gift
3D Plans - Pebble Style Rocket Mass Heater
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Jay Angler
stewards:
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
master gardeners:
  • Timothy Norton
  • Christopher Weeks
gardeners:
  • Tina Wolf
  • Matt McSpadden
  • Jeremy VanGelder

sour grapes; snake oil; corporate trolls

 
gardener
Posts: 809
Location: Proebstel, Washington, USDA Zone 6B
437
2
wheelbarrows and trailers kids trees earthworks woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Michael Cox wrote:My fear is that talking about it as an us-against-them conspiracy may excuse "us" from actually addressing the communication problem properly. And if we collectively don't learn how to communicate these ideas in an way that is palatable then we will remain stuck.



I agree with this. I think that the major social media sites cater to the desires of people who pay trolls and so they are of questionable use for getting the word out. But we should still improve our messaging.
 
pollinator
Posts: 392
210
3
kids foraging rabbit fiber arts medical herbs
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"I think the only way that people are going to learn about rocket mass heaters is if a thousand more people build them - and they show a few dozen people each." Paul Wheaton

So...... how do we get 1,000 people to build them?
 
master pollinator
Posts: 4377
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
1173
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just a curious notion, but I wonder if it's time to think about a multi-fuel mass heater, where electric resistive, natgas/propane, rockety reburn wood, and heat pumps could co-exist. The mass doesn't care where the BTUs for heating or cooling come from; and in all cases it's (wait for it) massively more efficient than heating/cooling air.

This may be more practical and salable in the suburbs, with the rockety wood aspect billed as "emergency heat" (no doubt a lot of people will figure out that free pallets scrounged from the urban landscape can heat their home all winter).

Crazy idea? I'm contemplating something along these lines for my garage and summer cabin, where insurance is giving me a big hassle with wood heat. My 2c.
 
gardener
Posts: 1125
Location: Tennessee
743
homeschooling kids urban books writing homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to defend the thesis that the work on RMH Paul is doing is being targeted and attacked. Check out this recent thread:

https://permies.com/t/198051/Paul-Wheaton-hours

Andrew Williams wrote:I was Paul Wheaton for a few hours

.....And the tsunami of irrational hatred I received was equal parts terrifying, hilarious, and baffling.

So, last night, the youtube video of my RMH got a lot of views in a few hours. I woke up to find it had gained 10,000 views overnight.  A quick investigation informed me it was because someone had posted it to Reddit.
I don't use Reddit, because.... Well.... Reddit.
So, I went to look at it.
And oh the comments!
Many of them seemed to be raging along the lines of "this guy again?". Some were still spitting with rage about an AMA I'd done a while ago.
I've never done an AMA, on Reddit, or otherwise.

A quick search....

Ah. That was Paul.

Now I'm sure it would stun the brave heroes spewing negativity all over RMH Reddit posts to hear this, but, in many ways, not all bearded permaculturists are the same.



There are some people directly trying to discredit Paul's credibility on RMH and who knows what else, and they are not even reasonable enough to attempt to identify the maker of a YouTube video.  

I don't want to be uselessly and unproductively angry at bad guys, but if there are bad guys, I think it is wise to be as aware of them, and their intentions, as possible.
 
Posts: 225
Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Michael Cox wrote:

r ranson wrote:

... list of links ...



I recall looking at those ideas before for shippable cores. It's certainly a step in the right direction to have the certified for regular use. But as far as I am aware that certification has not actually happened?


I doubt that an RMH core is any more certifiable than the heat exchanger or burner in a conventional furnace. It's the complete, enclosed heater that can be tested and certified, virtually impossible for something as customized as a rocket mass heater.
 
pioneer
Posts: 184
Location: Nikko, Japan Zone 7a-b 740 m or 2,400 ft
42
2
cat home care cooking food preservation medical herbs writing
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I think there's another issue that might weigh on RMH adoption: the need to manually feed them. In a world accustomed to thermostatically controlled and automatically fed furnaces, boilers, and electric heating, wood fuel (unless pelletized) seems messy and requires daily tending. That doesn't trouble most of us here, but even without regulations and insurance to consider, the pool of prospective RMH users is relatively small.



True, but auto-feed the RMH can be resolved. The industrialization of food processing had given us a zillion examples of automatic feeders.  I'm pretty sure one or two of them could be adapted to auto-feed an RMH. Or, maybe it's a matter of education.  As I understand it, the RMH doesn't require much fuel.  So (I am doing a lot of supposing here), it may be that you only have to feed the beast say, twice a day which would certainly alleviate the auto-feeding issue.  Even 4x/day is probably doable for some.

