As you can tell this is my first post. I found this site while searching the Internet for a solution to my current project challenge. What a great site and a wealth of information!!!
Anyway, here is what my wife and I are up to. We have a cool little cabin on the shores of Green Lake, near 70 Mile House, BC (Canada). We have a deep water well that provides great water and we have electricity. There is natural gas out at the road but I refuse to bring it down to the cabin. We heat the place with wood and we have a conventional electric hot water tank. This is how we bought the place and we are slowly putting our own stamp on it. It is primarily a mid-spring/summer/early fall cabin but we are working on extending its usability.
The only heat source for the cabin has been a pretty decent fireplace. We don't use electric heaters...we put on sweaters. Despite the improvements to the fireplace however, it is still pretty inefficient. I recently put in a stand-alone air tight wood stove that our insurance company approved so I expect this will help a lot!. Maybe a rocket mass heater is in our future.
We have all the indoor plumbing of a conventional house and the waste water runs out to a septic tank and septic field. We also have an outhouse that I use more often than not because I am mostly outside anyway and I like the view of the lake from that vantage point. My wife has been wanting an outdoor shower for many years (for a number of reasons) and I am finally going to build one for her (now that all of the mountain pine killed trees have been felled and our roof has been replaced and some other more critical items have been attended to. As I mentioned, we have electrically heated hot water in the cabin but I don't want to plumb it out to the shower.
I would really like a biomass burner water heater unit (solar is not a viable option). I have looked all over the place for something that is designed for the purpose. I don't want to Mickey-Mouse something together and it still needs to be relatively convenient. My definition of convenient allows me to get up in the morning and fire something up and in 20 minutes or so be able to take a shower. I am pretty conservative when it comes to water usage, especially hot water, so I don't need a lot of hot water and others will figure it out, in terms of how much they can use for the temp of water they like.
I have not been able to find a biomass burner hot water heater in North America, at least not one that is small and affordable for this project. I suppose I would consider eliminating the hot water tank in the cabin and using only a biomass burner to heat all of our hot water but that was not my original intent. I'm taking small steps here.
The best unit I have found is manufactured in India, where they really need them. It is a cool little unit, will do exactly what I want, but is going to cost an arm and a leg to get it here. I definitely won't be saving any money if I go that route, although saving money is not my main reason for wanting to do this.
So my question to all you good folks is: "does anyone know of a small biomass burner hot water heater that is actually designed for that task?"