PRI New Zealand (Koanga Institute)
PRI New Zealand (Koanga Institute)
Details
Commenced:
01/01/1987
Submitted:
03/08/2011
Last updated:
07/10/2015
Location:
96 Kotare Road, Wairoa, Hawkes Bay, NZ
Phone:
+64 6 8386269
Website:
www.koanga.org.nz
Climate zone:
Mediterranean





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Rocket Oven! Permanent Wall Mounted Kitchen Oven.

Project: PRI New Zealand (Koanga Institute)

We're using this awesome Rocket Stove powered Wall oven for all the catering here at Koanga, it gets daily use and we're loving it! The amount of wood required is minimal, a tiny fraction of what a regular wood fired stove would use.

by Tim Barker

During our last workshop at the Koanga Institute, we built a rocket stove. Our design brief was very specific in that the stove had to be practical, easy to use and long lasting, whereas what is being built by most backyard experimenters like myself, while being fun to make and muck around with, are more along the lines of “camp stoves” built from tin cans that quickly disintegrate with use. Another consideration which I felt was important was that most rocket stoves are just that – stoves, as in – place a pot on top and boil something.

Rocket StoveWhat I envisaged was not a rocket stove but a Rocket Oven. This is a concept I had originally developed nearly three years ago when living in a small two room shack. It had a camping gas burner but no oven. Missing those things that only an oven can provide is a great motivator. Of course, due to my previous work making rocket stove powered water heaters (a subject we’ll get to at a later date), it was always going to be rocket powered. The hard part, or so I thought, was making an oven chamber that was insulated, had racks and a fitting door. Plus, it had to look good. It was then that I realised I had described an electric or gas oven. From there, the rest was easy. A quick trip to the local scrap merchant secured an old benchtop unit where the hot plates are beside the oven. Cost $20.00.

After discarding the hot plate section, the next step was to build a rocket stove ‘j’ elbow (see photo), cut a hole in the base of the oven and sit it on top of the rocket stove. Next step was to insulate the rocket stove for maximum combustion efficiency and finally the fun part – Light Her Up!

I can honestly say I’ve never done an experiment that went so smoothly and easily met and surpassed my expectations. With only slight modifications and tweaks, this oven was in near daily use for approximately two years. The stove at the Koanga Instititute is the distillation of everything that I’ve learned since in subsequent builds. Between our internship program and various courses, it is in near constant use and has performed flawlessly.

Finally, I can honestly say that as I pass through the institute kitchen during the day, I can’t help but go over to the oven and peer down into the combustion chamber if I can hear the soft rumble of the stove as it goes about its business.



Covering the rocket elbow with a 50/50 mixture of sawdust and clay, which acts as insulation and protects against getting burnt by the extremely hot elbow. Note the chicken wire wish is used to strengthen and hold the mixture in place till it drys.

Our first rocket stove dinner! It roasts meat and vegetables beautifully... and bakes excellent bread. We're using very little wood - just a tiny fraction of what we'd use in a regular wood fired pizza oven.

Comments (8)

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Homer Christensen
Homer Christensen : This looks fabulous. Do you have any drawings of how you set up the combustion chamber?
Posted over 7 years ago

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Richard Telford
Richard Telford : WOW - I'd love to make an outdoor one. Can you share more about the design?
Posted over 7 years ago

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Marc Van Hummelen
Marc Van Hummelen : I would also appreciate a look at some drawings of this. I have two rocket stoves myself which I lend to the local transition initiative from time to time, and am planning to build a rocket stove mass heater. But this really sounds cool too, always had a vague idea of something missing about the rocket stove and I think this might be it. There's talk of electricity black-outs here in Belgium now that several nuclear power plants are closed down, so this oven will probably come in useful in the near future.
Posted over 7 years ago

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Mark Brown
Mark Brown : I wonder at heat displacement. The heat from the rocket would have to hit a dense metal plate at the bottom of the oven, I would think. Love to know more.
Posted over 7 years ago

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Federico Lavarias
Federico Lavarias : Hello Tim, hope aplease, please, please, more info, pictures, drawings, anything to share
Posted over 7 years ago

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Federico Lavarias
Federico Lavarias : Sorry about last message... hope all it's good, your beautiful family and everything, stay in touch!
Posted over 7 years ago

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Shawn Tisdell
Shawn Tisdell : Probably a pretty common question, but why doesn't the sawdust in the clay/sawdust insulation burn? Or does it burn out, leaving voids in the clay to provide better insulation? Yes, more info please.
Posted over 7 years ago

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Courses Taught Here!
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Rural Intentional Demonstration Educational Master plan
Administrators
Bob Corker - Director Kat Gawlik - Marketing Intern Kat Gawlik - Marketing Intern Kay Baxter - CEO Tim Barker - Teacher
Team Members
Bob Corker - Garden Manager 2015 season Dan Palmer - Garden Manager 2015 season Kay Baxter - Garden Manager 2015 season Tim Barker - Garden Manager 2015 season

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