Anyway, as I see it, in terms of getting more RMH "out there" there are lots of options.  
I'm doing a little brain-storming here, and as we all know, the only rule of brain-storming is There Are No Bad Ideas.

1. The Ukraine Connection -- All eyes are on Ukraine and its people. Could we start talking with the President of the Ukraine with an eye toward sending a small delegation of RMH builders to teach how to make them?  If we could send 3 people to cover 3 of the most desperate areas, we'd be helping people to stay warm and getting national maybe even international attention for the RMH.  There are already articles asking how the Ukraine population will stay warm this winter. And, there is plenty of building material and fuel lying around right now

2. Solicit the support of new home construction companies and associations.  Also Remodeling companies and associations. They can help us do the work to get RMH approved by insurance companies, residential associations, fire departments, etc.  I could be wrong, but I think initially if we bought a booth at some of the conventions, we could talk to a host of these folks for a relatively small investment.

3. See if we can work with some Federal agencies charged with keeping folks warm. There have to be half a dozen or more Federal agencies that are trying to find ways to stretch the budgets of people below the poverty level.  We could look to State and local agencies too. Wouldn't it be great to build one for homeless shelters, abused victims shelters, etc?

4. Indigenous populations. Call it a hunch, but wouldn't some of the native American populations want to know how to efficiently heat homes, lodges, yurts, hot yoga studios, sweat lodges, etc?  These guys are pretty organized and might appreciate the boost.

5. National and State Parks. These guys are always looking for ways to save.  No, it probably won't work in Yellowstone, but it might in Gyser National Park, yeah?

6. No-kill animal shelters, and other NPOs. Again, if we could give these guys a way to heat the shelter at no to low cost, we get publicity to their member base and at least a local news story. My sister worked for a no-kill shelter in Chicago that had a member base of over 5,000 nationwide.  Best Friends in Utah has an international following, is a terrific shelter, and houses its rescued animals in a way that is ideal to be heated by the RMH. It's a kind of a "spoke and wheel" concept of housing cats and dogs, at least.

In all cases, Permies.com and the RMH net publicity, more of your product in more places -- mostly public places where others can read about it and maybe even see it.
You may even want to cut deals that place the plans for an RMH on their websites with a link to further reading back to your site.  
We also get the Permies.com URL out to the public in a way that avoids the trolls on social media. Well, it may send the trolls directly to the Permies site, so, that may not be good either.
We get help from other folks in the HVAC industry with ancillary issues -- building regulations, property insurance, fire departments and regulators.
We potentially get a lot of converts and more important advocates, people who believe in your product and want to tell your story to their followers (for lack of a better word).

So, having fully exhausted my pea-brain, I leave it to the rest of you reading this thread to add to the brain-storming of the RMH.  Remember, at this stage, There Are No Bad Ideas.
And just to prove this point, here's a bonus idea:

7. Talk to the people at NASA and convince them to install a RMH on the first long-term mission to Mars (a la the movie, The Martian).
  • The Permies Martian Concept

  • The fuel would be relatively lightweight to send since you don't need much.
    Construction can probably use the rocks and sands available on the surface to build.
    It provides heat to the HAB while remaining outside of the living quarters.
    You can build a new HAB directly attached to the existing RMH, once the original wears out.
    It gives new meaning to the name, Space Heater.
     
    Posts: 12
    Location: Northern Italy
    7
    forest garden woodworking wood heat
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Thank you for the links, Mr R Ranson. I found them very useful.

    Corrado
     
    Posts: 330
    125
    4
    • Likes 4
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Michael Cox wrote:I truly don't see any kind of corporate troll behaviour in that reddit thread. Instead I see people talking at cross purposes, who when they have misunderstood what is being discussed have reached erroneous conclusions. And then as is the nature of social media they have voted according to what they perceive. In this case they thought they were dealing with a snake-oil salesman, and voted accordingly.



    You don’t think the timing, as described by Paul, seems suspicious? I agree with you in principle that the simple fact of negative comments and downvotes doesn’t have to mean anything. But the fact that it happened within a few minutes, after an hour of mostly positive, seems odd to me. Is there something we don’t understand about reddit? Did it suddenly show it to an audience who hated it? Even then, I would expect it to build over hours, not minutes. What am I missing?
    I also never saw the thread, so I don’t know if the comments were inline with that or not. There was a screenshot that suggested reddit thinks Paul deleted it himself? From his post here, that was not Paul’s experience, right?
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 3753
    Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
    662
    books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Lina Joana wrote:You don’t think the timing, as described by Paul, seems suspicious? I agree with you in principle that the simple fact of negative comments and downvotes doesn’t have to mean anything. But the fact that it happened within a few minutes, after an hour of mostly positive, seems odd to me.



