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Rocket Stove Steam for Turbine

Jamie Corne


Joined: Jan 11, 2013
Posts: 61
I posted this same topic in the wood stove area, but also wanted to post it here for further discussion.

I apologize if this breaches any rule. Please know my intention here is pure.

Hello. My husband and I have been reading this site for a while now as we've been designing the remodel of our home in South Dakota. South Dakota has extreme weather in winter and summer - and everything in between. With windchill, we can get down to -40 F at times - and lower in the winter to a heat index feeling of over 120 degrees F at times (not consistently though).

As far as we know, nobody is doing what we are doing in this area - nor have they ever tried. Here's what we are trying to do:

1.) Building the interior of our home with adobe brick that we make ourselves using our kiln (bricks rated for 3000 degrees F).
2.) Making our own adobe shingles coated with a special glaze over the top to assist us in our rainwater harvesting.
3.) Making our own floor tiles out of ceramic
4.) Making an entire kitchen out of a rocket stove mass thermal heating design that conjoins into a "heater" going into two other rooms.

In a nutshell - anyway. There's a lot of things (as many of you know) that will have to be done as well.

So here's the catch.

We've been looking into wind turbines to go completely "off grid," however because we know a bit about the tesla turbine, we're thinking that perhaps itching your brains would help us in creating a functional tesla turbine using the steam from the mass thermal heater - the rocket stove to fuel our vertical turbines on top of our home.

Here's what we're thinking - and we'd LOVE your thoughts, please.

We've thought about restricting the very top of the chimney to increase the velocity of the steam in order to turn a turbine fast enough - but that would seem to also restrict draft and become counter productive. Perhaps the addition of a small fan in the chimney and then constricting the top of the chimney to increase velocity would work? The temperature at discharge of the RS is about 90 degrees F - so perhaps reduce the size of the stack to increase the temperate and to increase the force? We've even considered exploring the use of a bi-metallic strip that would rotate because of the difference of the two different metals and their respective responses to heat. Perhaps even small fluctuation in some chemical structure that would generate an electrical current?

Perhaps this is the time to use our "phone a friend" if he or she is an electrical engineer! ha!

Any ideas how we can utilize the steam emanating from the flue in order to operate our wind turbines?

We've even looked into using the rocket stove to operate a "pressure" canning system that would allow for the pressure needed to power the tesla turbine.

Please see the videos below for the things we've toyed around with:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PoJALsTaCAo[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gY4YS4_IDsk[/youtube]
Allen Jackson


Joined: Jan 20, 2013
Posts: 5
This isn't going to work, and any restrictions in the flow of your Rocket Mass heater exhaust will backfire, or at least smoke you out - best not to do it.

The reason it won't work is because a conservation of energy principal - you can't get energy that isn't there. Your exhaust has very little remaining energy in it by the time you get it out, because the RMH is so much more efficient in the use of the energy stored in your fuel (wood). Most of that energy has already been converted into heat, and stored in your "Mass", with little left over to do much else.

Have you looked at how much energy you'd really need for your electrical uses? You may be shocked, if you converted the remaining energy in your exhaust to a common unit, and compared what you would like to use with what is actually available in the exhaust.

Probably best to look to a hybrid combo of solar & traditional wind turbines for electricity, unless you wish to be running a RMS-powered boiler to generate higher energy steam, which is probably much less efficient than just putting up a windmill.
Claire Skerry


Joined: Jan 04, 2013
Posts: 28
Location: Converse, Texas
Why not just sink the rmh lower and set a closed system of a water reservoir over the barrel where the steam goes up to a turbine or something then back to the base. If you sink it lower enough you could probably use the top of the second barrel [water reservoir] as a cooking surface? That way you're not obstructing the flow etc.

Just an idea. Good luck!


Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. ~Frank Lloyd Wright
laura sharpe


Joined: Nov 17, 2012
Posts: 244
    
    2
I am amazed how so many would like to use the exhaust of a rocket heater for a second purpose. Although I applaud wanting to use every part of the pig, i think the rocket heater is using more than enough of all energy being put into it. The entire design is intended to extract as much of the energy remaining in the output as possible leaving very little left to waste, including the smoke. Although I cant be sure, I think some heat must be left in the output to make it rise up and out...always a good thing.

