Annually in February and October:
Pyromania! with Ianto Evans
January 21-23: Portland, OR
Check our calendar for further dates and details.
Natural Building Network, www.nbnetwork.org Find workshops in your region.
We encourage you to explore these links or take a workshop. These effects are achieved efficiently with certain key techniques and proportions. Tthe best introduction is to read the book Rocket Mass Heaters, by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson: www.rocketstoves.com
Ianto Evans, Leslie Jackson, Ernie Wisner, and other friends are among the researchers developing efficient, clean-burning, afforable stoves for a variety of heating and cooking needs.
One remarkable stove design this group developed and published is called the Rocket Mass Heater, or Rocket Masonry Stove. The design combines an innovative clean-burning combustion chamber, with a 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 (much of the world depends on scarce firewood),
- 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 other communities. The common denominators are a vertical "heat riser", and creative use of basic materials. Rocket 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 puts out 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 an ideal cookstove, but they are great for simmering French sauces or keeping hot water on hand for washing up.
These are experimental, "tinkerer's" 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 playing with the basic design in an outdoor setting or workshop before attempting any changes. Some ideas just don't work well in practice, and 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:
Rocket cookstoves (tin-can stoves, as featured on NPR): www.rocketstove.org
Forums for discussing endless possibilities:
Rocket Mass Heater researchers (become a member to view and post on this forum):