    My point was just that Paul's subjective experience was not unique to Reddit, and I have experienced the same subjective behaviour here. I won't post the link, as it was a cider press thread. It ran for a number of days, with lots of positive engagement and comments. Lots of thumbs ups and apples given. Then overnight my comments in the thread received a total of 19 apple cores. Someone went through and gave apple cores to every single one of my comments, regardless of the content of the comment, over the space of a an hour or so. Clearly someone felt sufficiently upset with the content of the thread to take the time to do that.

    I'm not saying that there was any thing nefarious here. The person/people giving apple cores was entitled to do so. There was no external pressure to them to do so. No one paid them to undermine my points. But my subjective experience was that the whole thread was torpedoed by a small number who jumped on over a very short period of time with downvotes and apple cores, after an extended period of positive dialogue and engagement. On reddit I imagine that would have been a much more hostile experience, as there is essentially no "be nice" rule to keep the discussion civil.

    The nature of social media is that it amplifies both the reach of a message, to a wider audience and greater number of people, but it simultaneously amplifies the capacity of those who disagree with you to downvote you into oblivion. And once that cycle of critical comments and downvotes start, it legitimises the action and makes it easier for others to follow suit.
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 115
    Location: Missouri
    28
    transportation gear rocket stoves
    • Likes 4
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Michael Cox wrote:I truly don't see any kind of corporate troll behaviour in that reddit thread. Instead I see people talking at cross purposes, who when they have misunderstood what is being discussed have reached erroneous conclusions. And then as is the nature of social media they have voted according to what they perceive. In this case they thought they were dealing with a snake-oil salesman, and voted accordingly. But this is because of the fundamental disconnect between the language of the two "sides".

    People who are promoting new technologies, especially where they make grand claims for benefits, need to work hard to fine tune their message to make it palatable by the audience they are speaking to.  Here Paul chose to approach a demographic he was unfamiliar with, and who were unfamiliar with the ideas he was discussing. And he went in heavy on the benefits, as he sees them, but left them just with increased scepticism.

    The spate of down voting is a natural consequence of the circumstances, and not a grand conspiracy.

    My fear is that talking about it as an us-against-them conspiracy may excuse "us" from actually addressing the communication problem properly. And if we collectively don't learn how to communicate these ideas in an way that is palatable then we will remain stuck.



    Thats fine and all, and is a scientific perspective that I respect and I fully recognize can be useful. However, I do want to emphasize that malicious actors have been for decades feigning incompetency and ignorance to shirk responsibility and accountability for their actions. This way if it blows up in their face, they can claim good intentions despite knowing full well what they are/were doing, and its completely non-falsifiable in most cases. So I've adopted a different model that emphasizes personal responsibility and accountability for everyone. Which is simple. The intentions do not matter, only the outcomes. If somebody has well intentions but their miscalculation leads to horrendous outcomes, they are just as responsible for those outcomes as if they did so maliciously. Its not perfect, but this way everyone has to take a little extra time to think, consult, and plan before acting. It emphasizes personal responsibility and culpability for ones own actions above all else, because actions speak louder than words. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then action is worth a million.
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 2405
    Location: RRV of da Nort
    633
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Rebekah Harmon wrote:"I think the only way that people are going to learn about rocket mass heaters is if a thousand more people build them - and they show a few dozen people each." Paul Wheaton

    So...... how do we get 1,000 people to build them?



    I suspect somewhere here there is a 'portable prototype' RMH design that could be assembled and torn down relatively quickly and could be demonstrated at energy fairs and home shows.  Now, to be fair, I've not seen many cold weather public gatherings where such an item could be show-cased, but one of my first introductions to the varieties of wood heat was in Corvallis, Oregon.....dead of winter time there at a "woodstove show".   That was the second time ever I had seen ornate ceramic European style stoves that maximized the heating surface and draft properties and was impressed.  The first time was in Germany where it was astonishing to see, in midwinter, sales shops with doors wide open that nevertheless felt pretty warm due to such stoves as a central heater.

