Daniel Ray

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since Feb 04, 2014
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hugelkultur forest garden composting toilet building rocket stoves
Victor, Montana; Zone 5b
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Recent posts by Daniel Ray

I think the issue with a rocket mass boiler is always going to be the heat up time--the real key is the heat retention times. With an insulated water container, you can have hot water temps for long periods without needing to burn. Then, once that water starts to cool down, you have warm water to heat up rather than cold keeping your burn time nice and low.

Thomas has already mentioned that 3000F is not going to be achieved. I did a quick search for that number of Peter's and it is closer to 2200F.

Rockets are not "double burners"--they use a primary air for initial combustion and a secondary air port to inject oxygen into the hottest point of the stove to create greater combustion. Keep looking through permies, it has a search function that works well, and keep asking questions--we will keep answering them.

5 hours ago
You will want to look at this link for a boiler design. All the work has been done for you.

walker boiler
11 hours ago
There must have been something in the air, because I doodled a similar A frame underground house last week after nostalgically watching a Mike Oehler video.

I was playing with the idea of setting up a BFL for posts and ridgebeam as well, then using slabwood as decking on the side poles. I was considering using straw for insulation like Tony Wrench's roundhouse build, then covering with epdm, building a alder tree lattice on the outside and then starting creepers at the base to act as the living roof.

I would think that it would be difficult to get the wofati like depth of material on the "roof" of the A frame for proper insulation. Or that the walls would be too steep to effectively keep soil in place.
A little more info would help to know if a planter will keep the pipes from freezing. Where are you located? What is the winter lows and for how long? The box with some extra insulation will surely help prevent freezing if you are in a mild location. You can also buy heat tape to wrap the exposed pipe to keep from freezing. Some of the nicer heat tape comes with a thermostat that only kicks on under certain temperatures so that you don't need to think about it.

1 week ago
Hi John, thanks for asking questions about rocket mass heaters. What you are proposing is possible but may not function as well as hoped. Some more information may be helpful as well--what is the size of the shop what are the low temps going to be like when you are trying to heat the shop? Is the shop insulated?

So I first would recommend insulating under the entire slab as this will hugely improve the rmh ability to heat the space. Even if you insulate under and to the sides of the pipe, the heat will distribute through the concrete and be sapped by the available mass beneath it.

Second, if you do insulate to the sides and under the pipe (flue) then the ability for the stove to shed its heat to the mass will be greatly reduced and defeat the point of the stove. With the insulation keeping heat from permeating on 3/4 of the sides, and then the cement floor heating up above it, it won't build up and store your heat for later release--instead it will just continue on out of the building out of your chimney.

The better option if space is the issue, is to build an rmh with a belled bench which tend to take up less space then the traditional piped mass, then have it exit the building. Belled benches also tend to have more radiant immediately released heat than a piped mass which will hold heat longer but take longer to release that heat into the space.

As for the cement--temps above 212 will start to break down cement. It can be used in parts of the mass, but shouldn't be used in the stove itself where combustion is much too high.

Here is a link to a thread discussing heating floors with the RMH-- https://permies.com/t/5831/underfloor-heating-system-rocket-mass
1 week ago
Mine is simply tucked under the counter in my bathroom. It is a little far away from the tub so I still get a bit of gurgling when that drains, but works well for the bathroom and kitchen sinks. I really was not wanting to run a vent pipe up through my cob wall or have it run adjacent and be visible so I did some research and found these little beauties. Just a one way valve that lets the air in but no stink in.
1 week ago
Beautiful progress and fantastic looking space! Can't wait to see more photos. Have you noticed a difference in performance since installing the new riser?
2 weeks ago
I don't live in a wofati, but I did install an air admittance valve in my cob house. Should work well in this situation to limit the necessity for poking holes in water proof membranes.

2 weeks ago
An update for our house. We were lucky to have someone come out and professionally film the house for their channel. They cut some of the film they had of us thanking different people so I would like to say a Thank you to the Permies community for all the information you had readily given over the last decade or so.

2 weeks ago
I would look at Sepp Holzer's earthworks which are done on slopes similar or greater than yours.  Possibly consider using terracing systems with deep rooted trees that will prevent saturated soils from slipping downhill. Provided is a thread detailing his terraces.


2 weeks ago