Let me start by saying that I am not an engineer and I probably would not get into manufacturing a shippable core. The approach I would take is to have someone else make it who is well experienced at making something similar to the idea for a shippable core that I am thinking of.
The dragon burner is great because it actually exists, but I would think that a round interior would create less resistance. Maybe I am wrong or maybe you don't want unimpeded flow inside the core.
I have some other theories but I would like to build a rocket mass heater before I Make myself sound like more of an idiot than I probably already have.
I'll throw my hat in the ring here too... I have had and continue to have intentions to design and build rocket stoves and heaters, advance their construction techniques, and their social acceptance. My day job is as a thermal engineer on jet engines, so I hope to have significant technical ability that I can contribute to RMH society, but I've still got quite a bit to learn.
Any hoo, this seemed like a good place say hey, and let you know that you might be hearing more from me in the future.
I'm also interested in the shipable core business. Really, I'm interested simply creating castable cores for myself and whomever else wants one. I've started putting together a jig/mold to use with some of the "common" castable refractory stuff available around here, i.e. the Red Devil and Rutland stuff, and I'm gonna see how that works out. I think I'm going to try mixing perlite into pre-mixed refractory cement as well re: some threads on other sites about making your own kilns and forges. I'd be in the process of constructing a RMH for my house but it's doubtful, or rather, hopeful on my part that we're not going to keep this house for too long, and whereas the Wood Stove we have now is seen as a boon to the Realtors, trying to explain/sell an RMH to your average Dick and Jane buying a house just ain't gonna fly, especially were I to bypass the permitting process...
Anyway, aside from my castable project, I've been carting around a trunk load of bricks in my car lately and rigging up cores at our family and friend functions. Most of my family and friends are of similar mindset re: heating with wood, and most of us spend a considerable amount of time cutting and splitting wood, so I've built up some decent interest in RMH's already.
So, re: Ernie and Erica's designs, would you want a percentage of every core sold? Like a royalty? That would be cool. At least until things were to get off the ground, then other arrangements could be made if need be
Anyway, I have some questions about burn tunnels and heat risers, the answers are probably around here. Yup they were. So, is small scale casting, at least to start with, something that Ernie and Erica are interested in supplying a design to?
Also, I do have access to rather large kilns, but I'm going to try this out by drying and firing on my own property first.
I just had breakfast with Ernie and Erica. We had a long talk about this topic.
At this point, what we want to do is encourage many people to pursue this line of business. There are a couple that are already pursuing this, and we will continue to encourage them to come to market with a product. And there were many people that came to the recent workshops here and we showed them our current ideas on shippable cores. And we are going to work for the next few days on some more ideas.
In the past we had the idea that we will help bring somebody up to full speed. Now we are thinking that the thing to do is to support multiple people bringing a product to market.
We think that 20 people will try and 5 of those will bring together all of the ingredients to run a viable business. Each will have some small variations on how they go about creating a product. We think there will be plenty of market share for all five, but we suspect that three will probably not make it. That will leave two.
We have had people contact us where they have 70% of the business model in place and they expect us to fill in the other 30%. So let me be clear ....
Ernie, Erica and I will share our knowledge about shippable cores. Those that attended the recent workshops will have a distinct advantage. Eventually, somebody will have three or more cores that can ship. They will have a price and design that is within my comfort zone (which means that it is something that I think is also withing the E&E comfort zone). They must be signed up with a third party affiliate program that I approve of for 10%. That means that anybody can sign up for the affiliate program and direct people to the cores. And E&E must get at least $20 per core for their R&D work.
I am open to the idea of supporting a kickstarter.
I think somebody could get a business rolling inside of a week. And I think somebody could come up with an even better product in four months. I know of at least one person doing some very exciting stuff that I cannot talk about - but it could be a year before it comes to market.
Of course, if you create a product that I don't like, you are perfectly free to sell it willy nilly all you want. You don't need me. I am merely looking for a product that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
The part that is most important to me is that the base shippable core product contains a wood feed (or stub), a burn tunnel and a manifold. The riser can be sold with the core or separately or there could even be no riser. For me, the most important thing is that the core makes things much, much easier. If it is shipped via freight and takes two people to move - that's okay. Although I do hope that in a few months we will see designs that are much lighter.