    The point being....if there are either permanent cool/cold-weather fairs or home shows where a permanent build could be on display or temporary equivalent shows where a portable RMH could serve the same purpose, this would give many of the uninitiated the opportunity to 'sit on the bench' and experience the cozy heat for themselves.  ......Maybe?
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 3615
    Location: 4b
    1307
    dog forest garden trees bee building
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Sky Huddleston wrote:If somebody has well intentions but their miscalculation leads to horrendous outcomes, they are just as responsible for those outcomes as if they did so maliciously.



    I think pretty much the opposite.  I'm very much a believer in personal responsibility, but intentions matter very much in my mind.

    I understand all the arguments against RMH's.  I've made most of them myself.  I've also since decided that the way to get the word out to people that can find a way to use them is to build one and show it to as many people as possible, so that's what I've decided I'm going to do, even if I have to build a small shed to put it in.
     
    gardener
    Posts: 962
    569
    4
    rabbit building solar rocket stoves
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Trace Oswald wrote:

    Sky Huddleston wrote:If somebody has well intentions but their miscalculation leads to horrendous outcomes, they are just as responsible for those outcomes as if they did so maliciously.



    I think pretty much the opposite.  I'm very much a believer in personal responsibility, but intentions matter very much in my mind.

    I understand all the arguments against RMH's.  I've made most of them myself.  I've also since decided that the way to get the word out to people that can find a way to use them is to build one and show it to as many people as possible, so that's what I've decided I'm going to do, even if I have to build a small shed to put it in.



    The problem is it is easy to lie about what the intentions are, the outcomes are more clear.

    I would agree with Sky, I have heard too many "I didn't mean to do that". We have to live with the results of their actions, so should they.
     
    steward & author
    Posts: 34982
    Location: Left Coast Canada
    12140
    8
    books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Ryan James wrote:David Wieland's post made me remember that in many cases a rocket mass heater may need to be only supplemental at times-- because of the need to feed it-- that is if you don't want to be homebound during the winter or you don't have someone reliable who you can get to stay in your home and feed it, because if you don't keep your house warm and you have indoor plumbing then the pipes will freeze.  So, maybe going without indoor plumbing is another solution--more of an off grid type situation.  Also, many homes are dependent on central air in general so that humidity doesn't build up and rot the walls.  Someone else mentioned that homes are not necessarily built for the environment in which they are located.  Stick frame house conformity indeed.



    Wow, I didn't know a Rocket Mass Heater needed to be run constantly.  

    Our simple woodstove only needs to be run twice a day for about two hours or two logs, to keep the house comfortable 65F/18C.  I usually light it at dawn when making my coffee and again while cooking supper after evening chores.
    We run it more if we are having a stationary or stay-at-home day where we aren't doing much work outside.  The mass from the cast iron and the fire bricks holds the heat and helps it radiate heat from the woodstove up to 6 hours later.  

    I always imagined the point of a rocket mass heater was the mass part - the mass captures the heat and would keep on heating the house for hours or days after the fire has gone out.  

     
    Trace Oswald
    pollinator
    Posts: 3615
    Location: 4b
    1307
    dog forest garden trees bee building
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Jeff Bosch wrote:

    The problem is it is easy to lie about what the intentions are, the outcomes are more clear.

    I would agree with Sky, I have heard too many "I didn't mean to do that". We have to live with the results of their actions, so should they.



    There is a difference between a person's intentions and what they say their intentions are.  It isn't easy to tell sometimes, but that doesn't change the fact that to me at least, intentions definitely matter.  

    Do you truly think there is no difference between a person that accidently runs over a cat in the road than a person that does it deliberately?  Yes, I know, it's all the same to the cat.  I still see a difference.
     
    master gardener
    Posts: 1995
    Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
    924
    6
    forest garden trees chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking homestead ungarbage
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Trace Oswald wrote:Do you truly think there is no difference between a person that accidently runs over a cat in the road than a person that does it deliberately?  Yes, I know, it's all the same to the cat.  I still see a difference.


    This points to really interesting quirks in the way we think about stuff. Specifically, I agree with Trace -- accidentally hitting the cat is bad and the person might need scolding for being inattentive, but purposely doing so makes them a monster (without some kind of extenuating circumstance). And I suspect that's a pretty common stance. But I tend to view an intentional homicide less severely than I do when the death is caused by a drunk driver. That seems like an inconsistency in my head.
     
    David Wieland
    Posts: 225
    Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
    14
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    r ranson wrote:
    Wow, I didn't know a Rocket Mass Heater needed to be run constantly.  


