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Thekla McDaniels
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Well, if everyone who thinks they'll wait for the next one would buy the current one and start saving money, maybe that would speed the R&D, without you having to put a lot of time into a kickstart campaign, again, I'm cheering for your success.
 
Sky Huddleston
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Well, if everyone who thinks they'll wait for the next one would buy the current one and start saving money, maybe that would speed the R&D, without you having to put a lot of time into a kickstart campaign, again, I'm cheering for your success.


Exactly and spot on!
 
Chris Holcombe
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The heater looks really interesting but I remembered that Oregon won't let me install anything that isn't EPA compliant :-/. There was a wood stove here before we moved in but part of the mortgage  agreement required the non epa stove to be certified destroyed or I would be denied a mortgage. I saw one of the previous posts saying you were thinking about epa testing. Update this thread if you do and you'll have another customer
 
Sky Huddleston
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Chris Holcombe wrote:The heater looks really interesting but I remembered that Oregon won't let me install anything that isn't EPA compliant :-/. There was a wood stove here before we moved in but part of the mortgage  agreement required the non epa stove to be certified destroyed or I would be denied a mortgage. I saw one of the previous posts saying you were thinking about epa testing. Update this thread if you do and you'll have another customer


I have a quick question for everyone, if I started a Kickstarter for 10 grand just to get my current models EPA tested and certified, would any of you be interested?
 
Rob Read
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Hi Sky,

I don't know what your base price per unit is currently is on your website (still can't access it from my location for some reason) - but if kickstarter supporters got a bit of a savings on buying EPA approved ones, I'm sure you'd have no problem. I'd support the kickstarter to get a bit of a price deal - plus the value of EPA approval, which it sounds like for some states is mandatory.

You are so far along with the proof of concept, and already selling non-EPA approved units - and you could add stretch goals for the 2.0 model's R&D.
 
Sky Huddleston
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Rob Read wrote:Hi Sky,

I don't know what your base price per unit is currently is on your website (still can't access it from my location for some reason) - but if kickstarter supporters got a bit of a savings on buying EPA approved ones, I'm sure you'd have no problem. I'd support the kickstarter to get a bit of a price deal - plus the value of EPA approval, which it sounds like for some states is mandatory.

You are so far along with the proof of concept, and already selling non-EPA approved units - and you could add stretch goals for the 2.0 model's R&D.


The base price for everything is 1500 dollars (shipping not included). However we could give a discount of 1500 for any kickstarter supporters as EPA certified ones will include the insulation and their base price will be 1800 dollars.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Sky Huddleston wrote:

The base price for everything is 1500 dollars (shipping not included). However we could give a discount of 1500 for any kickstarter supporters as EPA certified ones will include the insulation and their base price will be 1800 dollars.


Do you mean a discount of $300,  bringing the price of the $1800 epa model to $1500 for backers?

Did I read you right?  Though I can be kind of a hair splitter, I don't mean to be nit picky, I just want to understand.

It seems like a better bet for a kickstart campaign than the other idea, half the price, probably a shorter wait time.  I guess epa rating is a very meaningful to mass culture, building codes and so forth.  It's kind of beside the point for rocket stoves, but the masses don't understand rocket stoves.  But if this goes forward, they will.
 
Sky Huddleston
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:
Sky Huddleston wrote:

The base price for everything is 1500 dollars (shipping not included). However we could give a discount of 1500 for any kickstarter supporters as EPA certified ones will include the insulation and their base price will be 1800 dollars.


Do you mean a discount of $300,  bringing the price of the $1800 epa model to $1500 for backers?

Did I read you right?  Though I can be kind of a hair splitter, I don't mean to be nit picky, I just want to understand.

It seems like a better bet for a kickstart campaign than the other idea, half the price, probably a shorter wait time.  I guess epa rating is a very meaningful to mass culture, building codes and so forth.  It's kind of beside the point for rocket stoves, but the masses don't understand rocket stoves.  But if this goes forward, they will.


I wouldn't call 300 dollars trivial or hair splitting. If you lost 300 dollars from your pay for a month, even just once, would it still be hair splitting? lol.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Oh, Sorry, Sky, I wasn't calling 300 nit picky at all, I was referring to my desire for clarification to what might have clear to everyone but me.  I think $300 is a generous discount, gift, reward!  Depending on which way you do the calculations, 300 is 20 % of 1500.  Thats a lot. 

Sorry for the misunderstanding.
Thekla
 
Chris Holcombe
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Depending on how much the kickstarter levels are I'd probably pitch in.
 
Brett Hammond
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I would kick in $25 just because I think it is a neat idea. Maybe 100 others will too, which will get you part of they way to your EPA certification goal.  Maybe list cheap supporters on a web page, or some such.

