How does a modern wood stove work?

jeffatus Posted By jeffatus, Oct 2, 2006 at 1:52 AM

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  1. jeffatus

    Member 2.

    Dec 2, 2005
    Southeast Michigan
    Ok, my wife thinks I am a geek for putting more than a moments thought into this, but I am curious about how my wood stove works (as far as air flow, inlet air tubes/holes, secondary burn, etc). I told her that it must be because the man's brain is more analytical, and, therefore, smarter. Anyway, the first wood stove I really looked at was an old franklin type stove up at our hunting cabin. When you opened the door, you could see that the air flow/smoke just went right up the chimney. In my new Century stove, I am intrigued by the air tubes along the top of the box that have holes directed towards the front. The next thing I noticed was that air/smoke can't just go right up the chimney....I can't even see the chimney from opening the door. So I am assuming that the air must be directed around the top plate before it can exit, thereby increasing/improving(?) airflow around the logs.

    I have been searching for diagrams that shows how the system works, but with no luck. Are other manufactures (non-cat) built with the same design, aside from minor proprietary tweaks? Is there anyone that could tell me where I can find this information? Part of my reasoning to find this out is so I can more efficiently use my stove, the other reasoning is that I am just curious too see what's going on.

    Thanks for your help

    Jeff Thornton
  2. Roospike

    New Member 2.

    Nov 19, 2005
    Eastern Nebraska
    P.E. stove. secondary burn chamber ( baffle )
    Pacific Energy.gif
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    In a nutshell, here goes.

    Primary air is drawn into the stove through the air controls on the front. The air that you can control. Primary air passes over and through the burning wood and combustion occurs. But it is incomplete combustion so there are combustible gases left in the exhaust headed up to the flue.

    Secondary air is introduced through ports in the stove that you cannot control. Secondary air is drawn in through these ports and routed through the tubes in the top of your fire box. When this air combines with the combustible gases at the top of the fire box either the flames below it or, in the case of a hot fire box, the high temperature creates a secondary or tertiary burn of the left over combustible gases before they can exit up the flue.

    It's magic. The stove genie does it.
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