Introduction to masonry heaters, radiant heat, heating principles, health and comfort benefits, internal design and materials used
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In many country's the Finnish fireplaces, developed by Heikki Hyytiainen during the 70ties and 80ties, are well known.
Today these stoves are developed to never the less extreme performance.
Clean combustion: 0,13% CO at 7,5% CO2 (means no visible smoke from the chimney).
High efficiency: More than 87% (European standard) of the calories in the wood, becomes very nice and long lasting heat in the house. (This is about 10% more, than the ordinary Finnish Fireplaces, or Canadian Masonry Heaters.) 10% of the calories is used to perform the nessesary draft in the chimney.
That means, that allmost every calori in the wood, is made usefull. Furthermore, this happens without any kind of use of electric equipment at all.
As long as you have firewood in the shelter, you have a nice warm house.
Firewood consumption is extremely low (typically 10-20 cubic meteres / year for complete heating of the house), needs minimal care and heating bills copletely outside of competition.
Output range: 0 to 8 kW without any loss of efficiency.
Variation of temperature in the house: + - 2 degrees C. during more than 24 hours after a short fire.
(Not much care-taking)
Creative adabtability to any home.
Tested and documented by the The Danish Institut of Tecnology
Efficient combustion: Only few minutes after firing masonry stove (which is incredibly easy), it will burn completely clean.
This means, among other things:
Read the section on "Combustion" for a more detailed explanation of how it can be done.
Even heat distribution: No cold feet !
Masonry stove also reduces ''wind chill'' in the house by taking a lot of air and warming it up slightly - and it has the whole day to it, while an iron stove "takes" a small amount of air and warms it up violently. Warm air rises, and therefore there will be much greater difference in temperature from floor to ceiling by an iron stove than a masonry stove.
Instead of heating the air directly the radiation from the masonry stove passes through the air in the room, and warms all of the solid surfaces in the room that it "shines" on. In effect, the heater becomes a miniature "sun" in your living area. A fairly usually house without long hallways and closed doors can be easily heated by a masonry wood-burning stove.
Radiant heat: ...
Better indoor air: ...
Simple operation: ...
Minimal care: ...
Beautiful appearance: ...
Delicate cooking: ...
To fully understand why masonry stoves in everyday use is much more effective than, for example, cast iron stoves, it is necessary to know a little bit about what is required to achieve efficient utilization of the calorific value in wood.
An efficient and environmentally friendly wood burning requires:
Dry wood - it should talk for itself!
To maximize heating efficiency and minimize poor combustion and emissions, it is essential to properly dry or “season” fuel wood. The goal of “seasoning” fuel wood should be to get it to a relatively uniform moisture content of 20% or less.
Moisture Content refers to water that is contained within a piece of wood, but is not part of the wood molecules. We often refer to it as “free water”. High moisture reduces efficiency and makes it harder to start and sustain good secondary combustion. This is due to its cooling effect that slows down combustion and cools down the gases produced by pyrolysis. This has dramatic consequences on effective heating value.
Read the section "Wet wood burning" for a more detailed explanation.
High temperature - the majority of wood calorific value lies in the gases released by heating. A part of these gases burns only at temperatures around 900 C. Unburnt gases are for PAH (pathogenic) - Co (fatal) - or tar (condensed gas which can give rise to fire).
Good turbulence - mixing of the hot gases and air. Sinc of gases are relatively cold, it must be eite the air which is added to the combustionher pre-heated or gas temperature should be even higher, since the high temperature of the mixture is essential for the combustion.
Space and time - When the temperature and turbulence is sufficient to burn gases, but it requires space and time during which the temperature should not be lowered because the combustion will cease.