Rocket Mass Heater Workshop


2-session class: Saturdays, March 22 & 29, 9am-12pm

Rocket mass heaters have gained a considerable following from permaculture practitioners, homesteaders, and individuals wishing to build their own fireplace from locally sourced materials and avoid contributing to the fossil fuel and fracking industry. A rocket mass heater is a modification of a rocket stove that passes the flue gas through a large thermal bench. The term rocket in the name comes from the fact that it sounds like a rocket! It can be used to heat homes, greenhouses, and other places needing a warm touch.

The core of a rocket mass heaters can reach upwards of 1600 Fahrenheit, and the fire burns sideways! Rocket mass heaters are simple to build and inexpensive, yet still compare in efficiency to modern high-efficiency wood burning stoves (reported up to 86% combustion efficiency). They can burn twigs, punky wood, other waste residue, and normal wood with little to no smoke, so you can still burn on no-burn nights, and the thermal bench stays warm for a day or two after the fire is out. Not bad for materials costing about $300. Even less if you use waste materials!

Held at Quelab, the first portion will be in the classroom, then we will build J-tubes together and test them. You will learn physics of fire, J-tube design and construction, rocket mass heater design, principles of insulation, cob (adobe) construction, the do's and dont's, and how to operate the heater.

Location: Quelab 680 Haines Ave NW 87102


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