Im in Orange County, CA zone 10a mediterranean climate. Rain comes in the winter and sometimes we dip into the 30s F at night, but never have frosts. I have a lot of fruittrees already, but want a more tropical variety. Usually they will die in the winter under 40F and do poorly under 50F or so. Id like to have a greenhouse eventually, but dont want to build it really big. So Ive got the idea of a circular outdoor sitting area on the south side of my house with a cob bench with 6’ backrest on the inside of the circle for warming people and a wall/backrest on the outside of the circle for espaliered tropical fruit trees.
I want this design to minimize the heat lost innthe riser for warming air/cooking on, and maximize the heat stored in the wall/root zone for the longest period of time. Im not opposed to a cooktop as an accessory, I like cooking outside, but the main purpose is to burn junk mail, amazon boxes and scrap wood to heat tropical trees in the winter. The wall will be south and southwest facing, so that should help, and it doesnt need to get to 90+F, 60-70F at the wall surface would be optimal.
Most designs Ive seen are for indoor use so the barrel emitting heat isnt a problem, but I feel like its a waste when its outside and youre not cooking. Ive read that the max flue pipe length is around 50’, could a bell/stratification chamber be longer? I dont need very many bends, just one pass under the bench/wall and out a chimney within the wall. Im figuring the heat will rise through the wall, and would probably take a long burn to get this massive thing up to temp, but once its there I could do a few hours every day to maintain the heat.
What do you guys think? If theres any links that are relevant please post them, has anyone tried this before?
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