Charles Reynolds

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since Jun 08, 2012
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Recent posts by Charles Reynolds

Glenn Herbert wrote:A smaller masonry mass may not store much more heat than a metal stove emits, but because it is less conductive than metal it will take longer for all the heat to reach the cabin. You would have to burn longer to heat up the space, but you would get some flywheel effect... maybe only a few hours of it, but still better than the almost instant on/off of a metal stove.



I'm thinking much the same. The advantages of thermal mass are
1. it stays warm so the draft should stay for quite a while even after the fire goes out.
2. some residual heat bleed over a few hours after the fire goes out
3. lower immediate heat output due to absorption in the thermal mass should mean I won't get overheated by burning at clean temperatures

I suspect something like this is how the Kimberly stoves are working, but not having access to one to tear it apart, I can't confirm. Anyone have any speculation on how they achieve their claims?
4 years ago
So I still haven't given up on this idea. I'm now thinking a downdraft gasification burn box with a bell on either side of a cooktop. It would be more like a tile stove than an RMH or proper masonry heater, possibly mass around 1/2 ton on a footprint of about 48"l x 30"w x 40"h. I will probably mock something up in the next couple of weeks and test for thermal retention. My biggest worry is that something this small won't retain heat very much better than a stove of mild steel.
4 years ago

Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote: Just wondering why propane and/or homemade biogas didn't make it on your list?



Propane and LPG, and other petroleum fuels, didn't make the list because I cannot self-generate them and I cannot trust the continual availability at an affordable price. Yes, they are relatively low cost and available now, but that's likely to change in the next decade or two. While I could wait and purchase or build new equipment for whatever fuel choice is made at that time, I think my money is better spent on buying and working with current-available alternate fuels.

Biogas didn't make the list because it's very difficult to create from a mobile platform.

Wood would be an excellent choice, especially for heating, except for low energy density.
8 years ago
If you have a crawlspace beneath the house, you could always use the stakes+plastic liner idea above, but brace the stakes against the undersides of the house and install insulated skirting. Some means of solar heating wouldn't be terribly difficult with such an arrangement, either.
8 years ago

John Polk wrote:All of the kerosene stoves that I have had/used needed to be preheated...with alcohol...before use.



Pressurized kerosene stoves are a relatively new phenomenon. I believe it's an attempt to increase heat yield for a given volume of fuel burned. For wick-type stoves, see: http://kerostove.com/. The gravity feed stoves are recreations of stove types which were relatively common even in the US until the end of WWII.

Alcohol certainly seems to be a cleaner burning fuel.



See your old Trangia camping stove. Before it gets burning well, smokes smokes and smudges as much anything. Once it gets going, though, the biggest issue is the amount of moisture that re-condenses on the bottom of your pot!

I have this same question posed to the kerostoves vendor (also whether the two-burner multi-wick design is available with the higher-output burners.) I just don't want all my info coming from one source. Thus, the question here. A quick Google search produced nothing useful in the way of actually making bio-kerosene, though there are links to companies using it.

~ Charles
8 years ago
I'm not sure this is the right part of the forum for this. Moderator, please move accordingly.

====

I'm considering my options for cooking, light and supplemental heating and I'd really like to stick with only one fuel type.

I can cook with alcohol and get alcohol lamps and possibly small supplemental heaters. I can absolutely do all that with kerosene. The big advantage alcohol has over kerosene is the ability to make it myself instead of buy from the local fuel dealer. The advantage of kerosene is higher energy density, lower appliance cost, and -- at least for lighting -- no need for finicky pressurized systems.

I guess what I'm really wondering is: can I make my own fuel for kerosene appliances? Bio-diesel and straight veggie oil (SVO) are both very similar to #2 fuel oil and I can make those. They really aren't so very close to #1 heating oil or 1-K clear kerosene, though.

So... does anyone have experience with refining biodiesel or SVO into bio-kerosene and/or use of biodiesel and SVO in unmodified low pressure kerosene appliances? Would you describe your experiences?

Thanks.

~ Charles
8 years ago
Pelican's a pretty boat and it looks pretty similar (if bigger) to what I had in mind. I was thinking a modified triloboat (triloboats.com) insulated with 2" blue construction foam board. Lee boards for lateral resistance and either a junk cat-schooner or sprit yawl, though a gaff ketch is not out of the question; I just don't know if I'm up to building a rig as complex as a gaff of this size, yet. I'm leaning heavily toward the sprit yawl because it's so simple with very few strings to bother with and is relatively easy to scandalize in all weather.

