Sunday 18th March I attended my first Adelaide Hills Permaculture workshop to build a Rocket Stove.
What is a rocket stove?
Wikipedia provides the following explanation:
A rocket stove is an innovative clean and efficient cooking stove using small diameter wood fuel which is burned in simple high-temperature combustion chamber containing an insulated vertical chimney which ensures complete combustion prior to the flames reaching the cooking surface. The principles were described by Dr. Larry Winiarski from Aprovecho in 1982 and stoves based on this design won Ashden Awards in both 2005 and 2006. Interest in rocket stoves has led to the development of rocket mass heaters and other innovations.
I had heard about rocket stoves previously and I was quite excited to make my own. It was great to meet so many new people, with everyone pulling together to make the rocket stoves, from a wide range of materials. I made a larger rocket stove, as you can see modelled by myself below. This was technically harder, with a lot of assistance from the men to angle grind and weld the steel, but you can also make a smaller one from regular cans and a pair of tin snips, quite easily, which I would like to try at a later stage.
We used large 20L vegetable oil cans, with an additional half of a can put on top, for extra height. It's then basically a L shape inside, and insulated with Vermiculite, but you can also use sand or clay.
Milkwood Permaculture have a great page here on how to build a rocket stove and all sorts of ideas, if you are interested in building your own. They have explained it so much better than I could.
Of course that night I had to test it out, and I managed to boil a full kettle of water in 13 mins, using just a few twigs, which is impressive. I would like to experiment and see if I can get the time down, but have been waiting for the Fire Ban season to finish.
I'm really looking forward to the next workshop, which will be sour dough, harvesting materials for making rope and nets, catching yabbies, silver perch and cheese making.