    I didn't mean to imply that an RMH needs to be constantly tended. The frequency of feeding depends on a number of factors including, for example, the mass, the space to be warmed and its rate of heat loss, and the energy density and dryness of the fuel. Except for the mass, this is basically the same for any wood heater.  

    Stove design is an additional factor  that affects efficiency and feeding interval. The simplest J-tube design uses smaller diameter wood and needs more feeding in a burn than a batch style. But as with your current stove, you can't leave it unfired for days of -20 weather without risking freezing. I was comparing that to a conventional furnace that's thermostatically controlled and has a continuous energy source.
     
    Douglas Alpenstock
    master pollinator
    Posts: 4377
    Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
    1173
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    r ranson wrote:Wow, I didn't know a Rocket Mass Heater needed to be run constantly.  


    LOL. In my climate, someone would need to spend some time with a mass heater a couple of times a day. Sort of like a dog that can only hold it so long before an outdoor break is mandatory, and then needs food and company for all to be well with the world.
     
    author and steward
    Posts: 49216
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Likes 10
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I live in montana.  I tend to run it for an hour every other day.  And when I run it for an hour, then i start it, walk away and come back in 20 minutes to add some wood.  Then nothing for a couple of days.  

    Sometimes if it is really cold outside, or i have gone too long without firing it up, I will run it for four hours.  

    I have run conventional wood stoves.  A lot of conventional wood stoves.  For many years.  My experience with rocket mass heaters is that they run far less often than conventional wood stoves.    

    I find that operating a rocket mass heater is downright dreamy compared to a conventional wood stove.
     
    Douglas Alpenstock
    master pollinator
    Posts: 4377
    Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
    1173
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Fair enough. I defer to your on-the-ground operating experience.

    My impression is that your buildings and living spaces have been designed around the RMH. That's better and smarter. Existing buildings like mine are idiotic in their design -- plumbing installed inches from outside walls and such nonsense -- so they need a bit more handholding when I'm away.                                                                                                                                  
     
    Michael Cox
    pollinator
    Posts: 3753
    Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
    662
    books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Fair enough. I defer to your on-the-ground operating experience.

    My impression is that your buildings and living spaces have been designed around the RMH. That's better and smarter. Existing buildings like mine are idiotic in their design -- plumbing installed inches from outside walls and such nonsense -- so they need a bit more handholding when I'm away.                                                                                                                                  



    As in understand it your concern was more about people leaving home for an extended period during freezing weather?

    If you replace conventional heating with any wood system in its entirety, you run the risk of the entire property dropping below zero and pipes freezing. I don’t think this is a problem exclusive to RMH - anyone going to entirely wood heat would face the same issue. But it is indicative of a problem with the attempting to replace conventional heating entirely. How many people would be content to be tied to their property every day through the winter period, to mitigate the risk of pipes freezing? No spending a week away over Christmas to see family. No bugging out for two weeks ahead of a major blizzard. Etc…
     
    Douglas Alpenstock
    master pollinator
    Posts: 4377
    Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
    1173
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Michael Cox wrote:As in understand it your concern was more about people leaving home for an extended period during freezing weather?


    Yes, it's a practical concern, and it speaks more to the design problems in conventional houses than to wood/mass heating. That's worth exploring in its own thread.
     
    paul wheaton
    author and steward
    Posts: 49216
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Douglas Alpenstock wrote:My impression is that your buildings and living spaces have been designed around the RMH. That's better and smarter. Existing buildings like mine are idiotic in their design -- plumbing installed inches from outside walls and such nonsense -- so they need a bit more handholding when I'm away.                                                                                                                                  



    Nope.

    Fisher price house: just a double wide.  Moved in when it was three years old and added a rocket mass heater.

    Library:  a sort of extended garage that was here when we got here.  Added a rocket mass heater.

    Solarium: a garage.  Take out garage door and replace with glass. put a rocket mass heater in.

    Red cabin, shop, love shack, classroom, cooper cabin, bartell's bunkhouse, the dogstar ...   all similar stories.
     
    John Weiland
    pollinator
    Posts: 2405
    Location: RRV of da Nort
    633
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    paul wheaton wrote:

    Douglas Alpenstock wrote:My impression is that your buildings and living spaces have been designed around the RMH. That's better and smarter. Existing buildings like mine are idiotic in their design -- plumbing installed inches from outside walls and such nonsense -- so they need a bit more handholding when I'm away.                                                                                                                                  


    Nope.
    Fisher price house: just a double wide.  Moved in when it was three years old and added a rocket mass heater.
    ....



