Why dont we all want rocket mass heaters?

electrathon Posted By electrathon, Jan 19, 2017 at 3:21 PM

  1. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    5,020
    932
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    One thing the RMH cannot do is change the laws of physics. I understand it can be very efficient,im not questioning that. But if you need half a million BTUs to heat a large house on a cold day ,thats what you need. The wood or twigs or whatever burned will have to have to contain those btus to startout or its not happening. Also a 3 bedroom house could be 500Sf well insulated tight home or it could be 3000sf poorly insulated drafty one,makes world of difference.
     
  2. bholler

    bholler
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 14, 2014
    11,069
    2,071
    Loc:
    central pa
    So absolutly nothing about clearances at all just a discussion about kids and stoves. Which btw i grew up with a stove my whole life no fence no gates and i was never burnt. The same goes for my kids no burns either. You seem to like answering serious questions with videos of you guys sitting around discussing things with clearly no concept of how modern wood stoves work.
     
    Squisher likes this.
  3. paul wheaton

    paul wheaton
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 6, 2017
    37
    6
    Loc:
    missoula, montana
    Perhaps you don't understand the things you say?

    So, the claim of heating with one tenth the wood has been proven repeatedly. Further, I heated my montana home with 0.60 cords of wood last winter (a particularly cold winter) while maintaining an average of 69 degrees inside. And finally, while these designs have been dramatically optimized over the last 20 years, many of the heaters from 20 years ago are still running well.

    I have hosted three international rocket mass heater innovators events and as a result I have 12 fully functioning rocket mass heaters, plus 8 that are now retired. I feel very comfortable with the safety of all of the rocket mass heaters here. If anybody feels less than comfortable, then I suspect that they would build their rocket mass heaters to their own comfort level. Just because somebody else did a poor job of building a masonry stove somewhere else does not mean that these rocket mass heaters are doomed. We intend all of our builds to last more than 20 years. And as for safety, one of the innovators actually wrote the safety code for masonry and rocket mass heaters in portland, oregon.

    I'm not really interested in being held accountable to the standards of somebody working so hard to not understand such simple stuff. I have better things to do.

    If a person thinks they are some sort of super builder and they wish to have tests and are unwilling to use google - then it seems pretty straightforward that such a person can quickly perform their own tests.
     
  4. bholler

    bholler
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 14, 2014
    11,069
    2,071
    Loc:
    central pa
    So in other words you have done absolutly no testing to see what the max temps on the back side of the wood is? Do you even know what the max temp allowable is?

    And i dont know if you are implying i think i am some sort of super builder. But i do not by anymeans. I am at best an average mason. But i am someone with an industrial design degree that comes with quite a bit of training in engeneering. Who also happens to have grown up around the chimney industry and has now been doing it professionally for well over a decade.

    And if one of your innovators wrote the code that is great. Did he do the testing to determine if your wood surrounds are safe?
     
    pen and Squisher like this.
  5. bholler

    bholler
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 14, 2014
    11,069
    2,071
    Loc:
    central pa
    And are you still claiming that it would take 6 cords of wood to heat your house to the same average temp? That just is not reasonable. The only way it is even close to possible is if you are comparing your stoves to old pre epa units. While talking about efficency numbers for modern stoves.

    And just because you guys have "proven" the 10x thing doesnt mean much when you think all of us with wood stoves wake up to cold houses and no fire. It is hard to take your claims seriously when you clearly dont understand anything about how modern woodstoves work.
     
    Squisher likes this.
  6. sutphenj

    sutphenj
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 19, 2010
    46
    5
    Loc:
    West MI
    Overall Interesting thread. I've read a cord of wood is roughly 600 pieces on average (Yes lots of variables here). Anyhow 0.6 cord would be 360 splits in this example (600 × 0.6). Michigan winters are roughly 5 months long (Nov-Mar). That would equate to 72 splits per month (360/5) or 2.4 splits per day (72/30).

    Assuming 600 is correct is it possible to get enough BTU's from 2.4 splits to heat a home? Suppose the 1/10 claim math works as I easily put in roughly 20 splits per day.
     
  7. begreen

    begreen
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    68,611
    9,689
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    LOL I'd like to see any stove heat this place on 2.4 splits a day. I don't think you could do that in a tiny home.
     
  8. byQ

    byQ
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    May 12, 2013
    422
    103
    Loc:
    Idaho
    A RMH with the couch/bed built-in could burn @ 80% efficiency but deliver more heat to people via direct skin contact to the thermal mass, technically speaking. That is, the rest of the house space could be cold but the people warm if they are sitting on top of the heater.
     
  9. bholler

    bholler
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 14, 2014
    11,069
    2,071
    Loc:
    central pa
    Yes that is absolutly true. But who wants to live that way? I w a nt my house warm i do t want to have to sit on a heater to be warm in my house.
     