It is not possible to get something from nothing really, electricity must be extracted from some other kind of energy to make.

For many years now hydroelectricity has been reliable. If you have moving water on your land and a decent height drop from top to bottom, it would be a source.

Wind energy although a great concept is much more difficult for us to harvest. One of the problems is all the moving parts are generally found way up high and they require attention a few times a year. Assuming your sight has plenty of wind to use, there are tables, then you must position the wind turbine away from all obstructions and high enough to catch the stronger winds higher up. I gave much serious thought to this and as a method for generating electricity, I decided between all the problems...solar was better for my smaller scale purposes. I do intend to try to use wind for more direct work somehow, perhaps drawing water from a well....wonder if i could make a wind powered grain mill...olive press?

Honestly, keep thinking...its a good thing even if I do not see this one concept as working out. I could be wrong but I doubt it.

Jamie Corne


Joined: Jan 11, 2013
Posts: 61
laura sharpe wrote:I am amazed how so many would like to use the exhaust of a rocket heater for a second purpose. Although I applaud wanting to use every part of the pig, i think the rocket heater is using more than enough of all energy being put into it. The entire design is intended to extract as much of the energy remaining in the output as possible leaving very little left to waste, including the smoke. Although I cant be sure, I think some heat must be left in the output to make it rise up and out...always a good thing.

It is not possible to get something from nothing really, electricity must be extracted from some other kind of energy to make.

For many years now hydroelectricity has been reliable. If you have moving water on your land and a decent height drop from top to bottom, it would be a source.

Wind energy although a great concept is much more difficult for us to harvest. One of the problems is all the moving parts are generally found way up high and they require attention a few times a year. Assuming your sight has plenty of wind to use, there are tables, then you must position the wind turbine away from all obstructions and high enough to catch the stronger winds higher up. I gave much serious thought to this and as a method for generating electricity, I decided between all the problems...solar was better for my smaller scale purposes. I do intend to try to use wind for more direct work somehow, perhaps drawing water from a well....wonder if i could make a wind powered grain mill...olive press?

Honestly, keep thinking...its a good thing even if I do not see this one concept as working out. I could be wrong but I doubt it.



Did you know that the English Academy of Science outright "laughed" at Ben Franklin when he exhibited his lightening rod? Outright shunned him in public.

Then they refused to publish his report. Refused.

Devices as I have suggested above have been on the market since the 19th century, I've found out. What I've proposed above is more along the lines of using the zero-point quantum fluctuations in order to make the tesla motor run...off of the steam (not propulsion of the steam) from a rocket stove...perhaps using a "pressure canner" or another device.

It will be interesting to see how my "will never work" idea...comes along. You never know It just might work.
Jamie Corne


Joined: Jan 11, 2013
Posts: 61
Allen Jackson wrote:This isn't going to work, and any restrictions in the flow of your Rocket Mass heater exhaust will backfire, or at least smoke you out - best not to do it.


Probably best to look to a hybrid combo of solar & traditional wind turbines for electricity, unless you wish to be running a RMS-powered boiler to generate higher energy steam, which is probably much less efficient than just putting up a windmill.


I appreciate your pessimism. It drives my want to experiment so I can come back and say, "guess what? it worked!"

I am not interested in traditional methods. I am interested in new and improved methods.

Thank you for your input.
Jamie Corne


Joined: Jan 11, 2013
Posts: 61
Claire Skerry wrote:Why not just sink the rmh lower and set a closed system of a water reservoir over the barrel where the steam goes up to a turbine or something then back to the base. If you sink it lower enough you could probably use the top of the second barrel [water reservoir] as a cooking surface? That way you're not obstructing the flow etc.

Just an idea. Good luck!


This....

This is an excellent idea. I am going to actually "try" it and will take pictures doing so - so you can see our progress. Won't be anytime soon though - but just know, we will update on it Thanks!!
Marcos Buenijo
pollinator

Joined: Dec 18, 2011
Posts: 583
Location: Southwest U.S.
    
  12
Jamie Corne wrote:I appreciate your pessimism. It drives my want to experiment so I can come back and say, "guess what? it worked!"

I am not interested in traditional methods. I am interested in new and improved methods.

Thank you for your input.


