Some of you might find this exciting. I have a sony camera and very good video and audio editing skills great for documenting professionally. I am building a earthbag home in North Pole alaska. I have had a horrible time finding clay for this project so will be using other fill material and insulation for the bags. However, I did manage to go down river and find Enough clay for a rocket mass heater. I have bought the books recommended, and read them, I am determined to build one. I have never seen one before in real life. I have never felt the heat from one. All I know about a RMH I have read or learned from his forum and the ebooks. The winters here are VERY cold and can go from 30 degrees to -20 below in just a day sometimes a few week cold spell of -45 -50. With my conventional wood stove I burn well over 4 cords of wood before February. What I am doing and documenting is to see how well this natural building and RMH can withstand the most extreme of cold climates. I would like some guidance from some experienced people here regarding the rocket mass heater. Do you think it can hold up and perform well in these kind of extreme climates? I will be following the basic RMH design mentioned in the ebooks with the 55 gal drum combustion chamber and a cob bench for thermal mass. It is my first RMH and as far as a know the only one here in fairbanks/Northpole alaska. If this whole project works I will be heavily promoting it in my community maybe even starting a permie community in alaska. Wouldn't that be amazing. XD
Also I have friends who have built log cabins and live in army tents with barrel wood stoves for heat while building the cabin .Even during -40 below!As long as the wood stove was running it was warm in the tent. I don't think this would be possible with a RMH. Also a lot of people that I have talked to have said then RMH will never work and I'm wasting my time. I would like to prove them wrong. I want this to work here in alaska so other Alaskans can see we don't have to burn 20 cords of wood a winter or spend tons of $$$$$ on toyo oil heaters or have super high electric bills to be comfortable and warm. If I can accomplish just 1 small successful earthbag home with a RMH and spread the awareness to the younger generation ,maybe start some workshops, I could see permie culture becoming very popular here.
Hi Deagen; Congrats on being the innovator! when i found out about RMH 's i told all my friends and neighbors about them . They all thought i was crazy, wasting my time ! my green house was going to be frozen the first below zero morning! Well guess what,... they all had to eat crow ! northern montana ,10 below, howling wind no fire in the plastic greenhouse after 11 pm and at 6 the next morning it was 41 degrees ! I haven't gotten a good number on how much wood i used out there last winter , i'm guessing apx 6 cord, on previous winters it was 12-15 cord and hope it warmed up soon. I'm working to much this summer to build my next one out in the shop , but this winter if i'm off i want one between both bays in the shop to warm up any vehicles inside as well as a warm place to sit ! after that comes the one in the house! These things really do work AWESOME ! Don't let anything stop you, you won't be sorry and all your friends and neighbors are going to want to know how to build one . Good Luck and keep us posted with pictures here on permies !
I was able to get some clay but I fear I won't be able to get enough. I have roughly a 100ib of clay however the river has gone waaaay up due to record breaking rains this month. It probably won't be down again till September. What else could a use to make my thermal battery bench out of? Could I use a lime plaster also? What types of things , rocks steel etc. could I pile into my mass and cover up with a plaster that would be great for giving off heat?
Location: Southern alps, on the French side of the french /italian border 5000ft elevation
Deagen Demientieff wrote:Could I use a lot of rocks as the mass and do a concrete/lime mix to shape the bench? With a lime plaster finish? What about mixing what clay I have with the mix?
Well, whatever suits you.
he only thing to avoid is insulating products for the mass, exept if you want to slow the heat release.
One thing thought, use a stainless pipe when you enter the mass, so you don't have the concrezte flaking off and blocking the flue. May on two meters. Normaly concrete resists up to 400C°, but you never know.
I commend you on RMH for Alaska. Built my first last winter in MI. as last resort after being violated by propane price. A 4 inch J tube into a 13 gallon compressor tank with no mass vented out window pic included. Frigging amazing. Started heating with it when low temp was 30 at end of winter. Heated 1800 of my 2100 foot ranch home on 1/2 milk crate of wood a day. Last 6 weeks of heating cost me 1/2 face cord = 25$ awesome but was not enuf to heat my home in the dead of winter. Today I bought and had delivered 2 55 gal barrels and 60 insulating firebricks to build 1 with mass for home and 1 with heat exchanger for garage. RMH = way less pollution,deforestation and wood cutting. Cant imagine how much work you Alaska guys put into wood cutting. Alaska need this!
