Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Building a Rocket Mass Heater

The rocket mass heater is up and running and it's quite the inferno!  It will be quite interesting to add some enhancements to it in the future.  I'm hoping to cover the entire unit and pump the heat under the floor to increase the thermal mass.  And, make it so it can burn either wood or pellets!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rocket Mass Heater preview

Here's the teaser video for the rocket mass heater.  More details to follow!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Starting the Rocket Mass Heater

Today I finished building and fired up the rocket mass heater for the geodesic dome. Ironically, it's January and we're having record breaking warm temperatures in the 50's but I couldn't resist and started it up. I will do a full video about the construction in the future, but wanted to share a few pictures of it. This heater is a bit different than some you may see. I wanted to be sure there was enough drafting in the chimney so I doubled up the barrels.
The entire burn tunnel is buried under the floor. It took a little while to get the drafting to start. It didn't help that the internal chimney wasn't insulated yet (missing some parts for it), but once the system got warmed up, it turned into a raging inferno.
A picture without the flash shows how well the fuel is burning in the tunnel.
I ran out of sand so I wasn't able to completely bury the horizontal exhaust. It was quite hot to the touch, but as you moved down the pipe, I could hold my hand against the duct and it was slightly warm.  It was quite funny to see the sand around the duct drying out so quickly. It will be interesting to study the temperatures along the system in the future!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Carrots in an aquaponic system

Carrots are a great root crop that just about anyone can enjoy.  Some people think you can't grow them in an aquaponic system.  Here's proof that you can!