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designing rocket stove  RSS feed

 
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HI AMAZING PEOPLE... Following your activities from afar - Latvia, Eastern Europe! I wonder if it is possible to design a rocket stove that would be able to heat all three 'red ticks' - kitchen/dining, Bathroom, Bedroom (see attachment) Total area is 753 ft2. (everything else is in metric system in picture). Thank you very much in advance
ROCKET.jpg
[Thumbnail for ROCKET.jpg]
 
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Theoretically, yes, depending on where you can locate a RMH.

If you can put it in the central location that is the square with ">" in it, it could work fine. What is the structure under this floor? Are the stairs going down or up from this floor, or both?

It doesn't look like there is a central place where you could make a spread-out bench, so you would need a good foundation under the main heater location. I could see a bell with firebox at its base in the [>] position, and possibly changing the seating bar by the kitchen to a tall narrow bell/countertop, with the seats necessarily moved back a bit for clearance.
 
Dzintars Geide
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Thanks Glenn!! Forget about all the furniture, designer was playing around with some ideas.... The building work will start in May only. The main thing is chimney which is in the middle. There will be concrete slabs under /around chimney off course. I can adjust the shape and form of it if needed for RMH. The floor is so called suspended flooring on concrete poles. Stairs go up.
 
Glenn Herbert
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That sounds pretty easy to accommodate then. I would play with different arrangements of a bell and benches or other low mass in the general rectangular area containing that [>] and seating counter. I think you would want a smallish vertical bell next to the chimney, as the space looks a bit tight for an exposed barrel near the hallway to bedroom and bathroom.
Let us know what layout ideas you come up with. I'd like to see the results.
 
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i like Glenn's ideas and maybe we could suggest more with pics of the fireplace and chimney?
 
Glenn Herbert
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There is nothing built yet, he is just making plans.
 
Dzintars Geide
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Thank you for your contributions! I like: 'that sounds easy to accommodate' bit!!! Doesn't look easy to me I've added 3 sketches (orange - a bell; blue - a heated bench). Tell me what you think. However, I have no clue how to stretch it to WC.... A bell next to chimney makes sense
Filename: RMH.pdf
File size: 704 Kbytes
 
Glenn Herbert
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The chimney and bell area is close enough to the bedroom, sharing a wall, that I don't think you will need a special bench extended into the bedroom. Likewise, the bathroom is closer to the bell than much of the living room, and it looks like a good piece of the bathroom wall is not exposed to the exterior.

A big factor is the nature of the two elements near the chimney with [/] - they look like chases for ducts, pipes, or wiring. If they don't need to be in that exact spot, you can have the bell fully occupy the wall between kitchen and bedroom and heat both effectively. The chimney can be buried in the bell.

Another thing you could do if you feel the bathroom must have a heat source inside it is to come out of the bell and run a duct below the concrete floor (encased in concrete), with good insulation under it. That could give some warm floor in the bathroom, after which the duct can head straight to the chimney. Will there be any open space below the floor, or will it be touching the ground?

Also, I understand Latvia has a northern continental climate; what temperatures do you commonly see in the heating season? How well insulated is the house going to be, how much glass, and are you expecting to heat the upper floor as well with this system?
 
Dzintars Geide
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Thanks Glenn for your advice! Ducts, pipes, wiring..etc do not need to be in that exact spot at all. Actually, I quite like idea of using the wall between bedroom and kitchen for bell. Yes, chimney can be buried! It is suspended flooring slightly above the ground, 200mm insulation / rock wool or alternative..

We have 4 seasons, however, winters lately are quite mild.. above / below zero Celsius. Sometimes drops to -10 / -20 or even -30 However, current average this year is zero Celsius.

According to the project there might be large windows facing south, triple glazed, basically, the whole wall and about 2meter overhung to protect from summer sun. See attachment, please.

Insulation - rock wool or other environmentally friendly material 200mm (walls)on top of that 50mm fibrolite or plasterboard or timber boards or even combination of all. Roof insulation 300mm.

Upper floor is open and covers 2/3 of the total floor area, so, living area on ground floor is a huge open space up to the roof ridge on the south side... As heat rises my assumption was that there probably won't be a need for stove upstairs... except some sort of 12V ceiling fan above the living area..
Filename: Fasades_Galversija-copy.pdf
File size: 199 Kbytes
 
Glenn Herbert
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That's a lot of glass on a tall wall on the south! I would be concerned about being able to warm that side well enough in cold nights; a warm bell/bench would have to work hard to balance the cold radiating from the windows. Insulated curtains would probably make all the difference here.

