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Off Grid Ceramic Heating and Cooking Systems  RSS feed

 
Richard Ellam
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Most of us rely on the flick of a switch for our heating and cooking needs. However, with the cost of main grid gas and electricity bills being high, and the concern about possible blackouts during extreme weather, it is important to have a backup that enables us to stay warm and cook our food. EarthCrafts have therefore developed both heating and cooking systems made from high fired quality refractory ceramics. These work using bio-ethanol fuel, kerosine or candles that produce heat at a third of the cost of using an electric oven.

We are working with Bio-ethanol fuel because it has a number of advantages over conventional fuels; being biodegradable, far less toxic and it reduces carbon emissions. It also comes from a renewable resource i.e. crops and not from a finite resource and the crops it derives from can grow well in the UK (like cereals, sugar beet and maize). And there is no smell and it burns longer than other liquid fuels.

EarthCrafts aim, with your support, is to set up a small workshop in order to develop and manufacture ceramic heating and cooking products which enable people to be more self-reliant. These will also save money when used as an alternative to the main power grid.

Support our work and keep informed at EarthCrafts

Best Wishes

Richard
 
Sean Henry
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Location: Louisville, KY Zone 7
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That is neat I was going to mention that it reminds me of the flower pot heaters but I see in the link that is where the guy got his idea.
 
Mat Smith
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Location: Gold Coast Hinterland QLD, Australia
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I think it's good that it can use several different fuel sources, and great how you've stacked several functions into the unit. Great work
 
Tom OHern
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Trying to heat your room with candles, or other small oil burners, will not work. It doesn't matter if you have one of those flower pot heaters or this ceramic heater. Energy is energy.

Now, these sorts of heaters will radiate heat more evenly than burning the candles alone, but they will still heat the room just the same amount. Notice how in the videos how they keep using the infrared thermometers to take the temperature of the heater it self? Just becasue that is getting hot, doesn't mean the room will warm up.

When my wife say these flower pot heaters on youtube, I set up an experiment for her: We let the house cool down to 65ºF. I set up one of the flower pot heaters in the center of one bedroom, just candles in the center of another bedroom (the rooms are approximately the same size). I had thermometers placed on a wall 6 feet away from each set up. After lighting both setups and letting them run for 30 minutes, both rooms were now at 67ºF. If you were withing a 1 to 2 feet of the flower pot heater, you could feel its warmth, but it did not heat the room any more effectively than the candles alone did.

So, they did sightly heat the room, but keep in mind that burning candles inside is not a good idea for your lungs. It looks like these EarthCrafts Heaters can use a more air friendly fuel. And the reservoir can hold "several liters" of fuel that burns via 5 wicks, but how cost effective is that? How much does the fuel cost and how long will it last?

Richard, would you be willing to set up a room heating experiment such as I did where the room temperature is measured and not the temperature on the surface of the heater? I would like to see a video of how well this heater can heat a space and also how much fuel is burned per hour.

If this is possible, thanks!
 
Sean Henry
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Location: Louisville, KY Zone 7
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Tom OHern wrote:After lighting both setups and letting them run for 30 minutes, both rooms were now at 67ºF.


So after the candles were put out did both rooms cool at the same rate or did the one with the flower pot cool slightly slower?
 
Tom OHern
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Sean Henry wrote:So after the candles were put out did both rooms cool at the same rate or did the one with the flower pot cool slightly slower?


To be honest, after 30 minutes of having the house that cold, my wife wanted the heater back on. So, I didn't do any further measurements. But I can infer, from the facts on hand, what the answer to your question would have been had I left the rooms to their own accord:

Yes, the rooms would have lost heat at the same rate as they normally do. Since there is a fixed amount of energy stored per unit of wax of the candles, and that the candles release that energy through combustion at the same rate regardless of whether they are burning a pot or not (and I have no reason to believe that this would not be true), then we can say that there was an equal amount of energy released into the rooms in the 30 minute period. The fact that, at a distance, I detected the same temperature rise in both rooms, tells me that the flower pot released as much energy as it absorbed during the period. What I can now infer is that had I let the rooms go any further, that the flower pot would not have had any significant energy to continue heating the room. In fact, I know that it was about 5 minutes after I blew out the candles that I was able to pick the flower pots back up with my hand and take them down to the basement. They were not quite room temperature at that point, but cool enough that It was comfortable for me to touch. And at that point, there is not enough energy left in the mass to heat the room to any degree.

But feel free to try the experiment your self!
 
Steven Harris
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The flower pot does NOTHING to improve the amount of energy coming off the candle...
 
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