ugly as sin, half as hot as hell...

i had promised pictures of the rocket mass heater that i am building (3 times rebuilt now) in the big dome. This heater is currently about half done, so all the urbanite* is still exposed, as is the straw layer on some of the cob in place. So a very ugly heater, but it works as advertised, or even better.

No ash to speak of, hardly any smoke (see next to bottom picture) no matter how fierce the fire, nor how cold the exterior air. The 7in galvanized pipe is simply shoved through a convenient join in the exterior plastic with no worry about melting as the heat has been removed from the pipe by the time it gets to the edge of the dome.

The idea is to complete it as a bench for bottom heating, both humans and plants, during cold springs, and winters. And in summer it will be a heat collector to even out the day/night temp swings without fire.

My issue is time, that nasty stuff clinging to all anu/atoms in matterium...just ain't got enough of it. So the heater is not complete, but i am using it daily, so i thought, eh...might as well...then i can later show it off completed and smoothly cobbed over...

But for now, Jan 4, 2013 here is it as it is working..

Fire box with some small 'volunteer' limbs being consumed by fire from below...just have to make sure the small bits don't get hung up on the sides and thus prevent their slowly dropping down into the fire box.

The 55 gallon drum housing the combustion chamber. Hot as hell, well probably about 400 degrees just a half foot down from the top.

The far end, showing the pipe as it 'U's through the urbanite before heading back toward the edge of the dome.

Total of about 2 tons of urbanite in place.

Long view of the Rocket Mass heater from the end just shown above. Looking toward the edge of the dome. Fire box visible off to the left top of picture. Pipe leading out through skin of dome on right top.

Galvanized pipe as it exits dome skin.

The usual level of smoke when the fire is just started with paper.

Temps on wall opposite the heater vent. Outside air temps in low forties. Dome is 32 feet diameter, and 17 feet tall. Big air space....

Rocket mass heater cost about $134 to build. Most in fire clay and perlite and pipe. All rest was scrounged matterial.


*urbanite = broken concrete, cement, rocks, bricks, mass for heat storage

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