The RMH would essentially be placed where a centerboard case would otherwise go. In a boat this size (20x8 -ish), the bench wouldn't be too terribly much wider than a CB case, but would be lower, so I could use it as shelving below a countertop/table arrangement ... or whatever. The cabin furnishings would be designed around the heater and not vice-versa. Center cockpit with heater below. Head off to one side, aft stateroom with big open plan saloon and galley for'ard. Genny and batteries below saloon seating and tanks 'neath the double berth in the stateroom.

It's a full-displacement hull form, so not too much worry about overloading it, so long as I get my bow and stern lines/curves high enough so the transoms don't push/drag water when in motion. I may or may not include a cutwater at the bow, but a transom is so much easier and faster to build.

As to the idea of a multi-channel flue system in the bench with a bell at the far end, the idea was to use those large multiple pathways to reduce any goofy draft issues from being constantly in motion (even when moored.) That's also why I had thought about nine-inch total diameter in the flues with a six inch burn area - lots of choices for the gasses to flow around. Now I think on it, though, it probably would lead to backdrafting smoke because the refreshing hot gases aren't helping as much to push through the system. I'll have to have another think on that.

~ Charles
8 years ago
Crummy that multi-channel doesn't work. Can you link to a discussion of the matter?

A bell is what I had in mind at the far end of the bench, away from the heat riser.

I'm thinking more of a pram hull; basically a scow but with about ten degrees of deadrise to give me a bilge that I can pump out if I ever need to. It will definitely sail, with an outboard kicker. Cooking will be alcohol or kerosene (actually, waste cooking oil in a kerosene stove). I've considered heating with kerosene (cooking oil) but I really want to limit my sloshy tankage to fresh water, as much as possible. I'm even considering bio-briquettes from my honey bucket and food waste as a fuel source (not for cooking.)

The draft will be about one inch per 700lbs, so a ton of ballast along the keel lowers the hull in the water quite a lot. Maybe a two ton heater would be better. Still, the boat should be stable enough even if the mass is raised a few inches from the bilge if I can figure out how to secure it properly. If I can limit the majority of the mass to 20" in height, I think it will be low enough to serve properly as internal ballast. Steel strapping bolted to the longitudinal framework members should do.

As far as encroaching on living space, etc, I would design the furniture arrangement around the heater instead of shoe-horn it in among existing furniture. Serious consideration is being given to a center-cockpit arrangement with the heater filling the space beneath. The heater would be constructed almost entirely of refractory-grade stoneware with as little metal (stainless or bronze only!) as I can possibly get away with. I could even have the inside of pipe-work glazed to smooth the flow, but that would cost quite a lot more and may create its own maintenance problems.

Or, maybe I should just be looking into a steel woodburner. I'm just trying to avoid the peak-lull effect they have on small space that can't be really well insulated.

~ Charles
8 years ago
I'm considering a wood fired mass-heater for a shanty boat. The advantage of RMH is that the weight is way down low and would double as internal ballast. The trouble with traditional wood stoves, for me, is not so much an inefficient burn when damped, but more that the heat spikes when a fire is burned and everything is chilled after. Ideally, I get an even heat release throughout the day/night with one or two relatively fast burns.

I'm concerned with hot surfaces while moving around the boat, which is ALWAYS in motion if it's on the water. Also, I don't really need/want the instant heat from the barrel (well, maybe at the top for a food dryer/oven) but it seems all the options available for dealing with it add lots of weight up high where I definitely do not want it.

About one ton is the right amount of ballast for the boat I'm planning. My idea is to separate the flue at the bench into several smaller gas channels which rejoin at a bell at one end of the bench, re-separate and rejoin again at the exhaust stack, right next to and against the riser unit to use some heat to help create draft.

The goal is to get about 5k BTU/hr for 12 hours or so. I think a 6" feed/riser and a total of 9" diameter (in three 3" channels) in the bench would work. The bell at the end would be, probably, 12" cubic internal. The whole bench would be refractory cement, instead of cob, for its strength in motion.

Comments, concerns?

~ Charles
8 years ago