    I gotta ask with regard to Douglas's concerns which would be similar to ours:  What to do about basement pipes freezing?  If the RMH were on the main floor, for sure the severely cold blocks of weather would cause this to happen.  Is your double-wide on a slab or on a basement....or crawlspace...?  Given that's it's around Missoula and understandably a bit warmer than the northern prairie plains regions of the US (and much/most of Canada?), that region of Montana still gets its own cold snaps.

    Ultimately, my sentiments are more like those of D. Alpenstock:  I look forward to a day when home design from the ground up is more sensible (incorporating passive solar, passive/geothermal cooling, etc.) with RMH as a/the common heating option.  If prospective home buyers (not to mention insurance providers)....especially but not exclusively those who are looking to have their home built....were to see RMHs 'in action' at home shows or other venues, they may pursue this avenue more for their new abode.

    Edited to add, like Trace O., I'm not waiting for the perfect situation to demonstrate and continue to show visitors my garage-heated rocket heater (sans mass) to illustrate at least part of the concept.
     
    paul wheaton
    author and steward
    Posts: 49216
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I feel like i stand up to help people, only to get flooded with misinformation.  So I patiently try to help people, one at a time - responding kindly to correct the misinformation ....

          ....  and this is important to the topic at hand:  the misinformation is not "can you help me understand?" it is "facty fact!  YOU ARE A FUCKING LIAR!"

    The purpose of this thread is not to address each person's stuggle with the rocket mass heater ideas.  The purpose of this thread is to point out the obvious corporate trolls.  (to get help with rocket mass heater stuff, we do have a robust forum for that)

    This thread is to see, clearly, that corporate trolls do exist and they do not like rocket mass heaters.  

    Of course, there will always also be some organic trolls - unpaid trolls.  And, yes, there were a few of those mixed in there as well. Their mission is to get a reaction.  A corporate troll is to persuade the observer that their employer's message is good and others messages are not good.

    I also think that there were some non-troll people that are clearly struggling to get their head wrapped around the concept.  Unfortunately, our current society has thoroughly trained them in the value of cunningham's law.  So, they too, present their questions as statement of fact that is actually false. It makes for a terrible environment for new ideas.
     
    master steward
    Posts: 11011
    Location: Pacific Wet Coast
    6046
    duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
    • Likes 6
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    paul wheaton wrote:I also think that there were some non-troll people that are clearly struggling to get their head wrapped around the concept.  Unfortunately, our current society has thoroughly trained them in the value of cunningham's law.*  So, they too, present their questions as statement of fact that is actually false. It makes for a terrible environment for new ideas.

    Our current society seems to also have trained people that everyone with different ideas is "your opponent" and the way to overwhelm them is to keep asking different questions before they've satisfactorily answered your first one. And yell louder. "Civilized Debate" seems to be a lost skill.  Here on Permies, we're trying to revitalize that skill which is why we have policies like, "leave room for other people's opinion"** and "be nice". ***

    *Cunningham's Law states "the best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question; it's to post the wrong answer." The concept is named after Ward Cunningham, the inventor of wiki software.

    ** https://permies.com/t/17422/permies-publishing-standards
    *** https://permies.com/t/2296/nice
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 473
    Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
    188
    cat dog duck forest garden fungi trees food preservation solar
    • Likes 9
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Sadly, it's like this (organized and often paid groups of trolls) attacking nearly every aspect of what we do as permaculturists. It happens with specific things like rocket mass heaters, no till gardens and agriculture based around perennial crops, but it ALSO happens with natural building techniques, stacked functions and closed loop systems.

    I think we need to face it - we are RADICALS.
    We think differently than most people and use parts of our brains that have atrophied in a great majority of the population (true worldwide, but especially in the "western" nations).

    Most importantly, our method of thinking rationally about situations, identifying multitudes of "problems" in order to come up with the most elegant solutions, is DANGEROUS.

    If everyone thought like we do, the current global systems of commerce and government would collapse overnight.

    As permaculturists, we not only actively design our lives for self-reliance and non-fragility, but we quickly begin to add this to our local communities. As people become more self-reliant and non-fragile, corporate giants and government programs quickly diminish in their perceived value. Institutional power structures absolutely require the reliance of a populace to hold that power, and things like rocket mass heaters and back yard chickens threaten that hold.

    With this in mind, Paul, it's no wonder your reddit thread was attacked by an organized, and possibly paid, group of trolls. As the Duke, you pose more of a threat to the current paradigm than any political candidate or "extreme" insert-directional-wing-here podcaster ever could! The proverbial "they" want us all angry, divided and reliant on "them" for solutions.

