Rocket Mass Heater

This project is not part of our usual business, nor is it part of any program of ours. It is a simple consequence of our needs, I have mentioned several times in the previous posts. Our association, even with own spaces since 2011, did not dispose of any heating system, hence we were up to this project, obligated to pause our activities usually for half a year.

The spaces we got from our municipality, free of rent, disposed of no heating and even when there were other issues, we had to fix them before being able to use them. This one was somehow the biggest issue and we wanted to solve it in a positive way, using sustainable ideas.

The idea for the Rocket Mass Heater was born already in 2011, when we got the POSTAJA RAUM AU and adapted them to our needs (Work Brigades). Benjamin Pirnat, one of our members of the first hours had the idea; it was also him drawing the basic sketches for the project, also when we had to adapt them to the new and different circumstances.

However, although knowing that we would have to leave the spaces probably in the following year, we wanted to realize this Rocket Mass Heater. This system seemed not only appropriated for our needs, but it looked like a heating system made for the Slovenian people and for their little weekend-homes they all have in the nearby mountains.

This principle runs on wood, but manages to reach an efficiency of between 90 and 95%, which is an incredible value. How does it manage to get such figures? It burns, first sideways, than it passes a chimney which is closed on the top, giving the air just one possibility to go to. The heat is pushed through geothermic laws through a vertical tunnel, surrounded by “mass”, which is in that moment heated by the hot air coming by… at the end it leaves the chimney at approximated the same height as the fireplace, at a temperature of round about 20Cº.

With this first Rocket Mass Heater ever, the system worked, but not perfect. We optimized further, but had then to leave the POSTAJA RAUM AU to settle at today’s raum AU, where a heating system is already in function … will be for a next time!

It is important to mention the family Pečovnik and their company Komot d.o.o., which supported us with specific prefabrications of chimney-tubes. Without them, our fellow Slovenians could not have seen this principle in action. Moreover, a warm thanks to Vili Gros, who, even when not depicted in any picture was available 24/7!

Hvala to them…and to all the others that did support us during this, obviously very privately funded mission!

This heating system, working at an efficiency of between 90 and 95% is a perfect solution for weekend-huts and little houses, where during the week the heat is stored during the active heating on weekends, leaves slowly the “mass” and keeps a certain temperature.