Well, you did make the same observation in the original post ("restricting the very top of the chimney to increase the velocity of the steam in order to turn a turbine fast enough - but that would seem to also restrict draft and become counter productive"). There is great value in learning how certain things can't work. It's not pessimism to point these out.

In principle, it is possible to get more form the rocket mass heater than heat. However, this must come at the expense of simplicity and at the expense of direct space heating. For example, there is a large piston steam engine near where I live that was used to power a sugar processing plant during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Piston steam engines have a reputation for poor thermal efficiency. However, it turns out that this well designed Corliss engine was literally too efficient in its particular application. What the plant really needed was process heat. So, while the plant did use the engine for mechanical work applications, and it also used some electricity generated by the engine driving a modest generator, it really made the most use of the steam exhausted from the engine. It often needed more heat than what the engine exhaust would provide, so they would often take additional steam directly off the boiler. There are also good examples of this principle on Navy ships. The steam generated from the reactor of a nuclear powered vessel is used for many applications, and this steam is generally taken after it passes through at least part of the engine. So, the heat in the steam is used to generate work, then the remaining heat is harvested for other useful applications like water distillation, space heating, and water heating. It's even possible to use heat to provide refrigeration applications such as air conditioning. It seems you're contemplating on the same basic principles here, so that's why I mentioned these things. I've thought along the same lines, and have considered many possible configurations for a residential setting.
Jamie Corne


Joined: Jan 11, 2013
Posts: 61
Marcos Buenijo wrote:
Jamie Corne wrote:I appreciate your pessimism. It drives my want to experiment so I can come back and say, "guess what? it worked!"

I am not interested in traditional methods. I am interested in new and improved methods.

Thank you for your input.


Well, you did make the same observation in the original post ("restricting the very top of the chimney to increase the velocity of the steam in order to turn a turbine fast enough - but that would seem to also restrict draft and become counter productive"). There is great value in learning how certain things can't work. It's not pessimism to point these out.

In principle, it is possible to get more form the rocket mass heater than heat. However, this must come at the expense of simplicity and at the expense of direct space heating. For example, there is a large piston steam engine near where I live that was used to power a sugar processing plant during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Piston steam engines have a reputation for poor thermal efficiency. However, it turns out that this well designed Corliss engine was literally too efficient in its particular application. What the plant really needed was process heat. So, while the plant did use the engine for mechanical work applications, and it also used some electricity generated by the engine driving a modest generator, it really made the most use of the steam exhausted from the engine. It often needed more heat than what the engine exhaust would provide, so they would often take additional steam directly off the boiler. There are also good examples of this principle on Navy ships. The steam generated from the reactor of a nuclear powered vessel is used for many applications, and this steam is generally taken after it passes through at least part of the engine. So, the heat in the steam is used to generate work, then the remaining heat is harvested for other useful applications like water distillation, space heating, and water heating. It's even possible to use heat to provide refrigeration applications such as air conditioning. It seems you're contemplating on the same basic principles here, so that's why I mentioned these things. I've thought along the same lines, and have considered many possible configurations for a residential setting.


Very interesting. Tomorrow I might look into that during the morning hours. My husband and his father are Navy Vets. My husband's father served on a destroyer and my husband on an air craft carrier. My father-in-law was a barber while my husband was a catapult technician on the flight deck.

It's exactly the issue about "excess" steam and pressure that I'm worried about. If I used a pressure canning system (like the one I can veg and fruit with in the autumn) - only making into a bit of an altered machine...it might be possible but the thing is - I'm going to have a bit of difficulty controlling the amount of steam coming out...especially after firing the stove up after it's been out for "x" amount of time. I do believe it would take a bit of equation to put it together...and test in "theory" before building.

It's great to be among like-minded individuals who are thinking these things. There are so many inventions out there...that the government "prohibited" for "x" reason. They are out in the market being used today..but people are scared to say...because of the government. Cold fusion...for example.

In China, it's called "New Hydrogen Technology."
Marcos Buenijo
pollinator

Joined: Dec 18, 2011
Posts: 583
Location: Southwest U.S.
    
