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Total Nubee here, I have many Question on rocket stove mass heaters?  RSS feed

 
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Oh if i already messed up. I'm new to any kind of computer chat.

Ok this is what i'm looking at doing.
I' am looking at making a cabin with 500 SqrFT of living space. I plan on putting a potato celler under it from floor to ceiling about 6'. I would like to put a rocket mass heater down there with the mass going up one wall. was looking at the going up through the mass zig zagging through it till i can exit side of cabin.
Has anyone ever put one of these in a basement?
I would like to have a system that has a side air flow or a cap over the feed tube that takes air from outside. Im slightly alergic to smoke mannly cigaret smoke, but this past winter the wood burner backed up into trailer im currently in well breathing made rough. I just want to make it so if there was a backup i wouldnt get smoked out. even though many things taste good being smoked i dont think im one of them.
But was wondering if i use air from outside threw a tube would it cause a back draft with the fire and make the burn flow backwards?
Just thought it would be best if i asked the pro's
What do you think?
is it possible to put one in the basement and use outside air in and out of this kind of set up.
If i run a 6" air inlet duct from outside, then down a 6' wall to the stove then 6" duct up threw a mass then back up a 6' wall and outside? Would there be enough air draw to run the system or would it try to run backwards?
Sorry not trying to be complicated.

I saw one of your online videos on youtube. you were both sitting on a mannly stone mass heater. The riser that was inside this one i think you said it was fire brick? What are you using to hold the bricks in place? I have seen where you installed risers that had steel liners but from what i can see you have to replace those every few years.
Do you have the same problem with fire brick risers?
Sorry if this is in your videos. If so just let me know, i will buy the dvd's
Trying to learn the most about this stuff as i can, have watch hrs of this stuff on you tube, Now i found stuff on making cast mass heaters.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
 
gardener
Posts: 2580
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Welcome to Permies!

A 500 sf cabin should be easy to heat with a 6" RMH, but there are a couple of questionable factors in your proposal. First, a basement is not a convenient place to put a standard J-tube RMH, as you need to keep an eye on it and tend it every 5-20 minutes depending on the particulars of your installation. Remembering to go downstairs that frequently will become a chore and a distraction from daily life. A basement location is also problematic from a draft standpoint, as the house may have a stronger natural draft than the RMH chimney, and cause smokeback. Lastly, do you really want this "potato cellar" to be the hottest part of the house?

A "sealed draft" system that exhausts through the wall will not naturally have a strong draft, and might even draw smoke back inside through cracks in certain wind conditions. For the best, most reliable draft, you want the chimney to rise through the middle of the house and exit at the peak of the roof. This more than anything will ensure a good draft in cool/cold weather. Depending on a sealed draft system when you will have to open the system regularly for feeding fuel is bound to fail at least occasionally. Better to ensure good draft with a good chimney, airflow paths and system element design, possibly including a startup bypass to reduce drag during cold starts.

http://www.woodheat.org/the-outdoor-air-myth-exposed.html

The firebrick heat riser and combustion core will be the most durable available design, with the price of slightly lower efficiency than cast refractory cement core and riser. If you want the best efficiency, research the good info here and on the donkey32.proboards.com forums on casting the core and riser. If you are uncertain of your skill at masonry and fabrication, you may be best off building an all-firebrick core, which can be taken apart and rebuilt several times if you make a mistake the first time.

Beware of youtube videos, there is excellent information, but also a ton of bad examples. Be especially wary of any build that uses metal as an essential internal component of the combustion core (feed tube, burn tunnel and heat riser), as these will fail quickly. On the other hand, metal duct used as a sacrificial inner form is perfectly acceptable, as long as the design includes refractory material that can stand up to use after the liner burns out.
 
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Jason ; Welcome to the really cool world of rocket science. You should own a copy of ianto evans book rocket mass heaters version 3, available as a download or readily available to purchase as a hard copy. Also ernie & erica have a new rmh book that currently, is only available as a download at this time. Both will help you understand building techniques and terminology used by rocket scientists! I agree with glen in that a 6" system is plenty for 500 squ.ft and also with NOT putting it in your root cellar. Once your stove is running well,... feeding it every 30-40 minutes(on an 8" stove) is a realistic number for how often you will need to check on it... by running up & dn stairs. Mine is in a greenhouse/studio outside and we set a timer for 40 minutes to feed it. Read some of the recent posts and you will find one guy who despite being suggested not to build in the basement... he did it anyway and boy was he sorry. Running up and down stairs sucked and two times he smoked out his house,(draft issues) upsetting his spouse. Now he is doing a rebuild upstairs , where it was suggested he build in the first place! Build your RMH in the living area of your cabin... Run the chimney thru the roof not your wall, make it a central piece of furniture in your living room, SIT ON IT , right next to the feed tube and you will be warm and happy camper. Start by locating local clay and sand (a lot of sand) then locate fireclay & bags of perlite. Round up your piping , locate firebricks, (hopefully used ) locate rock to place in your mass. Decide what you would like your mass to look like (i.e.) all cobb or bricked in or wood covered ... sheetrock even if you like it. The possibilities are endless. Just build it conventional for your first one , that way it will work and you will love it! If you try to reinvent the wheel on your first build MAYBE you would be lucky and succeed but more likely you end up in a smoky cold house and NOT a happy camper at all...
 
Jason Borgert
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Thanks Glen,

I tend to brainstorm on a lot of thing and try to figure out possible answers that others might not have thought of in the first place. Lastly, do you really want this "potato cellar" to be the hottest part of the house? I was looking at putting the hot water heater down there. As far as putting the mass heater down there i was just thinking of cutting some registers in the floor in different locations of cabin and letting heat radiate up from there.

Thanks Thomas
I will check out the books. I have plenty of time to research. looking at building cabin next year. I may have more questions for you in the near future.



 
Glenn Herbert
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Unless you have atypical plans for a root cellar, you don't want it to be really warm. The RMH operates largely on radiation and direct conduction, less on making warm air like a conventional forced air furnace does. You will get far better results by putting the RMH "radiator" in your main living space.

Until you have experience with the usual method of siting and building an RMH, you are not well placed to come up with improvements to it, nearly all of which have been tried before. The usual design has been proven to work well in many thousands of homes.
 
thomas rubino
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Jason ; Registers in the floor will not work well... even though heat rises and your floor will be warm, it will be way way hot in your root cellar. Your water heater can still go down there just wrap it in insulation, or better yet if its just one or two people using the cabin then consider an on demand tankless water heater instead. If your concern upstairs is space then look for information about bells. There are lots of ways to design a rmh, look around, read as much as you can and then take some advice and don't build in the basement.
 
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