Here's an update on the house with a YouTube video and some questions enjoy. More updates soon. The question are better explained visually do watch the video.
I just have some questions about the layout of the thermal mass I have a few options. I wanna make a heated bed/ bench. Enjoy the video
Deagon Demientieff : Short version, your last choice is out, here's why ! With a 6'' Rocket Mass Heater RMH,you get to have 30' of Horizontal pipe to embed in a thermal
mass. That is 30' - 5' for every Elbow in Your system ! A three elbow system is about the best you could hope for, that is a straight run off of the manifold below the barrel,
8' and then use (2) 90 degree elbows to turn around and come back to the barrel and then a 3rd 90 degree elbow for your final vertical chimney straight up through your
While the RMH is a wonderful heater it works best if you start out with a Blank sheet of paper, put the RMH in the center and then design a house around it !Often starting
out with a house and trying to retro-fit an RMH inside it Sucks!
With this 6'' system you Have to have a rectangular or oval shaped house ! And its not me you need to get to change my mind its Physics and Mother Nature ! You are not
the only one even to be caught in this trap, With a bigger system we could have a few more elbows, but a bigger system would be to big for your space ! Draw up a sketch
of your present structure, and shoot it to us, and we will play with the impossible.
I want too suggest that you go to Rocketstoves.com, to download a PDF Copy of The Brand New 3rd Edition of Rocket Mass Heaters, this will help you to figure
out what is possible on your own, if we come up with some thing it will be a need copy of the 3 elbow set up, so if you want to wait on an answer from your fellow members
here at Permies, before you invest in the book I/we will understand, but you will need it often to understand exactly what we are saying to you if we can save this Build !
You can be sure if together we say we can do it, it can be done, we will not allow the creation of a failed RMH and a Homeless House Dragon !
For the good of the Craft ! Big AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
Deagen D. Up and out Through the roof !We want he very shortest amount of final vertical chimney exposed to the Extreme Cold ! Also It will allow us to configure
the Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs burner base and Thermal Mass to the smallest possible space !
Right now I need a rough idea of the size and shape to put down on paper here, and your more carefully figured follow-up sketch of your interior!
Let me be a little more clear, and see if I can earn a little of your trust, At the very bottom of this page locate the permies >> forums >> energy >> rocket stoves,
click on the rocket stoves the next page lists all Rocket Stoves Forum Threads, most recent 1st, find the Thread labeled
:::--> video:great rocket mass heaters in upstate N.Y. and Quebec and click on it, It is the 1st video I want you to watch.
The house and the RMH custom made for it are both to big for your use, I wanted you to see the backrest on that daybed and see that we can shrink the footprint so that you can recline on a slightly Lower shelf ( For Safety), with your head high enough to easily monitor your flames at the Feed Tube and easily reach out and
drop in another piece of fire wood !
This will use up the smallest amount of space, center our RMH and give you 360 degrees of Travel around the outside of the 6'' RMH, and the inside of your House !
For the Craft! Think like Fire! Flow like Gas! Don't Be a Marshmallow! As always, your comments and questions are solicited and welcome! Pyro-logically Big AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
Cool Allen i liked that video it was very inspiring. I'll make a sketch and post it. I need to get into rmh mode. All summer I've been in earthbag mode so now it's time to do this and get it working. Then finish the house. More updates soon.
Well I until I make a sketch I could tell you the structure is 14x14 with door on the east and a window on the south. There will be a upstairs. The rmh should go downstairs there are inner buttresses. One on the north wall an two on the west wall. They stick out only about a foot and a half. Maybe less. So I can position the rmh in the square. I can change the interior structure a bit as long as I don't have to tear earthbag walls down. Also the outer walls with have insulation so I can use the thermal mass on the inside and protect the bags from extreme cold
B=buttress the extra squared connected on them is the bags that step down off the top buttress. They make a enclosed area I was going to use for storage but I thought I might be able to make a heated thermal mass there. I can Change this and go back to using it for storage if need be. I really don't wanna move the buttresses.
Would anybody like some fudge? I made it an hour ago. And it goes well with a tiny ad ...