I had grand plans for an RMH in my shop but circumstances have kept me from building one. Instead I bought a second hand pellet stove. It has proved to be almost adequate. I am frustrated with the amount of heat that goes out the exhaust.
As the unit has a forced air exhaust, draw is not a big concern. I am considering plumbing the exhaust from the stove into a steel 55 gallon drum then venting the drum outside. That would give me some "hang time" for more heat to be kept inside the shop.
Do you see any problems that may arise with this setup? Do you think that it will make enough difference to be worth the trouble?
As long as it is really tight and I had a good CO detector I would be fine with it. One thing I have learned is the volume of nasty gasses from anything burning can be dangerous. I would check and make sure the burner unit is in good working order. I was looking at a couple different designs at the farm science review and could put my hand in any of the exhausts with out any trouble at all.
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I think your not going to gain enough and you might run into issues with venting from the barrel out.
Use a ceiling fan to move the heat you do get all around.
Any stove (other than a rmh) is sending vast amounts of heat up up and away... nothing to do about it, its the nature of the beast!
So what might the circumstances be that keep your grand plan from happening?
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Greetings Steve, I have operated 2 pellet stoves for over 8 years now and have thought of the same thing. Never quite got around to it though ever since I built my own RMH.
If you do decide to try this experiment, do make sure that all the seams are hermetically sealed. Even a pin prick hole will spew out exhaust due to the exhaust gasses being under positive pressure and cause a potentially dangerous situation. As previously mentioned, detectors are a must.
With a RMH or any passively drafted stove being under negative pressure for all but the first minute or so will not have this problem.
Thank you for this thread, Steve! I have a similar situation and would love to experiment safely.
I bought the pellet stove about 15 years ago for my workshop that is not heated. After reading about rocket stoves (Wisner & Wisner), I thought about simply venting the stove exhaust pipe through a 10 foot cob bench and out the wall of the shop. Of course this would not be a RMH but it would be a beautiful warm cob bench and might hold more heat in the room.
Any additional suggestions and/or cautions for melding the pellet stove and the RMH (with or, preferably, without the oil drum) would be gratefully appreciated.
Rather than messing with untested materials in the exhaust path, perhaps you could stick to stove pipe and, taking advantage of the forced draft, strip the heat out of the chimney using mass, either solid chunks of stuff or water.
Or just a much longer stove pipe inside the building to act as a radiator. All the old-time buildings did this.
Edit: DUH, I should pay attention in class. This is what William was suggesting, and it's a good idea. Gotta capture more of that flue gas heat without messing up the stove's operating requirements for airflow, cooling etc.
I ran the flue of a 700 gallon Taylor water furnace into and out of a 55 gallon drum as a transition from a horizontal to a vertical chimney.
I ran it for three years without incident and then took off the clamp and barrel end to clean the flue, the fly ash build up was amazing!
There was probably at least 1/3 of the barrel filled with ash, on retrospect it probably was acting as an insulator and limiting the radiation from the barrel.
As far as draft, if the barrel is cold it will hinder draft but as long as the barrel is above ambient temperature it will assist. I would expect it to cool , and heat quickly as smoke is introduced.
Since most pellet stoves are forced draft I would think it would work fine, as a way of maximizing your exposure a baffle forcing the smoke through a twist or up and over a center divider may be useful.
+1 on the CO detector, it would be an awfully stupid way to perish when detectors are so cheap.
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently patient fool!
I hate people who use big words just to make themselves look perspicacious.