I don't know if it is technically possible, but I bet if you sold a glass cleanout door so people could see the flame it would help sales. People (like me) love to sit in front of a fireplace or woodstove and watch the flame dancing and cast a warm glow into the room while pondering the complexities of the universe.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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yeah, and that warm glow that we like to look at also heats our skin, making us comfortable at a cooler air temp ... see Paul's research:
http://www.richsoil.com/electric-heat.jsp
 
Brett Hammond
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Sky,

Any guestimate on the BTU output during your 10 hour pellet burn? I didn't see any mention in your manual or web site or in this discussion. My apologies if I missed it.

Brett
 
Keith Kuhnsman
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Learning newbie question here, so tell me where I go wrong...

I also am in an area driven by adherence to building codes.  Montgomery County, MD: "progressive " to the point of stifling anything not in the party manual.

The stove itself is code compliant and freestanding, yes?  Also, like a regular stove it will give off a good bit of direct heat to warm space up fast if needed, right?

If the exhaust tubing is run through a cob or other masonry "bench" structure and then out the wall, would you still get some of the benefits of a regular RMH installation in terms of long term heat storage and dissipation?  Or would there not be enough heat storage?

A hybrid, yes, with some issues to work out, but that may make it feasible.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Happy trails.
 
Hans Quistorff
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If the exhaust tubing is run through a cob or other masonry "bench" structure and then out the wall, would you still get some of the benefits of a regular RMH installation in terms of long term heat storage and dissipation?  Or would there not be enough heat storage?

What my neighbor did was build what looks somewhat like a Rumford fireplace only with an arched opening, entirely inside the walls of his house and put a wood stove under the arch. None of the heat absorbed by the masonry is lost to the outdoors. 
Another example is an octagon log cabin in northern Maine that had a field stone fireplace in the center. The upper part radiated heat into the sleeping loft.
So I suggest if you are starting from scratch you can build a code compliant masonry structure and use the code compliant rocket stove as an insert as in the opening illustration on this thread.
 
Brett Hammond
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Keith Kuhnsman wrote:?

If the exhaust tubing is run through a cob or other masonry "bench" structure and then out the wall, would you still get some of the benefits of a regular RMH installation in terms of long term heat storage and dissipation?  Or would there not be enough heat storage?

A hybrid, yes, with some issues to work out, but that may make it feasible.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Happy trails.


Keith, I am right up the road in Frederick MD. Based on a video someone posted earlier of an independant (albeit not-very-scientific) evaluation of the stove, the vast majority of heat is dumped into the room. The exhaust stack was warm to the touch, suggesting you could capture some of that heat via a bench, but not much heat is going up the stack.

Hans raises a good point. Keep all your thermal mass inside your buildinginsulation envelope, or you are just heating the outside air. I had a woodstove in a stick built drafty home that heated it to 90 degrees F if I wanted to, but by morning the fire was out and it was cold in the building. Also, the relative humidy being the same, but with different temps, means I sometimes woke up to wet/dewy surfaces, which ruined a lot of stuff. I am hoping to build a new house in the next few years and it will have a huge amount of thermal mass so the temp remains constant when the heat goes out. I will have stained concrete floors (insulated below), brick or stone accent walls, stone or concrete countertops, tile bath, etc. It will be a long skinny house with lots of windows on the south side for passive solar heat onto the concrete floor, with a 12 inch overhang/soffit at 8 ft to shade the floor in summer. And mini-blinds for shade in winter, if I want it. And 12 inch double walls insulated with packed cellulose on the north, east and west walls with few windows for cross ventilation. But I think all this is mentioned on other threads. My apologies for rambling off-topic.
 
Sky Huddleston
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Keith Kuhnsman wrote:Learning newbie question here, so tell me where I go wrong...

I also am in an area driven by adherence to building codes.  Montgomery County, MD: "progressive " to the point of stifling anything not in the party manual.

The stove itself is code compliant and freestanding, yes?  Also, like a regular stove it will give off a good bit of direct heat to warm space up fast if needed, right?

If the exhaust tubing is run through a cob or other masonry "bench" structure and then out the wall, would you still get some of the benefits of a regular RMH installation in terms of long term heat storage and dissipation?  Or would there not be enough heat storage?

A hybrid, yes, with some issues to work out, but that may make it feasible.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Happy trails.


The stove is code compliant and freestanding. It heats up very fast and cools down very fast. If you run the exhaust through a thermal bench then you will get some long term heat storage in the thermal battery.
 
