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Well Hello My New Permie Family  RSS feed

 
Bryant John
Posts: 12
Location: Logan UT
trees woodworking
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Hello Community I just wanted to introduce myself and explain how I ended up here and what I am hoping to accomplish. I found this website last week when I was looking for a solution for heating my home through winter. I had been using electric heaters, installed in the home when I bought it at the beginning of last year and needless to say I about died this winter when I got my electric bill :O. WOAH I am pretty sure I funded the citys entire electric service company on my own. So being the DIY that I am I started looking at my resources and assets to find a solution. I knew my grandparents had a wood stove they had put into their bar and weren't using It was an old cast iron, and heavy, Moving it from their old home to the barn was not an easy task. I figured they would part with it though. My assumption was correct and when I explained my situation they gladly gave me the stove! I suppose it is important to mention that I have access to A LOT of firewood. Its my job I cut down trees for a living, sometimes the home owners want to keep the wood for firewood or wood chips but on many occasions they want me to haul it off for them. Boom I connected the pieces and now I am heating my home with firewood and a stove. But low and behold I ran into another issue this stove eats up wood like you wouldn't believe! Now the supply of wood is not an issue but many is it tiring to be constantly feeding and stoking this stove to keep the house warm. SO i started searching efficient wood burning stove. one thing led to another and I ended up here refeered to designs for a rocket mass heater. Seems like the best solution for my needs! Later this year I plan to either build or buy one. I was also searching the thread and I see a lot of people asking for tree removal pruning or trimming needs SO I figured I would put my name out their. I may not be close to you but if I am maybe we can trade my skills for your permie Knowledge? could work out for both of us?! I am in Logan Utah give me a ring if I can help you with any tree removal, pruning, trimming, or if I can share the wealth of my firewood with you. Tree Service Logan
 
Galen Young
Posts: 46
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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We live in Maine. We heat our home with wood.

We use a double-barrel Vogelzang stove. It is located in the exact center of our house, and it has a ceiling fan directly over it. So none of it's heat is lost to heating an exterior wall. The ceiling fan make a huge difference in pushing heat out throughout our large house and keeping hot air from stratifying up near the ceiling.

Our Vogelzang's upper drum has 50' of 5/8" copper tubing coils in it. We have one circulator pump that circulates water through this tubing and to a thermal-bank in our basement. The idea of this loop is to extract as much heat from the woodstove as possible and to store that heat in the thermal-bank.

We then have a second circulator pump that circulates warm water from our thermal-bank and through our radiant floor. It evenly distributes the heat through out all of our house.

We have used this setup for 10 years. We are very happy with it. Among our neighbors, it is common for smaller homes to burn 8 to 15 cords of firewood each year. Our home is fairly large [at 2400 sq ft], it is well insulated and uses a little passive solar, we have been consuming 3 to 3 1/2 cords of firewood/year.

This year we will be adding one more loop. This next loop will be an Active Solar panel loop. We will add this onto our existing system. During the days we should be able to heat our thermal-bank and our home entirely from this new loop, and it should carry us through the nights too. It is possible that we may continue to need a little firewood for early mornings right before the sun comes up.

We anticipate that these new Active Solar panels should reduce our 'home-heating' firewood consumption to less than one cord per year.
 
Bryant John
Posts: 12
Location: Logan UT
trees woodworking
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That is incredible and well above my current ability to understand    . was this your first project with rocket mass heaters and if so did you rely on any resources like books or PDFs? thanks!
 
Galen Young
Posts: 46
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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Bryant John wrote:That is incredible and well above my current ability to understand    . was this your first project with rocket mass heaters and if so did you rely on any resources like books or PDFs? thanks!


We have had a number of homes through the years. We have used many different styles of heating systems in previous homes [oil, coal and wood].

A Vogelzang is not a rocket mass heater. This is significantly more efficient than a rocket mass heater.

Voglezang wood stoves are very cheap. Our entire home heating system, to date, has cost less than $1,000 to build [stove, copper, pumps, tanks, PEX, stove pipe, etc].


