Sunday, October 23, 2016

Building a Miniature Rocket Mass Heater

With winter coming one of my biggest concerns is staying warm.  While remodeling my RV I had plans for building a small rocket mass heater and I build an aluminum enclosure under the counter where the old broken propane furnace used to be, but I never finished the project until today.

I spent a lot of time studying rocket mass heaters online and looking over images like this one:

I ran into a lot of very large rocket mass heaters, but I couldn't find any small designs that would fit in my motor home, which makes sense since the whole purpose of it is to heat a very large mass....

However, I did find a lot of design ideas online and on youtube for very small rocket heaters (which are very similar to the first stage of the rocket mass heaters. So, after a lot of thinking and staring at bricks and stove pipes and an old pot I bought at SAVERS for $12, I finally built the damn thing.

Yesterday I drove 160 miles to Lowe's and bought 13 bricks, one 16" by 16" patio slab and, 8" by 16" slabs, a half cinder block, and an 80 lb bag of mortar.

I first checked the fit of my brick setup without the mortar:

It seemed okay, so I mixed up some mortar and put it all together:

I added some rocks from the desert outside.

Now I just have to wait a few days for it to cure and then I can test it out.
I'm still trying to figure out the best way to handle the exhaust pipe, for now it just sticks out the side, but I think I might make it run under the counter with a coil of copper tubing around it for warming water. I'll have to do some tests to see how hot it gets first.

Then I went for a drive, admired the sunset, cooked some chicken soup and started preparing lessons for my students tomorrow.
The color in this sky just makes life worth living at least one more day : )

And my chicken soup makes life worth living until the end ; )

1 comment:

Thanks for commenting on my blog post. I sure appreciate it : )