  10. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    7,739
    1,357
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    I had to use that google to see what Cunninghams Law was. I don't have time right now to re-read all 8 pages of this thread - maybe (hopefully) later - but seems to me most of the wrong (or evasive) answering has been given by yourself.

    And I don't think anything has been proven especially on the 1/10 claim.

    Some of what has been said throughout is just simply not believable. As several have pointed out - there is only so much heat potential in a given amount of fuel. And 0.6 cords of wood over the course of a winter averages out to the equivalence of 14kwh/day - even assuming maximum 100% efficiency (benefit of doubt) for the wood burner. (Someone can run numbers and correct if I got that wrong - see page 3). In other words having a 1000w electric resistance heater running 14 hours a day, or a 600 watt heater for 24 hours. So, yes, it appears quite unbelievable that you can heat an entire 3 bedroom house to 69° for an entire cold Montana winter with a 600 watt electric heater. (The same as 6x100w lightbulbs. Hey, that's one for every room with maybe an extra for the biggest one :) ). Who can find fault for someone being skeptical of that? Maybe, if you spent your entire day & night in very close proximity to that heater, you yourself might not get 'cold' - but there are going to be areas of the house that are going to be intolerably cold. Sorry, but the math just does not add up - and directly dealing with that math seems to be something that has not been done yet - that I have seen - by the RMH crowd. If someone experienced a 10x decrease in their wood consumption, it has come at a price of reduced warmth throughout the entire house, and a necessity of spending a great deal of time in close proximity to the heater. Plus they were doing something very wrong when they were using their previous appliance - if a house could be kept warm with 0.6 cord of wood with a 100% eff. (benefit of doubt) RMH, there is no way it would take 6 cords of wood to heat it to the same level of comfort with any modern wood stove. Even if it used 2 cords, that would mean the stove was only operating at 30% efficiency. People here have been through their own tests, every winter, winter after winter, with their own wood stoves. They are not seeing what you are claiming from wood stoves, they know what they can heat and with how much (little) wood and to what level of comfort. Hence the great skepticism (perhaps putting it mildly) to the claims - quite justified, I believe.

    If language was changed to something like 'I was just as warm on 10x less wood', it would be a little more believable, especially with all the pics of people sitting and laying on their heaters. But claiming to heat an entire 3 bedroom house on 10x less wood to the same level of comfort - which is what I think I am reading - is just an 'out there' claim which I don't think is helping your cause much. As I said before, I have no doubt a RMH is a very efficient heater. And I (and many others) have seen (and experienced for going on 6 years now) first hand what burning wood at maximum burn efficiency while recovering and storing the generated heat for later use after the fire goes out can do for getting the most out of the heat potential in the wood pile. And it isn't a 10x decrease in wood consumption. But it might be if I used a big radiator in the middle of a room and spent most of my time next to it while letting most of the rest of the house go cold.
     
    bholler likes this.
  11. Patapsco Mike

    Patapsco Mike
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Jun 3, 2008
    273
    11
    Loc:
    Maryland
    I imagine this is true for someone who is such a piece of work that there is a whole Reddit page devoted to people who think you are full of BS...

    https://www.reddit.com/r/PaulWheatonWatch/top/

    I'm guessing you have some good ideas and that you are super creative and smart. But you come off like a total poophead know-it-all and that turns people against you. You come to this forum and start talking smack about heaters with people who have been heating with wood for decades? Come on dude. Very, very few of us have the lack of permit requirements/enforcement that let you get away with these homebrewed heaters even if we bought what you are selling. Dial it back, start talking with people instead of at them, or gtfo of here because we all have better things to do.
     
    bholler likes this.
  12. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    5,020
    932
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    The irony is, you may be the one using Cunninghams Law. The rest of us use the law of physics which is the same for everyone.
     
    maple1 and bholler like this.
  13. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    5,020
    932
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Seems to me the RMH compared to EPA wood stoves is about the same as buying a condensing furnace (oil or gas) instead of a conventional furnace . Those are between 90 and 95 % efficient. They also have low flue temps and can be vented with a plastic pipe. I had a condensing gas furnace for a few years. Yes it was more efficient, about 10% more. Not 100% or 1000% but 10%. I still had heating bills of several hundred a month all winter. I removed it to switch to solid fuel heat. Despite its high efficiency it could not overcome my local gas companies zeal to turn one of the cheapest fuels(Nat gas) into the most expensive.
     
  14. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    7,739
    1,357
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Yikes. !!!
     
