Self-Sufficiency...Rocket Mass Heater
Updated: Nov 6, 2018
Yeah.....they are awesome but not a lot of people know about them. So let's take a look:
Well while it may not be the prettiest thing you've ever seen it will provide an awesome heat source. Wanted you to see how we assembled this RMH. Installation started just before Thanksgiving 2017. You wouldn't usually start that late in the year primarily due to weather but we had several really warm fall days. This RMH is in the "EcoHouse" located in North Carolina. Here are some details which may help visitors understand this THINGY....
a) there isn't a ROCKET attached but I can tell you it REALLY sounds like a rocket taking off when wood you put in feed tube begins to catch fire. There are several designs for RMH and many YouTubes to watch. Permies has a great website, Paul Wheaton is the permaculture/inventor/leader.....yes he is a little crazy but a really good source https://permies.com. Paul has a "forum" you can join in to get really good info. If you register, there is a 30 minute video you can watch: Care and Feeding of Rocket Mass Heaters.
b) we built a RMH for 2 very important reasons....potentially very little smoke as it burns so hot (we've documented 750 degrees at top of drum) and we can use twigs and fallen branches (must be dried-gather your wood during the summer and cover it to be sure it's dry).
c) the cob (we used our regular mix recipe of clay, sand, straw & water) was put directly over the urbanite (chucks of concrete we get for free)...again we wanted to create a "thermal mass" which is collected by the heat radiating from the buried flue tubes
d) in the spring we'll add more cob and finish off with several coats of Boiled Linseed Oil
NOTE: I just want to say that while we are building completely off-grid that doesn't mean we are lacking in sophistication or are of "hermit" mentality. We're not weird, gun toting people....we simply want to control stuff/environment that affects our health, maintain or reduce our costs of living and plan for future increase costs as we are both retired...now 70+ years old. If believe if we can do it, anybody can!
Found this video posted in January 2018. I have followed this family for over a year now. This video does an excellent job in why a Rocket Mass Heater is so effective, sustainable, environmentally wise to build. Permies has other videos that are also very helpful with fairly good "free" explanations and designs of making sure you've built a good drawing heater. So no more delays of that video http://youtu.be/CoOcsq12UkE. I hope you enjoy it.