 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 678
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
62
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
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Hello Bryant. Welcome to Permies. Great to have you join us. And, a hello to you Galen, as well.

Hope you'll find lots of interesting things here. It's crazy big and wildly exciting, if you like that kinda stuff 😀.
 
Satamax Antone
gardener
Posts: 2257
Location: Southern alps, on the French side of the french /italian border 5000ft high Southern alpine climate.
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http://batchrocket.eu/en/
 
Glenn Herbert
gardener
Posts: 2177
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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"A Vogelzang is not a rocket mass heater. This is significantly more efficient than a rocket mass heater"

I have to point out that a Vogelzang, while indeed very different from a rocket mass heater, is not more efficient, unless maybe it is highly modified with thermal storage mass and improved combustion features. A RMH burns all of the smoke and saves nearly all of the heat for later use over hours or days after the fire is out. A copper collector coil in the upper barrel of a double-barrel Vogelzang could scavenge some of the waste heat, but not all.
 
Galen Young
Posts: 46
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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There is an efficiency of burn, and there is an overall efficiency of system design

If your exhaust is hot you are losing heat, and that reduces overall efficiency.

If any volatile gasses escape from the combustion chamber, that reduces overall efficiency.

If your thermal mass sits outside of your building envelope and radiates most of the heat outside, that reduces overall efficiency.

If your device sits next to an exterior wall, so instead of heating the room, it heats an exterior wall, that reduces overall efficiency.

If you can get a complete burn of all burnable fuel, and contain that heat into storage [either for later use, and transport it for use in another location] then you are looking at an extreme level of overall efficiency.
 
Glenn Herbert
gardener
Posts: 2177
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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An excellent summary of all the relevant factors in heating efficiency.

A standard RMH by design covers most of these, and with good placement in a compatible building will cover all of them. A barrel stove would need considerable modification to do the same, including reshaping the internal combustion zone and eliminating direct radiation from the primary barrel with insulation.
 
Galen Young
Posts: 46
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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Glenn Herbert wrote:.... A barrel stove would need considerable modification to do the same, including reshaping the internal combustion zone and eliminating direct radiation from the primary barrel with insulation.


It was not difficult to get my upper drum to function as a secondary combustion chamber.

Our exhaust is cool enough that I can place my hand on the stove pipe.

There are no volatile gasses escaping.

The entire thermal mass sits inside our home.

Our woodstove sits in the exact center of our house [20' from the nearest external wall]

We get a complete burn. Some of the heat is directly radiated into our living room, and we contain the rest of the heat into storage, where it is evenly distributed through-out our house.

 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2483
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
466
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
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Galen Young wrote:This year we will be adding one more loop. This next loop will be an Active Solar panel loop. We will add this onto our existing system. During the days we should be able to heat our thermal-bank and our home entirely from this new loop, and it should carry us through the nights too. It is possible that we may continue to need a little firewood for early mornings right before the sun comes up.


And during times when it's cloudy for days in a row.
 
Galen Young
Posts: 46
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Galen Young wrote:This year we will be adding one more loop. This next loop will be an Active Solar panel loop. We will add this onto our existing system. During the days we should be able to heat our thermal-bank and our home entirely from this new loop, and it should carry us through the nights too. It is possible that we may continue to need a little firewood for early mornings right before the sun comes up.


And during times when it's cloudy for days in a row.


We will see. For my Photo-Voltaic panels any cloud cover stops power production. However people keep telling me that even on an overcast day heat still comes through. I am very curious to see how much comes through the clouds.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2483
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
466
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
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My greenhouse right now, in mid-afternoon is 61 F. Outside temperature is 46 F. It's been raining off and on for most of the day with an occasional ray of sunshine.

The solar home I grew up in was marvelous at capturing heat in the coldest part of winter, especially when there was snow on the ground to reflect basically double power onto the collectors. When we most needed supplemental heat was during our spring rainy season: on days like today.

I love radiant heated floors!
 
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