• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

rocket mass heater project  RSS feed

 
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think something is gonna happen.  Soon.

If you wanna play, now is a good time to reply to this thread and make sure your name is here.

There is plan forming. It might go something like this:  first we will put something together to make sure it works okay. Then, the night before the MUD earth day event, all of the pieces will get loaded onto bicycles and bicycle trailers.  Then, bright and early in the morning we will take the whole think to caras park via bicycle and build it, hopefully, in less than 60 minutes.  Then fire it up a few times throughout the day.  Then reload it onto bicycles and take it away.

Maybe.  Possibly. 

Anybody have access to pea gravel?  Anybody wanna bring over a bunch of river rocks about the size of a brick?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tomorrow at 2:30 I'm gonna make a new heat riser.

Bits of time friday and saturday will be in building all the rest.

The current design is to use pea gravel.

BTW:  we could use some pea gravel.    Anything from the size of a pea up to the size of a brick is welcome.

I will be doing a lot of video.

 
Posts: 120
Location: Minneapolis, MN
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dang, my wife and I want to come out but it's a 19 hour drive, I think.

We plan to come visit last week of June.  Hopefully something going on then.

Good luck.
 
Posts: 2
Location: Calagary, Ab
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wish I could come but it's slightly to long of a walk! Hope it's fun!

-Kelton-
 
Posts: 76
Location: Missoula,MT
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I have an abundance of gravel pit mix with small river stone and sand mixed in if you can use it. You could always sift out the sand if you need to.

I also have lots of brick sized and smaller river rock if you need.  I guess its one of the benifits to living in a gravel pit.

I will not be able to make it until saturday, but I would like to see the project.

Paul, let me know if you want some rock and we will figure out a way to get it to you.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Caleb Larson wrote:
I have an abundance of gravel pit mix with small river stone and sand mixed in if you can use it. You could always sift out the sand if you need to.

I also have lots of brick sized and smaller river rock if you need.  I guess its one of the benifits to living in a gravel pit.

I will not be able to make it until saturday, but I would like to see the project.

Paul, let me know if you want some rock and we will figure out a way to get it to you.


Caleb, please tell me more about where you are and how I might get my hands on your rock.
 
Caleb Larson
Posts: 76
Location: Missoula,MT
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live out towards Frenchtown, but my wife or I are usually in town atleast every other day.

If you let me know what exactly you want and how much, I can bring some to the lecture tonight in buckets.

I could bring a truckload down on saturday too if want.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I could use about twelve buckets worth of rocks that are a mix between brick size and pea size.  Yes - at the presentation tonight would be great!
 
Caleb Larson
Posts: 76
Location: Missoula,MT
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Paul,

How did the build go today?
I gathered about 8 more buckets of mixed rocks tonight.

I was just doing some research tonight on CO levels and combustion analyzing. 
Have you ever tested or seen data derived from a combustion analyzer?

I should be able to make it to free cycles before 2pm, see you then.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Today, at about 10:02am, a bunch of bicyclists will take the
components for a rocket mass heater prototype to caras park under
bicycle power for the MUD earth day event.  This is a large wooden
frame, plus a lot of rocks, sand, bricks and ducting.

At caras park, the rocket mass heater prototype will be assembled and
fired up.  Assembly time will hopefully take less than an hour.

This is the first time in the world that a portable rocket mass heater
has been made.

People who have replaced a conventional wood stove with a rocket mass
heater report that they use 80% to 90% less wood to heat their home.
Some people now heat their homes with nothing more than the dead
branches from trees in their yard.  This could be the world's most
sustainable heat source.

Our convoy of bicycles and bicycle trailers loaded with materials will
leave freecycles at about 10:02am.  We hope to have it built and
running at caras park by noon.
 
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am planning to build a rocket mass heater for a small greenhouse here in the mountains up the West Fork of the Bitterrooot.  I ordered Ianto's book (I worked at Aprovecho way way back) and am anxious to see your results by video, since I won't make it to Missoula anytime soon. 

Hope I can bother all of you with a bunch of questions, but I'll read the book first.

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Travis Halverson
Posts: 120
Location: Minneapolis, MN
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sweet.  Thanks for the video.
 
          
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Big thanks for video of the portable RMH.  Should the duct work be kept away from moisture when using the rocks and bricks as the mass in a greenhouse situation?  I have lots of rocks and not much clay, so one built like your portable RMH would be easier.

Thanks for the work and information, Paul!
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The purpose of this video is to give folks an idea of how clean the
exhaust is while running a rocket mass heater in Missoula, Montana.

When we first start it, there will be smoke.  And there was smoke in
the middle of the burn sometimes, but I think that most of that has to
do with things that need more design improvements.  For most of the
time, the exhaust was a lot like what is shown in the video - there is
fire, but no smoke.  Marci Anderson gets her nose right in there.

Another important thing to note is that the temperature of the
exhaust:  see how we have a hot, clean fire burning and guido does not
burn his hand when he puts it in the exhaust.  It feels warm, but not
hot.  We measured it at about 90 degrees when the barrel was at about
850 degrees.

I show the materials being moved by the freecycles folks from the
freecycles HQ in Missoula to Caras Park (downtown Missoula).  Then a
bit of building it.

This rocket mass heater is a prototype for some variations.  A wood
box shows a different aesthetic, a much taller heat riser design,
using dry, loose fill (rocks and sand).  This should be a lighter
design than other rocket mass heaters - so it might be good for places
that have a wood floor.

This might also be the fastest time a rocket mass heater was ever
built:  an hour and fifteen minutes.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGaGtO8MkQk

 
Caleb Larson
Posts: 76
Location: Missoula,MT
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It looks like the higher burn temperature and the exhaust modification made a huge improvement!

Did you guys set this up after you took it down?  I would like to test the combustion again.
From what I have learned CO does not burn until 800 degrees F. It would be interesting to see the efficiency gain by the shorter exhaust and burning higher temps. 

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Caleb Larson wrote:
It looks like the higher burn temperature and the exhaust modification made a huge improvement!

Did you guys set this up after you took it down?  I would like to test the combustion again.
From what I have learned CO does not burn until 800 degrees F. It would be interesting to see the efficiency gain by the shorter exhaust and burning higher temps. 


I dunno.  I left at about 5 and went home.  It was up to the freecycles guys after that.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22719
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Posts: 17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Glad to see the info about air quality. The video about the prototype is interesting and I am sure that some fairly simple modifications could improve the unit to come to a point where the mass heater operates smoothly and resolves any concerns regarding operation and air quality.  Going through the approval process would perhaps benefit from having a group of people involved.
 
bacon. tiny ad:
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!