Dean Howard
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I'm jumping in kind of late, so forgive me if things have been covered already...
I'm impressed with your knowledge and fine design.  For those of us who like the traditional RMH, we want low exit temps, meaning things have stayed in the building, i.e.; radiated barrel heat, heat storage in a bench, etc.
1)  What is the expected average temp leaving your stove, as it is presently designed?...and
2)  How much chimney air can you push?  In other words... some stoves need the draw of the chimney to work.... or  Can I go straight out the wall like a pellet stove?
3)  What size pipe is exiting your stove?

So you'll know... I presently have a Wise-way, gravity-fed, non-electric Pellet Stove, which works marginally well at my 7,000ft altitude and present piping.  I like the idea of multiple fuels, no electricity, and the extra "engine" of the RMH to push the exhaust out.

Thanks
 
Sky Huddleston
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Dean Howard wrote:I'm jumping in kind of late, so forgive me if things have been covered already...
I'm impressed with your knowledge and fine design.  For those of us who like the traditional RMH, we want low exit temps, meaning things have stayed in the building, i.e.; radiated barrel heat, heat storage in a bench, etc.
1)  What is the expected average temp leaving your stove, as it is presently designed?...and
2)  How much chimney air can you push?  In other words... some stoves need the draw of the chimney to work.... or  Can I go straight out the wall like a pellet stove?
3)  What size pipe is exiting your stove?

So you'll know... I presently have a Wise-way, gravity-fed, non-electric Pellet Stove, which works marginally well at my 7,000ft altitude and present piping.  I like the idea of multiple fuels, no electricity, and the extra "engine" of the RMH to push the exhaust out.

Thanks


The exhaust temps on single walled black pipe seldom get over 200 F. and usually remain below 200 F. The stove does burn with horizontal exhaust but it does a LOT better with a vertical rise/flue. Because its NRTL listed we have to waste some of the heat because to meet conventional building codes we MUST go through a Class A chimney pipe and if the gases are too cold then they will start pushing down inside the chimney which is even worse than a horizontal exhaust hence we have to waste some of the heat to meet conventional safety standards, that is UL-1482. Any appliance that burns wood must go through a Class A Chimney (the Kimberly supposedly does not, and I honestly have no clue how they did that because UL-1482 safety standards is very strict about this. So I'm at a loss there TBH).

The stove uses standard 6" black stove pipe connector to a Class A Chimney or masonry chimney. Again, this is to meet conventional standards and also so people can use universal parts and just go to the hardware store to get everything needed for installation.

To meet these building codes a LOT of sacrifices have to be made. To be shippable anywhere in the worlds, sacrifices must be made. To keep it affordable and easy. . . . Er to manufacture, sacrifices must be made. Its not the best Rocket Heater and I'll be the first to admit it. But its a good one, and its one that meets codes, and ot gravity feeds a single bag of pellets for over 11 hours on one bag.
 
Michael Heath
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I was wondering if someone could check my math.  If, as has been said, this rocket stove can get by on 2 40 pound bags of pellets per day, and buying pellets in bulk usually come in a 1 ton quantity, then that would be 50 40 pound bags per ton (2000 pounds).  So that burn rate of 2 bags per day would last approximately 25 days.  Not quite one month.  The reason I ask, is that I usually get by on a little less than one cord of split wood in my hearthstone woodstove per month such that I can usually make it through the winter on approximately 3 cords of wood.  Now, I don't heat the upstairs, and the basement mainly gets heat soaking through the uninsulated floor, enough so that the pipes don't freeze, so I scale back to be able to get by on that amount.  I get a cord of hardwood tree trimmings from a tree service for around 180.00, so that gives me a grand total of 540.00 per year in heating costs.  I've don't think I've seen any pallets of pellets that go for less than 200.00, so to heat with a rate of 2 40 pound bags per day would run me right at 800.00 (approximately 100 days or 200 bags of pellets @ 200.00 per 50 bags).  I'm finding it hard to believe that 2 bags per day is a good burn rate, given my circumstances.  Do pellet stoves get a better rate than this rocket stove, or does 2 40 pound bags per day sound about right for any pellet burning stove?

inquiring minds probably could care less, but I want to know (c8.
Thanks,
 
Sky Huddleston
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Michael Heath wrote:I was wondering if someone could check my math.  If, as has been said, this rocket stove can get by on 2 40 pound bags of pellets per day, and buying pellets in bulk usually come in a 1 ton quantity, then that would be 50 40 pound bags per ton (2000 pounds).  So that burn rate of 2 bags per day would last approximately 25 days.  Not quite one month.  The reason I ask, is that I usually get by on a little less than one cord of split wood in my hearthstone woodstove per month such that I can usually make it through the winter on approximately 3 cords of wood.  Now, I don't heat the upstairs, and the basement mainly gets heat soaking through the uninsulated floor, enough so that the pipes don't freeze, so I scale back to be able to get by on that amount.  I get a cord of hardwood tree trimmings from a tree service for around 180.00, so that gives me a grand total of 540.00 per year in heating costs.  I've don't think I've seen any pallets of pellets that go for less than 200.00, so to heat with a rate of 2 40 pound bags per day would run me right at 800.00 (approximately 100 days or 200 bags of pellets @ 200.00 per 50 bags).  I'm finding it hard to believe that 2 bags per day is a good burn rate, given my circumstances.  Do pellet stoves get a better rate than this rocket stove, or does 2 40 pound bags per day sound about right for any pellet burning stove?

