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Unfortunately, as many of those experimenters have found out, heat exchangers generally speed up the accumulation of creosote deposits and most add-to-the-fire chemicals don't seem to help much in removing this messy (and dangerous) substance. Tiny House Trailer: RV House Made of Redwood, 3 Portable Propane Outdoor Campfires. A package similar to the one we're detailing in this article has proved itself able to increase a stove's heat output (which is a result of both combustion and heat-transfer efficiency) by better than 15%, and has reduced creosote accumulation in a stovepipe connector by more than 80%. As a final precaution when using catalytic converters, you'll have to avoid burning anything but natural wood and perhaps a little newsprint (without colored ink) to help light your fires. This easy catalytic RV heater mod with freestanding base and mini-propane bottle saves energy and lowers interior heating costs during every camping season. The automatic control markedly smooths the temperature curve of the catalysts, eliminating many of the sharp rises and drops in temperature that normally occur in a converter. And in the late 1970's, engineers at Corning Glass Works (then a major producer of ceramic monoliths — a trade term used to describe the honeycomb structure — for cars) recognized that the emissions from woodstoves were similar, in many ways, to those from autos. There’s going to be periods of time when your catalytic heater RV isn’t in use, particularly over the warmer months or when your RV is in storage. This will greatly reduce the number of trips back to town for more propane. The 1,500 BTU output operates up to 14 hours from one 16.4-ounce propane cylinder (not included), and a portable integrated handle makes the heater easy to carry. We did, however, obtain results that repeated to within 4% when the measured burn rates were equal. What kind of fuel do Catalytic Heaters use? After a little reading I have found that the Wave-3 Wave-3 Catalytic Heater is a better heater than the much loved Mr. Heater Buddy. [l] Get the catalyst close to the heat source. Approximately five minutes after the bypass is closed, depending on the specific stove and the intensity of the blaze inside, the heater can be damped down to achieve the burn rate you need. My solar air heater was running so the house was still toasty at 6pm. Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). After the phase was completed, we removed the connector and reweighed it to judge the amount of creosote that had built up. Since there is no open flame (just a heat-producing catalytic reaction instead), catalytic heaters consume propane at a much slower rate. This kept the amount of waste heat from the blower roughly equal at all times, but also made it more difficult to get the catalysts lit off since so much heat was being extracted from the stove's back wall. Turn the stove upright, turn the lever to "high", and pour some denatured alcohol on the dome as a primer. With the converters set close to the fire, the heater will maintain a catalyst intake temperature of at least 550°F even at a burn rate of two pounds of air-dried oak per hour. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. Of course, over the past few years woodstove manufacturers have devoted a great deal of research effort to improving the performance of their products in the hope of increasing overall heating efficiency, reducing creosote deposits, and limiting the load of pollutants that woodburners release into the atmosphere. I’m planning on doing some boondocking in the future and hope the catalytic heater keeps me warm without draining the batteries running the furnace. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! In the test stove, for instance, a burn rate of two pounds of wood per hour produced a stack temperature of 250°F at the exit to the stovepipe. The devices allow carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and carbon particles that have slipped past an engine's combustion chambers to be afterburned at a temperature lower than their usual ignition point. order to make it easier to start it is possible to use a flameless heater in which the vapor from liquid fuel (gasoline) is oxidized by the oxgen of the air in the presence of a catalyst. (For that reason, the package should be kept in the middle of the stove's back wall well away from the firebox sides.). This is accomplished by energizing internal electric heating elements using the voltage specified on the heater’s label. (Naturally, that company has the utmost confidence in the design.) Still, one obvious limitation involved in using rectangular catalysts is that the outer corners are often not as active as are the more central areas of the monoliths because the flow patterns and/or mixing are not perfect.  Avoid flame impingement on the catalyst. Canadian Subscribers - Click Here If your heater has a heat shield make sure it is in place before the heater is light. In addition, testing has shown that the ends of the box at the base should be closed and sealed to prevent an air- and/or smoke-flow pattern that would run against the walls of the heater, where the gases would be cooled. For similar reasons, we also think that it's a good idea to arrange the valve so that it falls open under the influence of gravity. For example, the stove we used was equipped with an automatic blower, but we chose to run the fan on "high" constantly. Many of us have eyed them longingly, wishing that we could justify replacing our old metal boxes with state-of-the-art heaters. A catalytic converter can reduce the ignition temperature of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons from upward of 1300°F to the 500-700°F range. (In any event, the results reported here shouldn't be viewed as being any more accurate than that 4% figure. You may also like to check out: diy rocket stoves, wood shed plans, diy solar water heaters, diy solar pool heaters, diy solar ovens, diy hot tubs, and diy sauna projects. Of course, one of the limitations inherent in retrofitting an existing stove with a catalyst is that the heater's firebox has not been specifically designed to optimize the muting of air and smoke. Well, we're glad to say the latest wood stove catalytic converters and secondary-combustion stoves do seem to fill the bill. Consequently, we think that our figures are probably in the ballpark, and that you can expect creosote to deposit in your chimney much more slowly once you've installed this catalytic converter. Plus, while we haven't the equipment to actually quantify any reduction in emissions, it's a reasonable assumption (based on research already done by experts in the field) that the device cuts pollution significantly. Secondary-air preheating is accomplished by pulling the air through the fire zone to the catalyst and, by all indications, has been quite effective. Furthermore, that same valve will have to be open while you're getting a fire going. Usually I would have to make another fire about that time or a little earlier to keep things warm even on a good solar day. The early prototypes had provisions for admitting preheated secondary air directly to the catalyst(s). As a result, a properly functioning catalytic converter can boost woodstove combustion efficiency to over the 90% mark, since most of the burnables that slip past the fire zone will be ignited in the converter. Furthermore, if the energy that's converted as the smoke is burned in the ceramic monolith can be extracted, there will be more heat released into the room. Oven troubleshooting and system optimization. When Not In Use, Keep Your Catalytic Heater RV Covered. Chemically, a catalyst is a substance that will facilitate a chemical reaction without being changed by it. On the stove we tested, air was admitted through an automatic thermostat set about midway up the heater's door. The goal was to develop a catalytic converter package that could be added to any of the majority of existing stove types so that efficient, clean burning could be made available to the wood-heating public at an affordable price. Catalytic heaters like the # CAM57331 Wave 3 do indeed put out moisture as a byproduct of the heating process, it's unavoidable with that type of heater. Some catalytic heaters are manufactured with cut-off switches that monitor the oxygen level. (By leaving that casing in place, we hoped to find out how much heat the catalyst itself contributed, rather than the sum of the catalyst input and the heat exchange effect produced by its metal jacket.). (After all, the going rate for chimney sweeping alone is $40 or more.) While we were recording the efficiency measurements, we also ran a creosote accumulation test. For that reason, the decision was made to move the package inside the stove and as close to the fire zone as possible. After the charge of wood burns down — but not out — you can open the bypass, add more fuel, and then close the bypass immediately. This eliminates the largest drain on your RV’s electrical capacity allowing you to save your precious volts for such things as the TV and computer. Check out how Steve and his dad decided to install our catalytic heater. 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