What is a Rocket Mass Heater? A Rocket Mass Heater is a wood-fired device which is clean burning, affordable to build, uses local and recycled materials, and creates a wonderful kind of warmth for heating cottages and small homes. In a very unique way, the Rocket Mass Heater combines both the immediate heat offered by regular woodstoves with both the clean-burning and mass-accumulating features of masonry heaters.
As part of a phenomenal event called Bioconstruyendo held in February of 2010 in Patagonia, Argentina, Max led this very successful hands-on project of building a Rocket stove in a beautiful cabin framed from recycled barn timbers and in-filled with straw bale and adobe to create a very tight passive solar building. Considerations in the design included: having the firebox relatively near the door in order to be able to stack and dry the wood just inside the door, creating a daybed that would accomodate a twin sized mattress to act as a day-bed in the solar windows and as a sleep-over pad!
The first photo clearly shows the combination of the metal surface of a polished 55-gallon drum which radiates immediate heat to the space along with the “massive” day-bed made out of adobe bricks which stores the heat that the flue gases give off as they travel down and back the full length of channels inside the day-bed before exiting out the side wall.? The second photo shows after final plastering and the third photo shows where you load the wood into the unique down-draft combustion chamber of the Rocket Stove.
If you’re interested in learning about how to build your own rocket stove, Rocket Mass Heaters is the definitive guide and a good place to start. We look forward to developing more information on our site about rocket stove building so stay tuned.? It is quite a new technology so it is an extremely exciting area for research and investigation. I have been doing some interesting experiments in trying to refine the rocket stove by combining it with elements of masonry heater construction. Take a look at these two projects built as workshops at Wildacres documented on the MHA website:
- The Rocket Bell Heater – a spontaneous and very rewarding result of combining the rocket and bell heater designs
- Experimental Heater Design – combining elements of the rocket mass stove with the more classic Finnish Contraflow design.
Links to come:
-Process of building this Rocket Stove.