  12
Jamie Corne wrote:It's exactly the issue about "excess" steam and pressure that I'm worried about. If I used a pressure canning system (like the one I can veg and fruit with in the autumn) - only making into a bit of an altered machine...it might be possible but the thing is - I'm going to have a bit of difficulty controlling the amount of steam coming out...especially after firing the stove up after it's been out for "x" amount of time. I do believe it would take a bit of equation to put it together...and test in "theory" before building.


It's very difficult to come up with something workable involving steam that hasn't been thought of or actually implemented before. After all, steam power was used for a very long time. It can be fun to consider such things independently, and very educational. For example, while I have training as a steam plant operator, I had no idea whatever a few year ago about old steam technology and knew nothing about piston steam engines. After some months of independent thinking about how to apply steam power in a residential (small scale) setting, I later learned that literally all my brilliant ideas (they were brilliant) had been done before. Good news is that they worked well, so I was thinking along productive lines. I learned a lot in the process, but it would have been more cost effective of my time by just starting with basic research. Long story short, there are proven solutions to the problems you're considering right now. You'll save a lot of time by consulting engineers and/or consulting the past through basic research. Unfortunately, a lot of this old technology is a lost art.

About controlling the steam... you might use steam heating directly. In principle, it's possible to place a heat exchanger in the form of a coil of tubing outside the top part of the fire tube of a rocket mass heater, then insulating the barrel. Normally it's the heat radiated from the barrel surface that cools the gases to induce a draft for the system. However, rather than radiate the heat at the surface of the barrel, the heat can be used to generate steam. The gases are cooled either way. The steam can then be directed to radiators positioned throughout the home. The condensate that forms in the radiators can be configured to drain by gravity back to the steam generator coil (not unlike a coffee percolator works). So, in this configuration you could heat the thermal mass that is placed in a central location, but also heat remote rooms with steam radiators. This can be done with no moving parts, and it would be safe because the majority of the system is exposed to a heat sink rather than a heat source. Pressure can never build under these conditions because the steam would move to the distribution lines whenever the pressure in the steam generator rises, and the heat would get dumped to the surrounding air.

About using the top of the barrel for a cooking surface, just place an insulated cap over the top that can be removed for cooking when the furnace is fired.

As far as using the steam to generate electricity, well, that's for another discussion. I'll go there if you want, but you should contact me directly or start another thread.
Brian McNabney


Joined: Jul 29, 2012
Posts: 7
I have had a similar experience with trying to experiment with alternate technologies ... There is a blue million of people that can tell you what won't work ( possibly from experience ) But, not many (if any) that will tell you what will . SO, ........
What I believe will work is a large stirling engine to capture the remaining heat from the rocket exhaust . I would build a rocket stove that is self feeding ( via magazine ) if this is possible ? and put a generator on this to generate electricity. The problem with modern (or should I say Old style generators) is that they have a back emf that will limit you .
The tesla turbine is meant to operate with high velocity steam . It's application could be to capture the steam from a geyser .

I started out by using a large dc motor as a generator . unfortunately, our power grid and what is available off the shelf is set-up for ac . I like the high frequency generator ideas coming on , or maybe a dynamo built from briggs and stratton engine coils.?

I really appreciate trail blazers . Each one of us could work in a selected field and come up with answers that we all need. If we all pool our experiences and findings of new technologies ( And not running to the patent office so it can be eaten alive and destroyed . but, given to the people. This would be a better world .

Unfortunately, greed stands in our way , What value is money anyway? , and living in a box is boring.

Bob Ghika


Joined: Mar 07, 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Massachusetts
This is my first post here, and I dont have much experience yet with RMH's, and I may be way off base, but what I picture to harness the remaining heat or steam can be envisioned like a reverse waterwheel, where the buckets are mylar that catch the rising air and turn a wheel. This is something I want to try at some point.


Be Nice
r john


Joined: Dec 21, 2012
Posts: 122
Have a look at the Enfield Andreau wind turbine and you will realise your design is not as mad as you thought.
Brett Andrzejewski
pollinator

Joined: Nov 17, 2012
Posts: 219
Location: Albuquerque, NM
    
  21
Please read my post in "Chimney Power?"

http://www.permies.com/t/31676/wind/Chimney-Power#249123

I calculated the amount of shaft work capable from installing a turbine in a typical fireplace (rocket mass heater) chimney. Short answer 0.01 Watt.

I also commented on using a turbine in rocket mass heater.


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