inquiring minds probably could care less, but I want to know (c8.
Thanks,


I don't know how large your house is, but running this heater on pellets constantly will likely heat you out of your house. Unless your house is over 2200 square feet, that is! Also, adding a flue damper will increase the burn time.By how much varies, but my estimates are anywhere from 14 to 20 hours.

Do note that a pallet of pellets is 4' X 4' X 4' which is half a card in terms of volume. Pellets are usually more than wood in terms of cost, people buy them for the convenience of a super long burn time.

You also must factor in that most pellet stoves use 15 to 30 dollars of electricity each month and their parts go out quite frequently and are very expensive to replace and time consuming to rebuild as electric pellet stoves are overcomplicated to say the least. The only wear part here is a 304 SS burn grate that one replaces yearly or so, and the part costs ten dollars. So this heater is already cheaper to operate just on the fact its non-electric alone. Thats not even factoring the cost of the replacement parts for conventional pellet stoves.

Pellets are an alternative to electric, fuel oil, and propane. In many area's of the country, you'll be hard pressed to beat the price of wood. Which is why this heater can also burn wood, too!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Speaking of pellets and the stoves that burn them, I have one, and it is my "solar assist" form of heat.  The building code people required some kind of assist, and so electric base board heat is also present, but never used.  I use less than one ton of pellets a year, so I guess my solar is working very well, but I don't keep the house very warm, so I don't "know" as in measured and documented. 

I have a pretty cold winter, conventional insulation (in 2x6 framing), and lots of glass.  The code people had input on the glass too.  Though it's designed to be shaded by eaves in the summer, I still have glass that reflects so much heat, that summer or winter, if the sunlight reflected from the windows hits your skin it is noticeably hot.  Even if I have sunlight on my skin, where the reflected light hits me, it is much hotter.  I am missing a lot of solar gain that the pellet stove has to make up for.

I don't know anyone who keeps their pellet stove burning continuously 24 hours a day, except the woman who sells them.  So, I wonder about the figures that say a person would burn a ton a month.

About the volume comparison to a cord of wood, the pellets are compressed, and I think there is a lot less airspace in the bags and stacks of bags, than in a stack of wood, a weight  comparison would give more useful information, average weight of a cord I guess.  And I guess pellets would compare to hardwood rather than soft.

I wonder too, about the calculation that an electric pellet stove uses $15.00 in electricity per month.  Again, I have no reference point, because I have solar panels in a grid tie system.  I think if the pellet stove were using that much electricity, then I would not run a net gain every year, I mean, I produce more electricity than I use, and as far as I can see, my biggest uses are the irrigation pump and the swamp cooler, but again, I never got one of those meters and went around the house measuring things.

I don't know if all this will be of use to anyone, but thought it was worth adding to the conversation.
 
Sky Huddleston
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Speaking of pellets and the stoves that burn them, I have one, and it is my "solar assist" form of heat.  The building code people required some kind of assist, and so electric base board heat is also present, but never used.  I use less than one ton of pellets a year, so I guess my solar is working very well, but I don't keep the house very warm, so I don't "know" as in measured and documented. 

I have a pretty cold winter, conventional insulation (in 2x6 framing), and lots of glass.  The code people had input on the glass too.  Though it's designed to be shaded by eaves in the summer, I still have glass that reflects so much heat, that summer or winter, if the sunlight reflected from the windows hits your skin it is noticeably hot.  Even if I have sunlight on my skin, where the reflected light hits me, it is much hotter.  I am missing a lot of solar gain that the pellet stove has to make up for.

I don't know anyone who keeps their pellet stove burning continuously 24 hours a day, except the woman who sells them.  So, I wonder about the figures that say a person would burn a ton a month.

About the volume comparison to a cord of wood, the pellets are compressed, and I think there is a lot less airspace in the bags and stacks of bags, than in a stack of wood, a weight  comparison would give more useful information, average weight of a cord I guess.  And I guess pellets would compare to hardwood rather than soft.

