How does a forest-keeper turn wood into heat?

Salty aboard W. Atkin "Ingrid", Washington State, USA - Copyright 2001 Navigator Stove Works (NSW), Inc. All rights reserved.


How does a forest-keeper turn wood into heat?

“Burns it,” you say. “Like everyone else.”  Probably, but it’s a trick question.  How exactly does a forest-keeper burn wood for heat? In what form does she burn the wood for example – cut & split, chips, sticks, pellets?  And what sort of combustion vessel does she use – a rocket stove, an E.P.A.-approved airtight, a pyrolytic gasifier, a masonry heater?  Or maybe a cute little cast iron marine stove like NSW's 'Sardine' pictured above.

Now that Community Forests International’s sustainable cabin design competition is complete we’re making preparations to build the winning concept – the Whaelghinbran Nomadic Cabin.  This cabin will allow CFI to accommodate students, innovators and guests at its fledgling Rural Innovation Campus, and we hope to do so in a way that best reflects the organization’s vision and principles.  Forest restoration and conservation are core values at CFI, as well as reducing the human impact on the environment generally and reducing greenhouse gas emissions specifically. Which brings us back to our original question – how does a forest-keeper turn wood into heat? What sort of wood burning heater is appropriate for CFI’s Nomadic Cabin? 

The Nomadic Cabin has a 110 sq.ft. interior and an insulation value in the range of R 18 – R 20.  It will be used year-round, so the heater must be effective not only on the coldest nights but also throughout shoulder seasons when small fires are used to take the chill off or make a pot of tea.   For more information see the design showcase on the Whaelghinbran Nomadic Cabin, or post your questions to the comments section below and I'll get back to you asap.  I’d love to hear some ideas, or see some examples of similar solutions - please share!

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