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Much of the energy requirements houses consists of the space heating, from water heating or the energy needed for the kitchen. Three outlets that make up by far the largest percentage of each apartment's monthly bill.
In this context, not everyone is aware of the fact that one could cover all these needs rocket stove. A device that costs (almost) nothing and that needs little material to work.
Why use a rocket stove?
The combustion systems of rocket stoves are many people's favorites because:
- they offer an almost complete combustion of the wood, becoming a hyper-efficient opportunity in terms of energy, as well as clean;
- they can reach very high temperatures, and they can be connected to almost anything we want to exploit that heat;
- they can use wood that is typically considered too small to be called firewood;
- they are easily built with common materials.
Therefore, anyone - as long as they have a bit of DIY knowledge - can potentially build a rocket stove and get energy at very low cost.
But what does a rocket stove consist of? How a rocket stove works?
Differences between rocket stove and normal combustion systems
There main difference between a normal fireplace or wood stove and one rocket stove is that rocket combustion is almost complete.
When wood is burned it releases volatile compounds that we recognize as smoke, or soot. In a rocket stove these compounds are sucked into the "combustion tunnel“, Isolated and very hot, where they burn, releasing even more thermal energy.
This characteristic process, with the suction of the flames in the combustion tunnel and the consequent mechanism, is what gives the name to the rocket stoves.
As for their structure, rocket stoves are open at the point where the wood is fed, allowing a lot of oxygen to be sucked into the unit. When the fire ignites and the combustion tunnel heats up, the hot air that rises upwards draws a lot of air behind it. This incoming air flows into the feed pipe and through the burning wood, creating the same effect as a large air "blower" pointing towards the fire. Therefore, it is through this process that a high level of heat is created.
On the other hand, in conventional wood stoves, the air intake is small. This lack of oxygen stifles combustion, resulting in cooling burns, incomplete combustion, and lots of smoke. On the other hand, in rocket stoves, when the combustion is complete, what comes out of the flue is practically only carbon dioxide, which means ... no smoke (while, on the other hand, a lot of smoke is equivalent to incomplete combustion and a waste of energy ).
Read also: How to clean a pellet stove
What can be done with a rocket stove
When the combustion is complete, we can extract the heat from the stove in the upper part of the thermal rise. And this is where you can try to effectively use the heat from the rocket stove in different places in your apartment.
For example, they can be powered by a rocket stove:
- oven - either a conventional oven converted for the rocket stove, or a purpose built wood oven;
- hob or barbecue - old cast iron grill plates that can work well, or heavy copper radiator plates to put pots and pans, or just cook over the stream of hot air;
- hot water systems - from those that heat a large water tank with a copper coil running through it, to radiator units to heat exchangers that boost solar hot water.
In this final phase of our study we cannot fail to remember how a well-built rocket stove can work so well that… it can be dangerous.
Rocket stoves can in fact reach very high temperatures in a few minutes, potentially becoming out of control for those people who are not very careful in their use.
Here we are at the concluding part of ours in-depth study on rocket stoves.
Let's try to extrapolate the main steps:
- the rocket stove is a stove that can also be used for home heating, thanks to its high caloric efficiency;
- the efficiency of the rocket stove is determined by the fact that it is made and built with recoverable materials, and can use all the wood (even the very small one) that is introduced into it, without waste;
- it is composed of a supply chamber and a combustion chamber, a chimney, a radiator and the exhaust duct for the gases produced. The latter, instead of being vertical as in traditional stoves and fireplaces, are located at the bottom, on the radiator.
Finally, as regards i main advantages of the rocket stove, we underline that:
- it is easy to build, even using recycled materials that can be commonly found;
- uses up to 90% of the wood to burn compared to a traditional wood stove, using thin wood;
- it is not very polluting, as it emits only carbon dioxide and water vapor;
- it can work for a long time, even without the need to be continuously powered;
- it can also be used for cooking, and does not require electricity.
We hope that these brief tips will help you improve your knowledge of the rocket stove and, if you wish, start looking for further information to build one from scratch. However, if you think it is useful, get the assistance of someone with an expert to avoid running into unpleasant consequences ...