I wonder too, about the calculation that an electric pellet stove uses $15.00 in electricity per month.  Again, I have no reference point, because I have solar panels in a grid tie system.  I think if the pellet stove were using that much electricity, then I would not run a net gain every year, I mean, I produce more electricity than I use, and as far as I can see, my biggest uses are the irrigation pump and the swamp cooler, but again, I never got one of those meters and went around the house measuring things.

I don't know if all this will be of use to anyone, but thought it was worth adding to the conversation.


Pellets come in both hardwood and softwood variety, which adds a lot of confusion to this forum. It really depends on where you live in the country that determines what pellets are made of. Electric usage also depends on the pellet stove and how expensive electric is in your area. There are a lot of variables.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Sky Huddleston wrote:

Pellets come in both hardwood and softwood variety


but once they are pellets, a ton is a ton isn't it?  I thought I read that BTUs generated from wood are pretty constant by weight, whether from hard or soft wood, it's just that the soft woods take up more space, therefore a cord of soft wood is going to yield less heat/ fewer BTUs.  Or did I misunderstand?

 
Sky Huddleston
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:
Sky Huddleston wrote:

Pellets come in both hardwood and softwood variety


but once they are pellets, a ton is a ton isn't it?  I thought I read that BTUs generated from wood are pretty constant by weight, whether from hard or soft wood, it's just that the soft woods take up more space, therefore a cord of soft wood is going to yield less heat/ fewer BTUs.  Or did I misunderstand?



Yes and no. Softwood pellets are still compressed sawdust and the sawdust does have different property's due to how softwood/hardwood cellular structures and whatnot are different. So they will still have different burn characteristics, just not as many as compared to regular cordwood.
 
Michael Heath
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Sky Huddleston wrote:

I don't know how large your house is, but running this heater on pellets constantly will likely heat you out of your house. Unless your house is over 2200 square feet, that is! Also, adding a flue damper will increase the burn time.By how much varies, but my estimates are anywhere from 14 to 20 hours.

Do note that a pallet of pellets is 4' X 4' X 4' which is half a card in terms of volume. Pellets are usually more than wood in terms of cost, people buy them for the convenience of a super long burn time.

You also must factor in that most pellet stoves use 15 to 30 dollars of electricity each month and their parts go out quite frequently and are very expensive to replace and time consuming to rebuild as electric pellet stoves are overcomplicated to say the least. The only wear part here is a 304 SS burn grate that one replaces yearly or so, and the part costs ten dollars. So this heater is already cheaper to operate just on the fact its non-electric alone. Thats not even factoring the cost of the replacement parts for conventional pellet stoves.

Pellets are an alternative to electric, fuel oil, and propane. In many area's of the country, you'll be hard pressed to beat the price of wood. Which is why this heater can also burn wood, too!


Aha!  That may be the piece I was looking for.  Just because I CAN run the rocket heater on 2 bags of pellets a day, doesn't mean that I will WANT to run it that long.  (Honey, it's too hot in here, let's open a window).  And if I run it less, then I will burn less.  In the coldest part of the winter, I usually do 3 feedings a day on my soapstone (radiant) woodstove, Once in the morning to warm it up for dressing and bathroom activities, once around 1 or two in the afternoon to take the chill off and keep the burn going, but only if it is really cold, and once just before going to bed to keep the burn through the night.  So really only 3 armloads of wood on the coldest days, and possibly less than that depending upon how cold it gets.

Also, "adding a flue damper will increase the burn time".  Now I'm still in the studying and learning stage, but I kind of got the impression that you don't want anything slowing down the exhaust from a rocket heater (because it no longer sounds like a rocket?).  I assumed that was because you don't want backdraft or smoke ending up coming out of the feeder hole into the living space.  In my soapstone wood burner, I've found that I have to open the damper whenever I open the feed door or I can fill the house with smoke.  So a rocket heater CAN have a flue damper?  Does'nt that get a bit fiddly trying to keep it adjusted just right to lessen the burn rate and yet still allow enough of a throughput to keep the smoke from coming out the input?

I did call it a pallet of pellets, didn't I?  That's what I get for trying to be alliterative.  I really only meant a ton of pellets.  Which makes sense if one pallet of pellets is half a cord (half a ton?).

I agree that pellets should cost more because of their convenience.  They are processed sawdust, and like all things processed cost more than the raw materials used to make them.  However, I would much rather schlep around a 40pound bag of pellets(my chickenfeed comes in bigger bags than that!) then to try and keep wood ready and available.  Others may wax poetic about traipsing out into the cold snowy woods, hewing down a stately tree and processing it into stove sized bites, but not me.  Growing up, my father's idea was that we should cut wood (and usually at 5am in the morning) the morning after I had partied too hard.  That and being in the land of the long-thorn where they can stab through leather gloves, boots and tractor tires, has kind of dampened my enthusiasm for tree harvesting.  So I am willing to pay for convenience.  And in my opinion, that's why some pellet stoves have more moving parts, for the convenience.  Some have connections to a thermostat, which make it pretty much like any gas or electric furnance.  It only feeds pellets as it needs to, to raise or lower the temperature of the rooms it is charged with heating.  In this case, all you would need to do is keep the pellet hopper full (and you can get F.O.U.S hopper feeders - Feeders of Unusual Size - so you wouldn't even have to do that very often).