    Wear it as a badge of honor, but recognize it for what it is. You, Paul, are a danger to the "bad people" system of control.
     
    Posts: 26
    3
    • Likes 6
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    A rod should be cast only where a fish may swim. I would not think 98% of reddit is the best place to advertise state of the art heating technology. Most the audience left there is going to be of the mindless NPC variety, the ones who weren't censored and banned because they never deviate from the groupthink and can not think anything they weren't already told to think by their masters.

    Telegram is probably one of the best social medias to cast relatively new stuff since the audience is going to be the fellows that left the other medias. I can spread some info of the Rocket Mass Heaters on there and if you end up making a telegram channel  about the heaters, I could share it in some places where it would get some relatively good publicity.
     
    Tristan Vitali
    pollinator
    Posts: 473
    Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
    188
    cat dog duck forest garden fungi trees food preservation solar
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Robert Tiller wrote:A rod should be cast only where a fish may swim. I would not think 98% of reddit is the best place to advertise state of the art heating technology. Most the audience left there is going to be of the mindless NPC variety, the ones who weren't censored and banned because they never deviate from the groupthink and can not think anything they weren't already told to think by their masters.

    Telegram is probably one of the best social medias to cast relatively new stuff since the audience is going to be the fellows that left the other medias. I can spread some info of the Rocket Mass Heaters on there and if you end up making a telegram channel  about the heaters, I could share it in some places where it would get some relatively good publicity.



    Another good idea to explore might be alternative podcast and vodcast type shows, especially those that are more independent and/or self-reliance oriented. Many of these will cover politics and other hot-button topics, many even being considered a bit radical or extreme in their own right, since it's such a huge issue in everyday lives these days and EVERYONE has opinions. Many of these types of shows, however, are geared toward covering diverse ideas and big-picture thinking, prefer covering topics like woo-woo, self reliance, history and "cool shit", and many of the hosts of these outlets are pretty jaded with the current system / activism in general.

    People receptive to ideas like rocket mass heaters have left mainstream and popular outlets / social media communities in droves over the years, either by force or by choice, but they all went somewhere. People will gravitate toward ideas they agree with and styles of presenting that they find entertaining, and those most likely to take on the task of building a RMH in their home tend to be those crazy, don't really care what the gov't says kind of people.

    There's a huge self-reliance and simple living movement out there, evidenced by the growing number of homesteading channels on the video hosting platforms, but I'd think that the best place to reach those people to introduce the idea is through the media they themselves already view and/or listen to, which is by default these "alternative" podcast and vodcast "shows". It's unfortunate, but based on the current "climate" we live in, I'm sure that there will be people that scream foul, call names and make any appearances political, but I do believe that's the best place to reach receptive minds.

     
    Douglas Alpenstock
    master pollinator
    Posts: 4377
    Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
    1173
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I think Paul is right about this thread losing its focus. There have been a lot of good questions and ideas raised that are off topic, yet worthy of further discussion. We really need to spin these off into separate threads, where we can solve problems -- and where people can find our brilliant solutions.
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 162
    Location: Ontario
    48
    6
    hugelkultur bike ungarbage
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    paul wheaton wrote:A corporate troll is to persuade the observer that their employer's message is good and others messages are not good.


    Really 'they' don't even have to persuade the public that the message is good or not but just sow enough seeds of doubt to encourage the public to discard the good idea all together.
     
    David Wieland
    Posts: 225
    Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
    14
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    paul wheaton wrote:I feel like i stand up to help people, only to get flooded with misinformation.  So I patiently try to help people, one at a time - responding kindly to correct the misinformation ....

    A corporate troll is to persuade the observer that their employer's message is good and others messages are not good.


    I'm sure that it's clear to all permies that being helpful is your primary motivation. It's also obvious from your description of the negative pile-on that you're being trolled. But I can't think of any reason for commercial/corporate actors to be involved, because I can't fathom why they could see you as real competition. I think the trolls' motivation is similar to that of outrage mobbing on social media -- mischievous,  and worse, group action bolstered with schadenfreude. In other words, the bane of (anti-)social media. Proclaiming misinformation is part of their fun.
     
