Rocket Stove Generators

Energy generation from rocket stoves has a lot of potential. This is a great way to produce low cost energy if you have access to scrap wood, tree trimmings, etc. These YouTube videos provide a glimpse of what’s possible. Even though they may seem simplistic, these proof of concept systems could be scaled up to produce greater amounts of energy. As usual, be sure to do your homework. High pressure steam can be very dangerous. And if you see any other similar videos of good quality, please leave a comment below.

Lynx Rocket Stove Powered Steam Engine Rock Stove Generator
Rocket Stove Steam Turbine Battery Charger

9 thoughts on “Rocket Stove Generators”

  1. the sterling engine is a good concept, and the exhaust of steam, heat, wind, current of the ocean, i.e. water the thing is getting a magnet whirling with many pounds of copper wire or use nichrome wire reversing something is harder than using what using what is available who wants something that someone else did before

  2. Another option is to use Peltier modules to generate electricity directly from heat. For the cold side, a liquid heat sink works best, so use a container of water for the heat sink.
    The problem with using a rocket stove or parabolic dish or trough to power a Peltier? Both rocket stoves and parabolic dish/troughs produce far more heat than a Peltier module can handle, which will destroy the Peltier module.
    Give up on it, since it just must be impossible? We just saw that rocket stoves and parabolic cookers will destroy a Peltier module, right?

    Never say die!!!

    Solution: use the the rocket stove or parabolic cooker to heat mineral oil. Use a thermometer to monitor the mineral oil’s temperature as it heats on the stove or parabolic cooker. Remove oil from heat source once it attains the desired temperature. If the Peltier’s maximum working temperature is, say, 350 F, remove mineral oil from the stove or parabolic cooker once the thermometer reads 350 F. Viola, you now have a heat source perfectly matched to the Peltier modules you intend to use to generate electricity, created from high heat sources that would otherwise destroy the modules.

    Sandwich Peltier modules between 2 square reservoirs made from copper or aluminum or another good heat-conducting material. Pour cool water into the cold-side reservoir and hot mineral oil, heated to the Peltier module’s maximum working temperature, into the hot-side reservoir. Viola, the heat of a rocket stove or parabolic cooker safely applied to a thermoelectric generator without the risk of overheating and destroying the module.

    Why mineral oil instead of water? Mineral oil won’t boil at a Peltier’s maximum working temperature, water does. Mineral oil can hold several hundred degrees without boiling or bursting into steam. Mineral oil is widely available and not too costly, and it will be reused many, many times in a setup like this. Also, a rocket stove or parabolic cooker could heat more oil than the Peltier needs in the reservoir and that excess oil can be put into a thermos or insulated drum so as to retain the heat for later use, long after the fire is out or the sun is down. A very convenient way to run the Thermoelectric generator for an extended period of time from a fairly short cooking period.

    For efficiency, it would be best to stack the cool-side reservoir on top of the hot-side reservoir with the Peltier modules sandwiched between them. (Heat rises, cold falls. Heat in bottom reservoir will rise to the Peltiers, cold in top reservoir will fall down to the Peltiers.)

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. Poo poo it or run with it, your call.


  3. Oh, almost forgot. The PowerDish people are only selling arrays right now, but my correspondence with them gleaned that they will be offering them for individual sale to off-gridders by next year. We’ll see if that happens…

    • That’s what they told me last year. Only commercial sales at this point. And they’ll probably cost a fortune when they do come out, thus my contention this technology will be more feasible off in the future a bit.

  4. Stirling Engines are a lot less complex, and no worry of a slug of water destroying your steam engine. Steam is powerful, but inflexible and while the boiler explosions steal the shown, a slug of water destroying the engine was a rather frequent problem in small-scale and amateur steam systems. It’s just too much work to do it right, when something much simpler and more reliable could be just as effective.

    I’ve explored these concepts for almost 20 years. You’re better off skipping the steam and DIYing a better Stirling Engine. We have the machining capability to build much better Stirling Engines now. They are no longer ineffective like they were in the age of their invention when they couldn’t compete with steam due to poor machining and materials.

    Have a look at the industrialized version:

    Now, this link is not low tech, but…

    It isn’t hard to fab up your own, albeit less efficient, Alpha Stirling Engine from salvaged materials. When it’s running on solar, less efficiency doesn’t result in waste, so it doesn’t matter. Fresnel Lenses salvaged from projection TVs… Or a simple heliostat array. Mirrors are everywhere…

    It is very hard to get superheated dry steam from a solar boiler, and the stove is burning trees and emitting carbon. That’s the wrong road to head down because it’s the first step down the road we’re already going down… Pollution and over-complicated, wasteful faux-industrialization for the sake of industrialization… It’s just another Lightbulb Conspiracy. A Steam Engine is a very inefficient external combustion engine. You’d do just as well, or better, to run a gas generator. Steam Groupies like to do deceptive math, you can’t trust them.

    Adding a water-cooled heat exchanger to the cool side of a Stirling engine would be a better idea than a steam engine. Use a large earthbag cistern and a Tesla Turbine/Pump bolted to the Engine’s output shaft. The same setup could be used with the Rocket Stove, too… has a half-assed set of youtube videos on the topic. It should be easy for a smart guy to see the potential.

    • This has potential, but it’s good to consider a variety of options. At this point I don’t know of any good quality, affordable Stirling engines available to the public. Plans are available, but most people don’t have the ability to fabricate the engines. Rocket stoves and steam engines are practical for lots of people. Stirling engines, including those used with concentrated solar are off in the future a bit for most.


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