Calen is working on a great how-to video based on our Bonny 8" project.
Nick is doing some Rocket stoves in Ecuador. He could use some help if you're interested.
Paul Wheaton's podcasts and YouTube videos are a great way to hear ongoing discussion. Link to all from the wood burning stoves page.
We encourage you to continue researching, or take a workshop. These effects are only achieved with certain key techniques and proportions.
The best (free) introduction is at Paul Wheaton's rocket stove article on Richsoil.com (all about rocket mass heaters, with several videos and some animation).
The most complete and well-written resource is the book Rocket Mass Heaters, by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson: www.rocketstoves.com
Ianto Evans, Leslie Jackson, Ernie Wisner, Kirk Mobert, Paul Wheaton, and other friends are among the researchers developing efficient, clean-burning, affordable stoves for a variety of heating and cooking needs.
This group developed and published the current editions of Rocket Mass Heater, or Rocket Masonry Stove, designs. The technology combines an innovative clean-burning combustion chamber, with an earthen masonry thermal mass, resulting in extraordinary heat capture and low waste from an incredibly small amount of wood.
The goals of Rocket Stove researchers include
- meet human needs for food, warmth, comfort, and safety
- conserve fuel (over-harvesting of firewood affects droughts, famine, and climate),
- clean air, reduce smoke-related health and environmental problems
- turn wastes into resources, e.g. find new uses for junk & scrap
- encourage resourceful thinking and hands-on problem solving
- offer affordable, clean alternatives to conventional technologies
"Rocket Stoves" of various designs have also been developed by many other communities. The common denominators are a vertical "heat riser" that draws the flame path itself upward, often with some 90-degree turns for mixing; a passion for channeling that heat in more efficient ways (for example through cooking directly over the chimney, or using thermal mass to store long-term heat), and creative use of basic materials such as scrap metal, adobe, and other local resources.
ocket stoves use the "hot stack" or chimney effect to draw pyrolitic gases through a hot zone for complete combustion. Some are simple emergency or open-fire cookstoves, others more complex designs for specific purposes like home heating, metalworking, or water heating.
Among simple cookstoves, I personally like the mud-brick "The Good Stove" from India, but Aprovecho also sells a metal-encased version. You can get a similar effect by using a coffee can to start your campfire: trap the heat in a vertical column, and your fire starts easier and burns better.
Rocket Mass Heaters are not quick-boiling cookstove, but they are great for simmering French sauces or keeping hot water on hand for washing up.
These are experimental stoves. They are not for the fire-fearful or dirt-shy, but for those interested in taking part in a new era of natural building design.
The basic design has been researched over about 20 years, and is described in the 2006 book Rocket Mass Heaters by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson.
Many people want to add features or change things, and of course, this changes performance as well. We recommend practicing with the basic design in an outdoor setting or workshop before attempting any changes. If you change it before you build it, it is difficult to troubleshoot any new problems. The real world offers better lessons than any book or armchair discussion.
More links and articles:
Rocket Mass Heaters (as featured in Home Power magazine): www.Rocketstoves.com
Blog post about a rocket-heated shower system in Australia:
Simple rocket cookstoves (as featured on NPR): www.npr.org
Rocket Mass Heater researchers (join free, members may view and post):