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stove comparisons

Lacia Lynne Bailey

Joined: Jun 20, 2007
Posts: 81
Location: Seattle, WA
Has anyone seen or made a table comparing the relative features of the different kinds of alternative stoves?    Am I the only one that gets confused by them?

I think it would be super useful to have including features in the table such as typical min & max functional sizes, efficiency, type/description, how often has to be fed, exhaust contents, min & typical costs, off the shelf models links, pros/cons,... has anyone seen anything like this?
paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17059
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)

Can you start with which contraptions you have in mind?

I would imagine it would be good to separate cooking from home heating ...

sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards

Joined: Apr 23, 2009
Posts: 5
I am going to try and use a soapstone wood burning stove for heat...and cook on top of it so cooking may be the heading of many columns for 'uses'....
Erica Wisner

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 877
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
Bridget wrote:
I am going to try and use a soapstone wood burning stove for heat...and cook on top of it so cooking may be the heading of many columns for 'uses'....

If you are talking about a metal woodstove with soapstone slab sides (very pretty, I've seen) then it's an out-of-the-box solution and the manufacturer can tell you whether it will cook well, hold a warm temperature longer, or what.

Masonry heaters and Rocket Mass Heaters are primarily for heating a home in cold season, cooking or baking can be a secondary design feature.

Natural Building does not come in standard sizes or functions, it's a custom-design, make-it-work-for-you world.  You can build most of these devices in a wide range of sizes, provided that you test it out and adjust the proportions if needed.

We do include a rundown of a number of different fire-powered options in our workshop, including Franklin stoves, Rumford and other fireplaces, ovens, cooking rocket stoves, and camp stoves.   

Check out our website at http://www.ErnieAndErica.info/firescience ; there's a short comparison of 4 different technologies at the end.  We've added more to the workshop since I put this article up online. 
You can also view some pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/eritter/ 
These are only the pictures that I own or have permission to post; more examples are available at the workshop.

Here, in table-like format, as much as I am willing to post so late:

Item:  Purpose - Burn Efficiency
Fire: Burning - Various (Biofuels can be carbon-neutral, fossil fuels add to biosphere carbon load)
Fireplace: Watching fire burn (may provide heating, cooling, cooking) - dirty burn

Stove: Cooking (pots/pans), heating (short term) - burn varies from very dirty to relatively clean; a few designs are very clean
Rocket Cookstove, tea stoves: cooking (single pot), relatively clean burning
LoReNa or The Good Stove: Cooking, 2 pots; medium to clean burn

Oven or Kiln: Baking, curing, heat-chemistry (burn varies, often dirty)
Furnaces: Burning, Melting, Smelting, Heating (often dirty / carbon-heavy)
Chimney or Hot Stack: provides draft, exhaust transport, can improve burn efficiency

Masonry Heater: Heating, warming, (long term) heat storage - optional oven or cooktop on some varieties. Burn varies from medium to relatively clean
Rocket Mass Heater: Heating, warming (long term), radiant heat (quick), storage - optional cooktop or other devices; burn varies from relatively clean to very clean

Hope that helps.
-Erica Wisner

Play with nature, make nifty stuff:
subject: stove comparisons