, already built mass.

Would you mind doing pics of the other sides, inside and outside?

You are nearly in the same situation as Radek here.

http://donkey32.proboards.com/thread/848/18cm-inch-double-batch-system

 
Zeph Zhang
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I've updated the folder with the images: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4tOeWhpeET2aEFVR0RibW0tQW8&usp=sharing

If I understand your responses correctly, you're saying that it is possible, but that it would require modification of the current chimney. That, at least is a start. As far as the local laws, I live in Québec, which means they are just short of Nazi's on regulations. I do have to look into them, but I don't want to trigger their awareness. The same with insurance. As far as home value, doing this might disable the actual (and useless) fireplace should the next buyer want to use it. I'm just being very cautious, it's a home in a reasonably high end neighbourhood, and the mortgage isn't paid off yet. I'd hate to make a mistake that would cost me in the long run, so I'm moving very slowly.

Question: does the fact that this mass's area is at least 50% on the exterior of the house (heating the outside) affect the equation in any way?

I think that I'll buy the DVDs to have a better understanding of it all before making a commitment.
 
Satamax Antone
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Well, i was saying that you should insulate the outside part.

Solution 1 you could plug the fireplace with bricks, temporarily, untill you sell, if you ever do. Or air tighten the glass on the front of the chimney, so you don't have CO2 comming back in, but you could leave that front unchanged.

Or use it to fit a batch rocket firebox, which is what i would do. Best of both worlds. Eficiency, and looking at the fire. Well, looking at this, if it was my house, the batch rocket conversion would be already done by now!

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/Tk-HCwFSqQWO9LF6k3Pxvq7tiwQPX6mNgUpa904NHXVk2v6PnCb6P-FGWc3KneELzg

You don't have much to insulate either.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/rLJxYM-FWp5yPObNdGpJG7KMqI7-aV3F_EAXVj2-Ol5AhkMzQdELSE50Z0ywfN8piw=s640


Well, my opinion. After seeing the pics, because i replied too fast. Forget about your actual stove pipe. Put a plunger tube in the chimney, i bet you have plenty of space in there. Concrete around it, at eave's height, just a little 10 or 15cm slab. That would be the top of your bell. Stuff some rockwool above. Let the plunger tube go above the top of the chimney, you put a piece oo steel above your chimney for waterproofing it. and let the plunger tube through obviously. Remove the doors, the frame if you can. May be the top of teh firebox (there's usualy a cast iron piece. )

Stuff a firebox similar to this one in build.

http://donkey32.proboards.com/post/11503/thread

A bit bigger, this one is only a 5 incher. With a 4 incher firebox. Then insulate it with rockwool or superwool, held by chickenwire.

Redo a refractory brick front, around the mouth of the firebox, to replace the glass. You could even do it in steel, screwed to the frame. That would radiate a bit of quick heat in the room.

It's exactly the same principle as this one. Open this sketchup file, and orbit, or hide components, you'll understand exactly what i mean.

http://www.permies.com/t/31382/a/13956/chimneybell2.skp?download_attachment=true

And then, on the outside, you pile strawbales against your chimney, up to the eave. Then atach few battens, and do a bit of wood panneling the same as you have both sides. With the materials, it wouldn't take me the day i bet.

You nearly have all what's needed. You don't even need to drill holes.
 
Cj Sloane
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Zeph Zhang wrote:
@Cj Verde Québec, Canada. Our winters are not unlike Russian winters: long, cold and f'ing miserable. -20C is not uncommon. By the way, the 10 chords are for a very small house, 10-20 is average for my area, based on discussions with neighbours. If the thermal mass rocket stove is not doable, my next step is a high efficiency wood stove.



I live just south of you and burn 2 1/2 cords but my house is well-insulated and has some passive solar design. My house is 2400 sq ft. Consider adding some insulation.

I'll be making a RMH this year and hope to cut my wood usage in half.
 
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