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Can someone tell me the most efficient way to heat my fish tank water?  Thanks  Doc

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Thanks Jim and Bob,

Unfortunately, I live in an economic shit-hole of a country. Dishwashers are almost non-existent here. You couldn't even really buy one (dishwater) here until just a couple of years ago...literally. I'll try the range hood idea. Though the amount of air (at out put) with what I'm using  doesn't seem to be a problem, just the back-pressure. I was thinking of a possibly using a salvaged DC blower from a small automobile (much more likely to be found at the dumps around here)...The one I have lying around is blown. As it was, it was one of those 1 in the morning things and I worked with what I happened to have on hand.

Keep us posted on the new stove Jim.

Also, I'd like to add a HUGE thanks to Mr. Dragan Lukic, who is also a member of this forum. Without his help I'd probably still be trying to source and transport the materials for this build.

I managed to find a piece of 304L SS Steel (26.9mm O.D 1.5mm wall thickness) that I bent into the needed "U" shape and am acquiring the pumps, PEX, backup power supply and other do-dads to make the water heating element work. I'm not in a big hurry on that end and will probably install that when I take the stove out this spring to paint it, and re-do all the electric and wiring for these added fans and equipment properly...

Yeah, this thing really rocks when I use the super dry wood I have from about 3 or 4 years back, but they are cut to pretty chinsy 30cm lengths. I recently felled, cut and stacked about 4 cubic meters in preparation for next year.

Let us know how your check valve design works out.

Jim Fisk said:

Vlad that is simply awesome. I never get tired of feedback especially when someone adds their own mods. I love it. We are running about 20F at night and the stove keeps the GH at about 45F all night no problem while heating the AP water as well.

Did you make a water coil for yours yet? Only problem I've had with that so far is if we get a power outage even for a minute, the coil looses it's prime and before long it melts the pvc connector. I plan on putting the pump and air pump on my 1400w ups (which is still sitting in the garden shed because I need to come up with 24v of batteries) so that can't happen again. I have also been designing in my head a low inertia ck valve for the loop because as you know flow is a delicate thing and requires easy working ck valves and I want it pvc rather than metal. I'll post some pics when that is done.

I only wish I had more DRY wood cut to the long lengths the stove loves. I hate to keep stealing the house wood. Here is my temp. solution



Vlad Jovanovic said:

I'd like to thank Jim for providing the basic design for his gassifier. I built (a slightly modified) one. This thing bellows heat like Fafnir on crystal meth. I could not find a decent squirrel cage fan here, so I'm making due with an 1800Watt AC hair drier that I've converted to to a 15-18Watt DC blower (9 volts at the moment). I'm working on getting it to run on a switchable 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, or 24v circuit, I don't think it will draw much more than around 300mA, but am afraid to mess with it anymore right now because it's all I have and if I fry that little motor I'm screwed. For now I will leave well enough alone. The volume of air the little motor moves is decent enough, but it is a very low pressure design (which kinda suck for this app). I'm sure that if I had a proper mid-pressure blower, this stove would be even better.

There is a big 50cm, 240v 1.2Amp fan moving the hot air throughout the GH and helping to keep the back of the stove cooler. This was ridiculously strong, so I wired in a potentiometer and now have a smooth choice of operating speeds (and electrical energy consumption). Standing in front of that thing, before I wired in the pot was like standing in a wind tunnel...and I was worried that the motor wouldn't be strong enough...I guess I over do shit sometimes...Anyways...

The week before last, during a cold spell, when it was -7 to -8C outside I was able to obtain a delta-T of about 10-12C degrees in a 2130+ square foot GH. The glass panels are 4mm thick and i believe the r-value of the glass is 0.91 (though I am not 100% on the exactness of that number...at any rate it's in the ballpark).

This surpassed my expectations and allows me to drastically reduce the amount of propane I now need to use. Last Feb. we had over a month of sustained -13 to -25C temps, this year, with Jim's help I'll be ready. So thanks once again Jim.

The only significant, non-cosmetic deviations from your design are; super beefed up metal drums (2.5mm wall thickness), a 5mm cold steel heat shield (L-shaped) above the burn tube yet below the baffle to protects the back of the drum. This heat shield doubles as a shelf on which fire bricks are placed...adding to the thermal mass of the stove. This necessitated an access panel on the upper barrel to get to the shelf/bricks. Those are really the only changes worth mentioning.

Will do Vlad, and the 12v dc fan can easily be controlled with just a rheostat which you may be able to salvage at the same time. Up in New England dumps were always available while down here in TN everything is so sophisticated at the dumps I have no idea where to start looking for basics like bed iron and I used up most of what I had on the GH stove. I'll have to hit up my motel customers and get stuff before it is sent to the dump.

We had about 8" of rain here in the last week followed by 7" of snow overnight . Cutting more firewood just got a bit more challenging. May be time to put the chains on the loader. The firewood trees have been down for at least a year so that helps. Still soaked I'm sure so back to drying them on the stove top. I may add a rack next. The balancing act is getting old

One of the most fun parts of building your own is playing around with mods without feeling like you might destroy an expensive purchased stove. I have paid as much as 4500.00 and this one blows even those away and those were so damn heavy I had to use the loader to move them around. Sans fire bricks my wife and I can pick this one up and move it around with ease.