Don't get me wrong, we just went through 3 hours of no electric after a storm (longest in 5 years, so I guess we were due), so I understand the need for not being tied to the grid.  In fact, that was one of the considerations behind our choosing a soapstone stove, the fact that it could keep the pipes from freezing without the need for electricity.  But just because I understand it, doesn't mean I wouldn't want the convenience that comes with electricity and pellets.

It seems then that you offer a good middle ground.  Pellets, so convenience over wood and comparable burn rates, but no electricity so less convenience than a more automated system.  Have you given any thought to maybe running on very low wattage/amperage?  Something that might be sustainable by a deepcycle battery?  The three uses for electricity (that I see) are pellet delivery, thermostatic control and starting a burn in a cold stove.  You have already solved the pellet delivery, a low amperage solution could also take care of the thermostatic control.  The only problem I see with a low watt electric system is when it needs to start a cold stove.  That low of an amperage would not operate a heater to start the pellets.  Or could it?  I suppose it could, but that would take a lot of juice from the battery so you couldn't do it very often. 

Anyway, I'm rambling.

Once again, more questions than answers.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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In my part of the world, a pallet of pellets is one ton of pellets, fifty 40 pound bags.
 
Sky Huddleston
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You got a lot of questions here so let me go by it line by line.

Michael Heath wrote:

Also, "adding a flue damper will increase the burn time".  Now I'm still in the studying and learning stage, but I kind of got the impression that you don't want anything slowing down the exhaust from a rocket heater (because it no longer sounds like a rocket?).  I assumed that was because you don't want backdraft or smoke ending up coming out of the feeder hole into the living space.  In my soapstone wood burner, I've found that I have to open the damper whenever I open the feed door or I can fill the house with smoke.  So a rocket heater CAN have a flue damper?  Does'nt that get a bit fiddly trying to keep it adjusted just right to lessen the burn rate and yet still allow enough of a throughput to keep the smoke from coming out the input?


^In most Rocket Heaters they use thermal mass and so the internal chimney must push the gases through that to burn. Hence you don't damper it. We are having some more waste heat than a normal RMH and we have tested it and it still burns clean with a damper. It will still draft strong, just not AS strong.

Michael Heath wrote:

Don't get me wrong, we just went through 3 hours of no electric after a storm (longest in 5 years, so I guess we were due), so I understand the need for not being tied to the grid.  In fact, that was one of the considerations behind our choosing a soapstone stove, the fact that it could keep the pipes from freezing without the need for electricity.  But just because I understand it, doesn't mean I wouldn't want the convenience that comes with electricity and pellets.


^Our rocket heater can also burn wood, too. So you are not tied to pellets. You can burn free fuel in the form of sticks and waste during the day, and pellets when you are gone and for overnight. This extreme veratility is something no other commercial pellet or wood stove can offer.

Michael Heath wrote:

It seems then that you offer a good middle ground.  Pellets, so convenience over wood and comparable burn rates, but no electricity so less convenience than a more automated system.  Have you given any thought to maybe running on very low wattage/amperage?  Something that might be sustainable by a deepcycle battery?  The three uses for electricity (that I see) are pellet delivery, thermostatic control and starting a burn in a cold stove.  You have already solved the pellet delivery, a low amperage solution could also take care of the thermostatic control.  The only problem I see with a low watt electric system is when it needs to start a cold stove.  That low of an amperage would not operate a heater to start the pellets.  Or could it?  I suppose it could, but that would take a lot of juice from the battery so you couldn't do it very often.


^Pellet delivery via electric depends on augers and motors and gearing, which all wear out and need to be constantly replaced and rebuilt. There is no need to automate pellet delivery. Besides, we are using stratified downdraft combustion in this heater so we are burning more efficiency than most any other pellet stove, and auger feeding that system is nigh impossible. The best thermostat would be a flue damper thats controlled by a computer, or even better, a mechanical thermostat that turns the damper one way or another until your desired heat is reached. But this would be very very complicated still and would add tremendous cost. Its not worth it for the general consumer. If we had a stove that "did it all and did it best" it would be at least a 25 thousand dollar heater. This is no exaggeration. My father and I actually joked on the way back from the Mother Earth News Fair of building such a heater just to show the general public what all the suggestions we get entails and the cost associated with them. I'm off track. Low voltage for cold start is not possible. Self starting pellet stoves have what are essentially glow plugs with ceramic over them that must run for several minutes if not longer to heat the pellets to the point of auto-ignition. This draws a LOT of electric. A whole lot. So, simply put, electric stove with a low voltage battery is not going to happen. Now, a very large, very expensive, high voltage battery, maybe. But the battery alone will run you at least 300 dollars. Even if you used a cheap led acid automobile battery, have you seen the price of those recently? lol.

