Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 19, 2013.

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Four DVDs will be created: "Fire Science", "Sneaky Heat", "Boom Squish" and "Hot Rocket" - showing the most sustainable way to heat

The stretch goals ...  If we hit $100,000:  

  • we will create 30 minutes of streaming previews just for those that have put in $50 or more.  These will be available within days after the kickstarter is over.  
  • I have extra footage of glass in two rocket mass heaters - so you can see the fire. I will put this video on youtube within seven days of the end of the kickstarter
  • everybody that got the four DVD set will get a fifth DVD of extra footage.  It will be whatever wacky stuff we can come up with:  outtakes, raw footage, all the stuff currently on youtube, any raw footage for rocket stoves or rocket mass heaters that I never put up on youtube, ALL of the paul wheaton permaculture podcasts ....   all sorts of stuff.   But it will probably be for computers to read, not for DVD players.
  • everybody that got the four DVD set will also get the streaming stuff for free.
  • Ernie and Erica will be paid to create plans for everything in all of the videos and that will be added to the fifth DVD as a collection of PDF files.

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I pointed the video camera at all the cool stuff at the workshop, just like I said i would. Now it is time for you all to pony up for the DVD's. Once funded, the raw footage will be massaged into stuff that will fit into DVD-like thing-a-ma-jigs.


What's the big deal?

The crown jewel here is the rocket mass heater, based on rocket stove technology.  This is a wood burning stove that will replace a conventional wood burning stove in a home and keep that same home just as warm using 1/10th the wood.  But that's not all.  You would think that with 1/10th the wood there would be 1/10th the smoke, but it works out to be closer to 1/1000th the smoke.  As a result, the overall environmental damage ends up far less than natural gas, electric, oil or conventional wood heat.

ernie sitting on the hottest rocket stove ever made
ernie sitting on the hottest rocket stove ever made

Ernie and Erica Wisner have built over 700 rocket mass heaters and what was shown at this workshop is the result of their most advanced work to date.

Here are Ernie and Erica showing off an earlier rocket mass heater:

Fire Science

The first DVD will be "Fire Science". This is where Ernie and Erica set stuff on fire in all sorts of wacky ways. This is the foundation for understanding how rocket stoves and rocket mass heaters work the way they do.

the stump stove
the stump stove
  • fire burning sideways and upside down
  • bare hands bonfire tricks
  • rumford effect
  • fireplace designs
  • flammable chimney demonstrations
  • stump stove
  • diagrams and physics and math, oh my!
  • fire, flames, heat and overall rockety-ness

Sneaky Heat

The second DVD is called "Sneaky Heat". The wood burning stove built in this DVD is the result of a collection of experiments that led to a rocket mass heater an order of magnitude better than any previous rocket mass heater. For the first time ever we have a shippable core. Somebody else could build this and ship it to somebody that is looking for something easier. Plus, this particular core makes for a fire that is about a thousand degrees hotter than any previous rocket mass heater. This makes for a stronger draw - which leads to more push later in the system. For this project we use the core in a portable design. Something that can be taken apart in under an hour, loaded onto a truck, moved and rebuilt in under an hour.

Boom Squish

rocket hot water innard - the pretty comes later
rocket hot water innard - the pretty comes later

The third DVD is called "Boom Squish" - named after a series of podcasts where we discuss the dangers and strategies of alternative hot water. Caleb Larson and Ernie work together to talk about how to do this right. Caleb is a professional alternative hot water installer and is very familiar with the explosive properties of steam, flash point and vapor lock.

Hot Rocket

a large pocket rocket - made from a 55 gallon drum
a large pocket rocket - made from a 55 gallon drum

The final DVD is called "Hot Rocket". We set out to prove that a few twigs can outperform a huge propane turkey cooker. Mission accomplished. This is with a J-tube style rocket stoves. Other rocket stoves feature an L-tube style the requires constant manual feeding. The J-tube style is self feeding. This DVD will also have information on some tiny home made cookstoves, and several different pocket rocket designs.

poor man's foundary
poor man's foundary

Wood Burning Stoves 2.0

The four DVD set will be called "Wood Burning Stoves 2.0".

Video editing and awesome sauce from permies.com fan Barthelemy Glumineau.  You can see more of his stuff (including his work as a clown for Cirque du Soleil) at studiomelies.com.

Thanks for PR help from Hartke Communications.

Paul Wheaton's world domination empire:

Thanks for the bump from:

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenges are energy based wars and rampant pollution. Since most wars are based on energy demands and a large portion of polluting is connected to energy needs, and since 75% of home energy use in the United States is for heat - what better solution to these problems than to convey knowledge about how to cut or eliminate that energy use. Far more satisfying than shaking your fist at bad guys.

The second greatest challenge is: how do we let a billion people know that this technology exists. So far, we have been able to reach about 21 million people - so we have some skills. But we are still trying to figure out how to take that to 100 million and beyond.

Raw footage is done. We have arrangements with an animator and with an editor (who edited the kickstarter vid!). Distribution is figured out. And for all of the components that are not yet complete, we already have a "plan B".

FAQ

  • We're not sure if we are going to sell the DVDs after the kickstarter. So this might be a kickstarter only thing. We might sell this for a higher price. We definitely won't be giving it away. We want the greatest possible benefit to go to those that contributed to the kickstarter.

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  • Originally the idea was that DVDs were complicated enough without thinking of another format. But now that we are past our goal, we decided to explore this space. We came up with about a dozen ways to do it and it will be a while until we settle on which one. But for now we decided to offer this as an option and we will settle on which exact way as we wrap up editing.

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  • I think the best way is through my daily-ish email: http://www.richsoil.com/email.jsp

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  • I was gearing up to start my kickstarter when I got an email from Ernie and Erica saying that Calen had started a kickstarter. We sorta compete and we sorta don't. The important thing is that getting rocket mass heater info out there is mega important. So I put my kickstarter on hold and promoted his kickstarter. Now that his kickstarter is complete (and funded!) I have started mine. Calen's DVD focuses on a cob based rocket mass heater built a couple of years ago. This series has no cob based rocket mass heaters. Instead, we have a rock based rocket mass heater, plus the hot water, plus fire science, plus j-tube rocket stove, plus a bunch more.

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  • I think the official answer that covers my butt is "no." On the other hand, I do think that most people that watch these will be able to build one with nothing more than the DVD and the possible purchase of the shippable core. I think this reflects my optimism about the skills and intelect of the average person. At the same time I am dumbfounded at the number of fire themed bucket-of-horrors that are created and the creator proudly yells "rocket mass heater!" --- no, that is not a rocket mass heater. You need to come up with your own name for that freak show of flaming death.

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  • I get too many emails and private messages about technical questions to be able to ever answer them all. So what I do is make a universal response of: look at the rocket stove article first:

    http://www.richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp

    and if you still have questions, check to see if your question has already been answered in the rocket stove forum:

    http://www.permies.com/forums/f-125/rocket-stoves

    If you cannot find your answer, then post there. Hundreds of active participants in the forum will see your question and you will usually get an excellent answer within hours. If 48 hours have passed and you have not received an excellent answer, email me a link to the forum thread and I will make sure you get an excellent answer.

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  • There are currently plans for slightly older rocket stove mass heaters. Please check http://www.permies.com/wood-burning-stoves.html and http://www.richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp

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