Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rocket Mass Heater Project


My Rocket Stove Heater

These are some shots from a small project I took on the combat boredom and possibly get some free heat from scrap wood. So far I am very happy with the results. I don't really care about safety or fires etc. I just wanted to have some fun. You should probably not try this at home. Thanks to Rob at IWillTry.Org for the inspiration!

video

Sorry the video is sideways...


Started with an old water heater. I cut the bottom off of the tank.
Me welding on the beast.
The core of the unit. Basically a J shaped tube. All 4 inch.


As it sits in my crib...


During a test burn outside...

I just cut off the heating elements with my grinder so that the holes remained plugged.



This shows the burn tube being fitted into the tank.


I just plugged the holes with 3/4" freeze plugs.


The "ass" of the stove.


Fully assembled, waiting for the tank to be re-sealed.

More test burning.





28 comments:

  1. Very interesting project. I'd love to build one but have no welding skills. I have quite a lot of fast growing bamboo. I'd love to be able to grow my own fuel and burn it in a stove like this. The idea is brilliant. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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  2. Hey, we mostly finished ours, too about the end of December 2010. We started with Ianto Evans book, and ended up writing our own. My husband is an engineer so we were fairly methodical about it. If you are interested see our site www.darfieldearthship.com where there are blog posts and pics...also we have a FB page, The Darfield Earthship. There are sneak peeks of our e-book on our blog, too. Cheers! Sandra Burkholder, The Darfield Earthship.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Do you have any more pics of how the exhaust works and how high the pipe is on the inside?
    Even a rough sketch would be helpful. Thanks

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  5. In pic #3 what is wrapped around the pipe?

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  6. Sorry for slow response...

    Exhaust was 4" aluminum flex duct going into a 4 x 3/16" steel pipe through the wall... and a 4" galvanized elbow going up, and amother 4" elbow pointing away from the house. At the output of the exhaust I mounted a small 4" cooling fan that "sucks" air through the system for improved draft.

    Also... In Pic#3 I have wrapped a high temp welding blanket around the pipe, and secured it with high temp metal tape.

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  7. @Sandra - I will definitely check out your page! I am interested in seeing your work! :)

    @kathy - Thanks for dropping by! I have bamboo growing here too... And it does grow fast. The cool thing about this stove is all you need is a pair a branch shears and a bucket and you can quickly gather wood by walking through the woods and cutting up fallen tree limbs. Cheers!

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  8. This diary is rattling awesome. I turn a lot of aggregation around it. This testament be laboursaving for us. Cell in transmittal.

    Heater Repair Libertyville

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  9. You are posting an important technological article. It's great for any businessman.
    Thanks
    Romania Romi

    "Heater Repair Palatine"

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  10. Hello, a question: how many amps do you use for welding, and wich electrode diameter and specifications would be better (i dont have tig). sorry for my english thanks you so much.

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  11. Don't follow any of the links here. The darefieldearthship link is a trolling link. Not sure if it's infected, but don't try it to find out. I would be suspect of the jafiles.net one too.

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  12. I was wondering what the end result of this was heating wise? very informative and i would like to build one thanks for posting this

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  13. Dan (December 10, 2012 at 12:04 AM) is incorrect: The darefieldearthship link is NOT a trolling link. It's just a blog site, just like this one.

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  14. Using an old water heater tank as the body of the heater seems to be an excellent choice, as the wall thickness is thicker than the steel drums than many rocket heaters use. This should give it considerably longer life and resistance to pinholes developing, which could become a dangerous source of carbon monoxide. I imagine one could also reuse a well water tank, compressed air tank, or similar steel vessel, that by virtue of needing to withstand pressure would use thick steel walls. Vessels designed for water storage may have a zinc coating, which would produce toxic fumes when heated, but that could be fixed by firing it up and operating it at maximum temperature for a few hours outdoors to burn off the zinc coating.

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  15. I would like to build a new one out of all stainless steel components... But man I tell ya... Everything I hear about these outdoor wood furnaces is awesome. I think if I ever do relocate I may have to incorporate one of those into my new home. For now my wood stove is doing the trick nicely. We used to freeze our butts off in our house while the "heat pump" was running... Near as I could tell that thing never really pumped any heat. LOL. Our wood stove is heating the whole 2900 sq ft and everyone is cozy! Thanks for dropping by! :)

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  16. Dan.... I don't condone trolling links here. The earthship link was legit at the time it was published.

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  17. Andres, I used a 110 VAC welder from Northern Tool. I use 1/16th to 1/8th inch electrodes.

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  18. Another thought... I have been considering trying to build a Rocket Mass Outdoor Furnace using masonry for the body, and perhaps adding an SS tank that would hold water that I could circulate through some coils in my HVAC system. Man I wish I had more time to work on these projects.

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  19. If you want a stout stainless tank conside a beer keg. You can order stainless bungs (or use stainless couplings as bungs) and if you don't yet have a suitable welder you can still prep the joint and have a bud or shop TIG it in. Pull the dip tube by popping out the circlip and the keg is your bitch. I'd hunt Ebay for the fittings before paying retail.
    Thanks for posting your work!

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    Replies
    1. Dude that is a great idea! I am actually looking for some stainless vessels for another Rocket Mass Project I am dreaming up. This could be a great way to store heated water!

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  20. Assuming that there were holes in the water heater that caused the leaking...how did you seal or deal with the holes? I'm in the process of re-purposing our old water tank right now and anxiously await your reply on this.

    Thanks!

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  21. StreetJesus: How did you get all the insulation out of the old water heater?

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    1. I just cut the outer casing of the water heater with a 4 inch grinder.... Then I peeled and scraped off the insulation. I then cleaned up the tank with a wire brush head on my grinder. It was a fast and somewhat sparky activity. :)

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  22. Thanks for you guide, this provided me ideas on building projects.

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  23. Hey Kevin! I did a leak check (with water) and spot welded the holes in the tank. There was just a tiny hole in the tank.

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  24. Why the square to round transition? could I use just square?

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  25. Have you in the four years of operation ran across any maintenance issues? Had to even do any besides cleaning the ash out? Any changes you would have made in hind sight? (Longer feeding tube, larger ash collector, went with a keg from the beginning? )

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