BTW Vlad, I am just tapping off the bypass line and if it didn't have to go over a doorway I wouldn't even have the priming problem so keep it simple if you can. All is powered by one little (Giant) 1150gph pond pump.

Yup and we're right behind you on that front Vlad. In fact we're doing our very best to catch up to you as we speak

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Thanks Jim and Bob,

Unfortunately, I live in an economic shit-hole of a country. Dishwashers are almost non-existent here.

   We have really cold winters here and i was thinking about running a rocket stove exhaust pipe through my greenhouse,covered in cob i figured it would radiate heat all night.I was going to run small electric heater for the fish off solar.

Im thinking about moving to a lower altitude that is much warmer.Illl consider some sort of solar water heater setup.My dad had a two unit thing on his roof,it was a curved shiny metal thang that directed the suns rays to a pipe running down the center about a foot higher than the curved metal reflector.This was hooked up to a two hundred gallon water heater storage tank.We never ran out of hot water.

Anouther idea is a large black bag(like a solar shower)kept lower than the fish tank and the water would circulate by?convection? anyhow it wouldnt need a pump if kept lower than the source of water.I got this idea from the block heater for my big rig.The radiator was higher than the water heater hooked up to the heater core lines.So if you plugged in the water heater or ran it off the generator it would circulate water with no pump.

 Just some ideas.

The parabolic trough heater you described sounds pretty cool, but around here it would be complete self delusion to think that I could rely on most any passive solar based water heater/air designs. I see that some other aquapons in AZ did not fare so well with such devices, and that's with weather that would be considered a 'warm spell' in the winters here.

It might be a good idea to have/play with some passive solar systems, but to, at the same time, have something a bit more "concrete" in place...like a rocket mass system for when you need it. But our winters our pretty much cloudy, cold and snowy...your weather/UV index might be quite different.

I agree with Vlad, even here in the "sunny South".

We saw no sun at all for 10 days and now that we have some sun we will be down to 10F (-12C) by Tues night. Without the brute force of wood heat we would be screwed. I loaded the stove at about 5pm yesterday evening and I heard the kero space heater (40K btu) kick on at about 6am this morning. (18F and still running with 4mil poly) I have that set to come on at 36F (2C) but that does not heat the fish water so I had a blazing fire going by 6:30 once again warming up the fish. Solar sounds like a Spring and Fall thing but dead of Winter will call for something a little more reliable.

The lady bugs arrived at 5:30pm last night so I set them out and forgot to pu all the sticky tapes:-(   Woops! spent 10 min this morning picking a couple dozen LBs out of the sticky tapes without pulling legs off. Tricky! Saved all but a half dozen out of 300 (or so they claim). "Learning"

 I see your point.In the desert there just isnt a supply of wood,but we have bright sunny skys almost all the time.

I live in the north now surrounded by woods,im going to move soon.Tired of the wife complaining about the cold and snow.

   I joked and said i dont want to hear about how hot it is when we move.

Guys, I've been meaning to post some pics of my gasifier. I'll start a dedicated thread soon. It rocks, and was so damned easy it's ridiculous. Vlad, in a fraction of the time it would have taken you to weld up your stove (which is kick ass, btw), you could have made a gasifier to power electrical generator AND make power. I was sure surprised. I can't post pics from my phone, so you'll have to wait until I get home...

Dang Jon, wondered where you were on this. Can't wait to see it. Been wanting to do one up for years as you know.

We are heading for 0F for the next 2 nights here in the mtns. and I am puzzled as to how the gasifier would keep things warm enough and what it is like to have a gen running 24/7 in terms of wear and tear on the gen as well as noise as well as the heat output at those temps. I am still running 4 mil single wall poly after all. I however AM OPEN MINDED unlike some of the doubting Thomas's I run into around here

A flick would be extra awesome.

Jon Parr said:

Guys, I've been meaning to post some pics of my gasifier. I'll start a dedicated thread soon. It rocks, and was so damned easy it's ridiculous. Vlad, in a fraction of the time it would have taken you to weld up your stove (which is kick ass, btw), you could have made a gasifier to power electrical generator AND make power. I was sure surprised. I can't post pics from my phone, so you'll have to wait until I get home...

Hey Vlad,

Here is a start on the waste oil burner mod. I have bread boarded a commercial dishwasher control and injector. T-stat and safety Klixons to only allow it to pump oil during the ideal burn temps. Hope to have it up and going tomorrow although I have another service call an hr. from here that may screw me up. Soon at any rate.

I have some 1/8" ss tubing for the hot side to the stove. Doesn't take much oil. Keeping it lean is perhaps the hardest task. With the lo temps coming in tomorrow I sure would like to stay around and keep an eye on things. (and screw around with this new system add on.)

So if i remember right,you live in southern az? Plenty of sun! you could easily make a solar water heater.Look it up on the web.

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