 
Marla Kacey
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Hello, Sky!!

Amazing product!!  At 60, and loosing vitality on a daily basis, building my own rocket stove seems rather unlikely.

One simple question:  if I pay for one of your stoves today, how soon can I expect delivery to a small town near Laramie WY?

And, after reading this ENTIRE thread, I hope you haven't already answered and I just missed it.  Hate feeling dumb.

Thank you so much!
 
Sky Huddleston
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Marla Kacey wrote:Hello, Sky!!

Amazing product!!  At 60, and loosing vitality on a daily basis, building my own rocket stove seems rather unlikely.

One simple question:  if I pay for one of your stoves today, how soon can I expect delivery to a small town near Laramie WY?

And, after reading this ENTIRE thread, I hope you haven't already answered and I just missed it.  Hate feeling dumb.

Thank you so much!


Delivery usually takes less than a week to your doorstop.
 
Scott Saxon
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Sky Huddleston wrote:
^Our rocket heater can also burn wood, too. So you are not tied to pellets. You can burn free fuel in the form of sticks and waste during the day, and pellets when you are gone and for overnight. This extreme versatility is something no other commercial pellet or wood stove can offer.

I read the entire thread (whew) and have one question.  Sky, you said it would burn waste, and the video of the guy "testing" showed he fed in coal and even a duraflame log down the regular feed tube.  I am thinking your stove will burn darn near anything, including wood chips.  Evidently most pellet stoves will not burn chips, due to the auger feeds, but it looks like anything you put into the hopper will drop down into the burn chamber and get consumed.  In our situation, for at least this one winter, which is fast approaching, where we will be living in two RVs inside an 1800 sf presently uninsulated pole barn in Minnesota, where temps can get to sub zero I'm told, we will likely be burning 24-7.  So instead of buying pellets for $dollar$, couldn't one get a chipper and run some sticks through the chipper and then feed the chips into the hopper? This property has maybe 40 acres of wooded land that has been neglected for probably 20 years.  Lots of usable wood in all sizes and states of decomposition.

We'll also be setting up a simple inefficient cast iron stove that we can throw logs in during the day, but it won't carry us through the night.  We figure if we can keep the barn to 50 degrees or so, the propane heaters in the RVs can do the rest.  This is a temporary fix for this winter only.

I am collecting bunch of more efficient ideas and plans, and will eventually be insulating the two pole barns - setting up my machine shop - rebuilding the 1860 something farmhouse - building more rocket stoves and waste oil heaters - and playing with other heating sources, but I'm told the first freeze could arrive as soon as September, (a few weeks away) so for this one winter, we are primarily concerned with, well, actually surviving our first winter here by heating this one barn.  Fortunately we are still young and strong (71 and 73). 

Hopefully pretty soon I will set up the sawmill I made and will get a lot of sawdust from that.  Will be looking into making some sort of machine to reclaim that and press it into logs too.  But that won't happen until we are set up in the barn.  Priority one, don't freeze.

Sorry, I wandered off a bit, but wanted to give an idea of our situation.  And yes, according to what I've gathered from this forum, we could just buy enough pellets to burn 24-7 for about $250 a month, which is not unreasonable.  We could do that, but why not use what is free and at hand?

 
Sky Huddleston
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Scott Saxon wrote:
Sky Huddleston wrote:
^Our rocket heater can also burn wood, too. So you are not tied to pellets. You can burn free fuel in the form of sticks and waste during the day, and pellets when you are gone and for overnight. This extreme versatility is something no other commercial pellet or wood stove can offer.

I read the entire thread (whew) and have one question.  Sky, you said it would burn waste, and the video of the guy "testing" showed he fed in coal and even a duraflame log down the regular feed tube.  I am thinking your stove will burn darn near anything, including wood chips.  Evidently most pellet stoves will not burn chips, due to the auger feeds, but it looks like anything you put into the hopper will drop down into the burn chamber and get consumed.  In our situation, for at least this one winter, which is fast approaching, where we will be living in two RVs inside an 1800 sf presently uninsulated pole barn in Minnesota, where temps can get to sub zero I'm told, we will likely be burning 24-7.  So instead of buying pellets for $dollar$, couldn't one get a chipper and run some sticks through the chipper and then feed the chips into the hopper? This property has maybe 40 acres of wooded land that has been neglected for probably 20 years.  Lots of usable wood in all sizes and states of decomposition.