You have enough space to put a duct below the floor slab and under the bathroom, but you would need to insulate it very well on bottom and sides. Are you really planning on leaving the space below the floor completely open to the wind?

As the loft is only 2/3 or so of the building area and presumably open to the living room, I am sure it will get enough warmth from the heater below. It might even get too much heat! My beloved's house is heated with a woodstove at one corner, and the loft bedroom at the far corner and through a doorway is usually too hot for comfort when the place needs heat.

I think a bell about 0.8m x 1.5m outside, 8020cm thick walls, would give you enough surface and mass for heat storage. There are formulas for bell interior surface area depending on system size and bell material. A 6" batch box would need about 5.5-6 square meters of masonry surface total (not counting floors) to absorb most of the heat and leave enough for draft.
 
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My experience with the heaters has been that you can get reasonable heat circulation from line of sight: if you can see the barrel or hottest part of the stove through the door of the room, and the door stays open most of the time, then you can heat the room. It will not be as hot as the room containing the stove, but it can be enough to be comfortable. You can also add a small fan to circulate warm air in the rooms and make the temperature more even.

If you are able to locate the heater relatively centrally, where you can see it from the bathroom door, then you may not need a special duct.

The other consideration is: do you want to heat the space evenly? Or do you want a warm place you can sit, and be warm, and lower your heating bills because you do not heat the entire (unused) space to the same temperature as yourself? It is very comfortable and efficient to sit on the warm bench at night and read, or watch a movie, then go to a slightly cooler bedroom when you are ready to sleep. (Helps cue the body to go to sleep, too).
If the home is routinely occupied by 2 or 3 people, there is plenty of room to all sit on the bench - if it is a bench. If it is a compact tower or cube to fit into a floor plan and leave plenty of room for chairs, then you will be sitting looking at the warmth from a chair far away, and it will take more energy to keep you equally comfortable.

I prefer to do masonry benches as seating, rather than cubes or walls, but you have to weigh that against your own preferences, and the layout of the home.
In my current home they made me a space for the heater with concrete footing before I arrived, it is against the living-room/bedroom wall, and not a bad location. Except it is only 9 feet long (3 meters), and so after the firebox and barrel areas, the bench is only 5 feet long. It is like getting used to a short sitz-bath tub after you have been living with a Jacuzzi.

So for my money, if you are going to all the trouble of putting a few tons of masonry in your home, make it a Jacuzzi. (A long bench, that you can lie on, use as a guest cot, or relax in the evenings with company.)

-Erica
 
Glenn Herbert
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I like Erica's analysis. Also, on reflection, if the bell is fully shared with the bedroom, that is a quarter of the entire heat output going to a small space, which would be too much. If you replace the sitting counter with kitchen counter and a bench bell tucked below it, combined with a much smaller vertical bell, I think you will get a good balance.

This sketch shows the first (vertical) bell with batch box and riser in it (it could be a J-tube instead if you prefer that style of firing) in heavy black and red, with the bench bell space in dotted red. The hot gases would rise in the first bell, then drop and enter the bench bell space, then flow from the bottom of the bench bell to the chimney base and rise vertically. The chimney would be somewhat set into the corner of the bell. There is a bench space between the first bell and the kitchen counter that would be an especially warm nook to snuggle up in.
latviarmh.PNG
[Thumbnail for latviarmh.PNG]
 
Dzintars Geide
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Hi all! Thank you again for your great input! I'm finally back from travel...

GLENN, I have a slight concern about large glass too, there is possibility I will reduce it slightly..and re-design. Space under the house will be protected, not to leave it open completely but as it is a woodland there aren't much of strong winds.
Thank you Glenn for that drawing! It does sound like a good solution for a small house.

ERICA, Yes, I could locate it centrally, sounds like a good thought. There only be 2 people around most of the time. Also, I personally like the bench idea. Remember something similar in my granny's house many years ago. So, would the bench and the barrel be enough to heat the house? I'm slightly worried about few tons you mentioned... It is suspended flooring on concrete poles. Sure I have to remove insolation underneath etc. Do I need to add additional poles?

FINALLY, Of course, I would be more than happy to come to some sort of agreement with you guys to have drawings made. Sure, first I'll start on small project in my tiny cabin and build something on a smaller scale, but for the house I will need a proper drawings and calculation. I have done brick work etc but this is not my speciality..
 
Glenn Herbert
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Supporting the mass of the RMH would require bigger footings under the piers next to the bench, and by the bathroom door, and most likely another pier or a full foundation under the first bell. It would also require some extra rebar in the concrete slab. These are fairly straightforward calculations for an architect/engineer once the weights are known.
 
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