We have been using rocket stoves on site now for a few years especially during our Permaculture Design Certificate courses how do you get enough hot water for as many as twenty people at one time? well using waste wood or small amounts of wood on a highly efficient stove work well for many reasons. Firstly it introduces students to efficient technology which both low tec and highly resource efficient, secondly it gets people used to the idea of putting the work in for themselves again not just expecting everything at the flick of a switch.
One draw back has been that everything used on an open fire gets black with the soot deposits from the fire and as the pots and kettle are the coldest surface the soot comes in contact with that’s where most of the soot ends up.
After a quick search on You Tube I found a video which showed another idea which used the basic technology of a rocket stove but enclosed it in a fully sealed unit and vented the smoke and soot through a chimney. I forwarded the video to a friend SJ with both the ingenuity and the welding skills to build one for me which he did with added tweaks whistles and bells, and this was the result.
The hotplate lifts off for easy access cleaning and allows the top to expand and shrink without causing undue stress in the hotplate and the box beneath. The picture below also shows the baffling installed to help dissipate the heat throughout the whole hot plate.
Here you can see the two feeds the manual feed to the right and the self feed facing us both with closing doors with adjustable air regulators and opening tabs.
The hotplate is 50cm by 30cm with a rail installed to hang tools on and help keep your hands off the hotplate.
Looking in to the manual feed shows the fire rising up the central insulated riser tube drawing air from the manual feed door opening.
The hotplate easily accommodates two large pans or a kettle and a large pan with the high heat area at the from for boiling and the back which operates at a high simmer and moving pans or kettle towards the edge give a low simmer to simply warming.
Now note the lack of smoke from the chimney about 3 minutes after its lit.
Below shows the adjustable air regulator.
Here you can see the purpose made tool to open and shut the doors and operate the air regulators without being burned.
All in all this unit has proved to be a total success and although SJ is working on the MK2 model this one serves the purpose for which it was intended and is performing beyond our expectations.
Many thanks to SJ I should add he had a great deal of fun working out improvement to the model in the You Tube video.