  15. bholler

    bholler
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 14, 2014
    11,069
    2,071
    Loc:
    central pa
    Wow some really crazy stuff there
     
  16. blades

    blades
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 23, 2008
    2,656
    725
    Loc:
    WI, Milw
    Most of what I have read here is people missing the main point, which regardless of heat source is storage of the btu's and those same btu's being released over an extended time. The Key Point is mass or using material that will change when heated and revert to its former self while radiating the stored btu's. ( sorry there is a particular name for and I can't get it out of my lowly brain) all this stuff harks back eons it is not new. Yes, any fuel source has a finite amount of usable btu's for conversion. It is how you store and then distribute them and containment of same that is the key. The beauty of a rocket stove is the simplicity of it in attaining an extremely low emissions without getting all bound up in fancy piping or catalytic converters. Ya it runs against the grain of the last 20+ years but that doesn't mean it's wrong. Waking up to a cold stove- dosen't matter if the mass is still radiating the stored btu's ( shades of owb eh? ). Safety factor / clearance really no different than any other stove all depends on how the main burning assembly is constructed in the first place. look at current stoves, real basic, box in a box. Wise way pellet stove, sawdust stoves and a couple others are a variations on a rocket stove. Rather than regulating combustion air you regulate the amount of fuel. ( well if set up correctly you can regulate air as well - son of a gun just described a pellet stove eh? ) As someone else mentioned the big draw back is the mass in a traditional sense but that can be circumvented by Phase change materials. ( dang, not as bad as I thought, memory wise, just takes awhile ) have a great day all
     
  17. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    7,739
    1,357
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    I did not miss it at all.

    But the outlandish claims that were brought in unfortunately did 'the cause' more harm than good.
     
  18. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    5,020
    932
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    I have no doubt thatt RMH are very efficient 90%+ .I do have doubts i could get 1 million BTUs needed to heat my 100 yr old home on a cold winter days from a few bundles of twigs. Whatever is trying to heat this place needs to be hot ,very hot, 24/7 . May be only practical in a very low BTU load home. If Mr wheatons place only needs a few BTUs a day he could heat it with just about anything , very cheap.
     
  19. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner©
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Aug 20, 2010
    1,473
    188
    Loc:
    Center of Ohio
    I wager perhaps his 10x-20x claim is based on a modern small cosmetic fireplace with the flue left open all day after a short fire. ;lol

    This is similar to the multitude of discussions of steel vs cast iron vs soapstone although on a larger scale with much more mass. But the point of all of this is to heat our homes. Mass heaters is just one method, your thermal mass could be in the wall not the heater or maybe you don't even need much thermal mass at all if your home is well insulated and tight, and your heater/stove can regulate and burn efficiently low and slow. Thermal mass is just for heat storage, it does nothing to create heat and only needed if you can't regulate your heat otherwise. Some, like BK's for example can even do this automatically with little fuss. While my woodstock isn't automatic I have had many long periods that were 'hands off' of 24 hrs+ so I'm happy with that. And they are very clean burning. So the only real advantage I see of these RMH is potentially less wood consumption but I'm down so much less in my wood consumption compared to the prior pre-epa stove I am very satisfied with my current usage, and skeptical I could cut that by a factor of 10 and burn 1 split every day or two. With lower exhaust temps I can see this being a little more efficient, but not enough to go through the hassle of building one of these and probably having to forego my insurance and everything else (especially when I have a great working stove).
     
    blades likes this.
  20. blades

    blades
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 23, 2008
    2,656
    725
    Loc:
    WI, Milw
    I actually toyed with the idea of getting the Wise Way pellet stove- until I found out it had been sold USS Steel - I will not do business with them again. There is still the Liberator stove ( rocket type) which they have a pellet hopper available for it now. Hopper is removable . That addition gives you a longer burn time- don't have an apx of the hours though.
    The premise of the rocket stove orginally was for back country or similar areas particularly those with little resources fuel wise, not on any grids, for cooking mostly, not as a area heater per say, like our stoves. For area heating - That is where the mass comes into play.
     
  21. jatoxico

    jatoxico
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Aug 8, 2011
    3,577
    1,093
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    I don't think anyone is disputing what they are, what they're for or if they work. The issue is every time the questions turn to hard facts and numbers there is no legitimate info to explain the performance claims.
     
    Squisher and bholler like this.
  22. bholler

    bholler
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 14, 2014
    11,069
    2,071
    Loc:
    central pa
    Exactly
     
  23. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 17, 2008
    5,020
    932
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Another thing is , most people dont want an upside down steel drum in their living room. Now brick or stone masonry heaters are a whole different story when it come to aesthetics. Well insulated places have very low heat requirements. I have a small house i did over very tight and well insulated. Last winter i heated it to Avg 65 degrees for most (24 days) of febuary on about $8 worth of Nat gas,for which the gas Co charged me $36. (23ccf ) I kept the bill cuz i couldnt believe it . The month of Jan was $15 worth of gas 46CCF. House was empty so (gas)water heater was on but not much use. Just me there working.
     
  24. blades

    blades
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 23, 2008
    2,656
    725
    Loc:
    WI, Milw
    about where i was at the old place last winter - transportation charge ect were 2-2.5 times the price of the ng. combined electric and ng bill avg over winter 75/mo 2/3 of that is add on charges
     
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 22, 2008
    18,062
    4,229
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    I guess this sums up my opinion . . .
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page