Project #12 – Rocket Mass Heater

A rocket mass heater is a heater that is supposedly supper efficient at combustion and is able to heat a home with much less wood and pollution than a conventional wood burning stove or fireplace.   I’ll say at the get go that I’m a little skeptical about a lot of the claims that I have been reading on-line, such as:

  • heat your home with 80% to 90% less wood
  • Use twigs instead of wood to heat your home
  • exhaust is nearly pure steam and CO2
  • 90% efficient at burning wood
  • the heat from one fire can last for days
  • you can build one in a day and half
  • folks have built them spending less than $20

There is a lot of discussion of different designs on the web.  I started looking into it at the beginning of the month, and I was “hooked”.  I had to give it a try.

To explain what a rocket mass heater is, I put together a post that explains the concept and why it is so effective. Rocket Mass Heaters – What in the world is that?

Phase 1 involved making the heat riser and burn tunnel.  I made these using a special mixture of vermiculite and portland cement.  You can see the full details here: Rocket Mass Heater – Phase 1

I would really like to use one of these heaters for an aquaponics greenhouse during the winter.

Stay tuned!