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.
A rocket stove achieves efficient combustion of the fuel at a high temperature by ensuring that there is a good air draft into the fire, controlled use of fuel, complete combustion of volatiles, and efficient use of the resultant heat.
A rocket stove’s main components are:
- Fuel magazine: Into which the unburned fuel is placed and from where it feeds into the combustion chamber
- Combustion chamber: At the end of the fuel magazine where the wood is burned
- Chimney: A vertical chimney above the combustion chamber to provide the updraft needed to maintain the fire
- Heat exchanger: To transfer the heat to where it is needed, i.e. the cooking pot.
The fuel magazine can be horizontal where additional fuel will be added manually or vertically for automatic feeding of fuel. As the fuel burns within the combustion chamber convection draws new air into the combustion chamber from below ensuring that any smoke from smoldering wood near to the fire is also drawn into the fire and up the chimney. The chimney should be insulated to maximize the temperature and improve combustion. From the chimney the heat passed into a suitable heat exchanger to ensure the efficient use of the generated heat.
For cooking purposes the design keeps the cooking vessel in contact with the fire over the largest possible surface area by use of a pot skirt to create a narrow channel which forces hot air and gas to flow along the bottom and sides of the cooking vessel. Optionally baffles guide hot air and flame up the sides of the pot. For space heating purposes the heat is transferred to a heat store which can in some cases be part of the structure of the house itself. The exhaust gasses then pass out of the building via the chimney.
The design of stove means that it can operate on about half as much fuel as a traditional open fire and can use smaller diameter wood. They are insulated and raised from the floor which reduces the danger of children burning themselves. Some more recent designs are self feeding using gravity to add fuel to the fire as required.
Information from Wikipedia