Any idea on the measured efficiency of a rocket stove:
For example, do we know what kind of cubic feet they will heat at a specific temperature differential using a specific fuel load?
What is the largest building that can be heated with one?
Is there anyone who has built a boiler with this system for use in transferring water through pipes installed into cement (radiant floor heating)?
I am impressed with the additional efficiency of these rocket designs, though I am still curious as to how they work fully - for example, how is it that the smoke doesn't exit the fuel feeding pocket - also, how do you deal with fresh air exchange in the structure - and - how do you keep insects from using the exhaust of it during the off season - or mice from crawling into the exhaust when the unit is simmering down? Will screening this off (thinking yellow jackets and wasps) damper the exhaust enough to slow the flow and push smoke out the other end?
Do you have to eventually replace the combustion chamber?
I've watched some videos about this, but I would like to see this in action or build one myself and test it in a small temporary shelter...maybe some of you already have and know the answers!
Basically, (and I hate to be an annoying jerk, but..) all of your questions have an "it all depends" kind of answer..
Lets go through and look at what (some of) these things might depend on.
dale hodgins wrote:
Some of the biggest baddest rocket mass heaters go by an entirely different name. Many beehive kilns have been built over the centuries and the better designed ones have a wood feed tunnel similar to the extended doorway of an igloo. The better ones were built with a firebrick lining. The thermal mass was the kiln itself and its contents. One winter in Nanaimo British Columbia I heated a small house almost exclusively with my two electric kilns. A nice big wood fired one smack dab in the middle of the living room would have been far superior. Also Russian fireplaces use basically the same principle as a rocket stove. The primary difference is that they require quite a bit of expensive masonry work and they are more vertical in nature. Quite a few of these have been done on a grand scale and there is no reason why the same couldn't be done with less expensive materials.
dale hodgins wrote:
I used a Russian fireplace in Ontario. The fire burned white-hot and sucked like a jet engine. I went on the roof and the exhaust was not hot enough to burn my hand. The operation was quite straightforward and I'm sure a monkey could learn to operate one.
Glenn Koenig wrote:So how about a rocket stove that can heat 4 stove top burners and maybe even an oven, but with a single fire, perhaps using valves to shut off the unused portions, anyone seen something like this?