We'll also be setting up a simple inefficient cast iron stove that we can throw logs in during the day, but it won't carry us through the night.  We figure if we can keep the barn to 50 degrees or so, the propane heaters in the RVs can do the rest.  This is a temporary fix for this winter only.

I am collecting bunch of more efficient ideas and plans, and will eventually be insulating the two pole barns - setting up my machine shop - rebuilding the 1860 something farmhouse - building more rocket stoves and waste oil heaters - and playing with other heating sources, but I'm told the first freeze could arrive as soon as September, (a few weeks away) so for this one winter, we are primarily concerned with, well, actually surviving our first winter here by heating this one barn.  Fortunately we are still young and strong (71 and 73). 

Hopefully pretty soon I will set up the sawmill I made and will get a lot of sawdust from that.  Will be looking into making some sort of machine to reclaim that and press it into logs too.  But that won't happen until we are set up in the barn.  Priority one, don't freeze.

Sorry, I wandered off a bit, but wanted to give an idea of our situation.  And yes, according to what I've gathered from this forum, we could just buy enough pellets to burn 24-7 for about $250 a month, which is not unreasonable.  We could do that, but why not use what is free and at hand?



The problem with wood chips is the inconsistent sizing and bridging issues. The chips have to be extremely small, consistently sized, and even then its probably not going to be 100% reliable. We haven't tried it with wood chips so we dont know for sure if it will work. Every chipper produces slightly different size and shapes of wood chips.
 
Scott Saxon
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The problem with wood chips is the inconsistent sizing and bridging issues. The chips have to be extremely small, consistently sized, and even then its probably not going to be 100% reliable. We haven't tried it with wood chips so we dont know for sure if it will work. Every chipper produces slightly different size and shapes of wood chips.

I think I'll try it.  Maybe screening them to get some consistency in size.  Of course, to try it, I'll need to order one.  I'll do that now. 
 
Sky Huddleston
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Scott Saxon wrote:
The problem with wood chips is the inconsistent sizing and bridging issues. The chips have to be extremely small, consistently sized, and even then its probably not going to be 100% reliable. We haven't tried it with wood chips so we dont know for sure if it will work. Every chipper produces slightly different size and shapes of wood chips.

I think I'll try it.  Maybe screening them to get some consistency in size.  Of course, to try it, I'll need to order one.  I'll do that now. 


We hope it works great for you, give us an update!
 
Scott Saxon
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Scott Saxon wrote:
The problem with wood chips is the inconsistent sizing and bridging issues. The chips have to be extremely small, consistently sized, and even then its probably not going to be 100% reliable. We haven't tried it with wood chips so we dont know for sure if it will work. Every chipper produces slightly different size and shapes of wood chips.

I think I'll try it.  Maybe screening them to get some consistency in size.  Of course, to try it, I'll need to order one of your heaters.  I'll do that now. 
 
Rob Yost
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Hi Sky, I am very interested in installing one of your stoves. A couple of questions, do you foresee any problems burning mostly cedar?  I have access to lots of fallen, dried cedar, I am mostly worried about sparks coming out the feed tube and creosote build up.

Second, have you or anyone else played around with phase change materials (PCM) as an alternative to thermal mass?  My thoughts are to build a large steel pot to put on top of the heat riser with PCM materials inside. See http://www.pcmproducts.net/High_Temperature_Salt_PCMs.htm for details. My goal would be to light it twice a day and keep the house comfortable.

Lastly, have you shipped any systems to Canada, and if so, what are the approximate shipping costs?

Thanks for your dedication to clean and sustainable heating!
 
Sky Huddleston
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Rob Yost wrote:Hi Sky, I am very interested in installing one of your stoves. A couple of questions, do you foresee any problems burning mostly cedar?  I have access to lots of fallen, dried cedar, I am mostly worried about sparks coming out the feed tube and creosote build up.

Second, have you or anyone else played around with phase change materials (PCM) as an alternative to thermal mass?  My thoughts are to build a large steel pot to put on top of the heat riser with PCM materials inside. See http://www.pcmproducts.net/High_Temperature_Salt_PCMs.htm for details. My goal would be to light it twice a day and keep the house comfortable.

Lastly, have you shipped any systems to Canada, and if so, what are the approximate shipping costs?

Thanks for your dedication to clean and sustainable heating!


The heater burns cedar and other softwoods like a champ. We find it burns just as good if not better with softwoods than hardwoods.

PCM's are expensive and we might look into it for our up coming hyper-model (still in the conceptual/screening phase) but thats a LONG ways off.
 
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