    Posts: 195
    28
    3
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    There are professionally paid trolls in this world, and not only in foreign countries. So, it doe snot surprise me that it happened; and the algorithm allowed it to happen; but, it  takes 5 positive reviews in order to overcome a negative review, and based on that algorithm, yeah,  the positives dropped like flies being sprayed with DDT, and  the algorithm then triggered the programming to delete and ban you from the site, for too many 'negative' reviews.
     
    pioneer
    Posts: 469
    Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 5a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
    71
    kids hugelkultur purity forest garden foraging trees chicken earthworks medical herbs rocket stoves homestead
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    David Wieland wrote:

    paul wheaton wrote:
    I start with the thought of "why don't more people know about rocket mass heaters?"  And now it is clear.  It is a threat to the profits of ...  somebody.  Somebody really big.


    The trolling blowout you described is disturbing. Do you know of others who have experienced such a thing? It certainly sounds organized -- but by whom?

    It doesn't seem plausible to me that any corporate "competition" would feel threatened enough to bother. It's puzzling, but I wonder if the troll storm was a test of a nefarious tactic for disrupting a social media platform and you were just a random target.


    Oil companies, Gas companies, ALL energy companies, every corporation who has a vested interest in keeping people thinking that the planet is in immediate danger and eating bugs, etc. is the only way to save ourselves. There are some evil people out there, and rocket mass heaters are a major gateway to permaculture, which is the nemesis of the plans of these unnamed evil people. (Not being political. Just pro-human.)
     
    Myron Platte
    pioneer
    Posts: 469
    Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 5a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
    71
    kids hugelkultur purity forest garden foraging trees chicken earthworks medical herbs rocket stoves homestead
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    David Wieland wrote:

    paul wheaton wrote:I feel like i stand up to help people, only to get flooded with misinformation.  So I patiently try to help people, one at a time - responding kindly to correct the misinformation ....

    A corporate troll is to persuade the observer that their employer's message is good and others messages are not good.


    I'm sure that it's clear to all permies that being helpful is your primary motivation. It's also obvious from your description of the negative pile-on that you're being trolled. But I can't think of any reason for commercial/corporate actors to be involved, because I can't fathom why they could see you as real competition. I think the trolls' motivation is similar to that of outrage mobbing on social media -- mischievous,  and worse, group action bolstered with schadenfreude. In other words, the bane of (anti-)social media. Proclaiming misinformation is part of their fun.


    It really isn't that simple. I'm surprised that more people here don't think this yet (it's probably because everyone here is so nice and focused on doing cool things): there are bad people who hate humanity, and hate the earth, and they disguise this hate as love. Permaculture and doing cool stuff instead of getting angry at bad guys is extremely powerful, and the corporations and evil people are scared shit that permaculture, and especially free energy like RMH's will catch on and kill their plans for world domination... a very different kind of world domination than that which we talk about on these forums.
     
    Posts: 112
    27
    books food preservation wood heat
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I'm not sure if this is the right thread in which to post this, but it's the thread that triggered this thought.

    How much of the benefit of RMH comes from the Rocket stove, how much from the Mass, and how much from the synergy of the two?

    Is there a possible middle ground that could help people get some of the benefit without necessarily jumping in with both feet?

    Proposal: test the large thermal mass used in a typical RMH design with alternate sources of heat, such as certified catalytic woodstoves.

    If it works, market the idea of Mass in combination with the other, approved heat source, or better yet several alternative heat sources.

    Others in this thread have pointed out that modern houses have very little thermal mass. Yet it is probably legal and readily acceptable in most places to install the kind of thermal mass discussed in RMH design.

    My own home has a certified Woodstock Soapstone catalytic stove. The point of the soapstone built into the stove is to add a lot of compact thermal mass.

    Then after you get the Mass part widely accepted, at least in the woodstove community, you can market the idea of Step #2: add a Rocket heater that can heat the mass up more quickly and efficiently than the alternatives.

    Thoughts? Reasons to do this, or avoid doing it?
     
    David Wieland
    Posts: 225
    Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
    14
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Myron Platte wrote: There are some evil people out there, and rocket mass heaters are a major gateway to permaculture, which is the nemesis of the plans of these unnamed evil people. (Not being political. Just pro-human.)


    While I agree that there are some evil people (anti-humans), I can't see how they could regard permaculture as a threat. I've gardened organically since the mid-1970s and subscribed to Organic Gardening magazine for years but wasn't even aware of permaculture until the last decade. I'm pretty sure that it's still a fringe endeavour in the big scheme of things.
     
    And inside of my fortune cookie was this tiny ad:
    Green University by Thomas Elpel
    https://permies.com/t/243115/Green-University-Thomas-Elpel
    reply
      Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic