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Dragon Heaters Vs. Rocket Mass Heaters

dragon heaterDragon heaters offer more efficient heating, in a smaller footprint, with more flexible design options. Our goal with Dragon Heaters is to bring Rocket Heater concepts to everyone, by simplifying the build, improving aesthetic choices, offering a range of heat storage approaches and reducing its footprint.

The traditional rocket heater was developed and described by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson in their book Rocket Mass Heaters. Dragon Heaters differ from this approach in 2 key areas: the combustion area and heat capture options.

The Dragon Burner is made with optimized materials and a complex shape that is more efficient and has fewer emissions than a burn tunnel built with bricks.

Flexible heat capture is the other main difference. The traditional rocket heater uses a steel barrel for immediate heat and a clay bench with an embedded flue for heat storage. Using the same J-tube style combustion system, Dragon Heaters facilitate more options for utilizing the heat. Users can select to release it all immediately, only some, or put all the heat into thermal storage as in a masonry heater.

Having a pre-built combustion system frees up many of the design constraints associated with traditional rocket heaters. For example, it is possible to build a heater which radiates a portion of the heat into a space and puts the rest into thermal mass, without either the barrel or a cob bench.



New Rocket Mass Heater Plans

Hermon HeaterHermon Heater Plans
All-Brick Rocket Mass Heater. Walls are 4.5″ thick. Wood box / air intake opens @ 4.5″ by 9″, same for burn tube, heat riser & initial exhaust. 10 Bricks per layer in the heater, 16 layers high. Around 180 brick in this heater. One bag of masonry heater mortar. Absorbs lots of heat and gives it out for hours after heater shut down. Cad drawings done with Google Sketchup. Electronic delivery $40.

Visit for discussion of Rocket Mass Heaters and Rocket Stoves.


Inverters, Bonded Neutral / Grounds, and Propane Water Heaters

So here’s the scenario. A client calls, and says he purchased a Samlex 1500 Watt SW Inverter ($314) for his propane water heater (electronic ignition, powered exhaust).

The water heater will not fire up, but neither does it trip any overload indications. Battery voltage at the inverter terminals is 12.6v during “ignition” attempt. The unit does work on grid.

With some research, it’s found that some of these water heaters require a bonded neutral / ground on the AC. This is a no-no with cheap MSW inverters (lets the magic smoke out), but usually ok with a quality unit like the Samlex. However (don’t you hate that word?), this Samlex came with a GFCI outlet. Other versions of this inverter are designed for hard wiring. GFCI is designed to prevent a leakage of current to ground by tripping of the circuit.

There are two solutions. The first is a warranty voider. Replace the outlet with a non-GFCI, or hardwire to the GFCI input (some GFCI outlets you can just move the line wires to the load pins, bypassing the GFCI functionality).

The second, more reasonable approach (though more costly), is to add a 1:1 isolation transformer to the output of the inverter (plug it into the GFCI), and feed the secondary to the water heater, bonding the ground and neutral wires. This trick will work with the cheap inverters as well.

There you go, a simple solution to a perplexing problem.


Our Candle Heater Arrived

USPS arrived today with a 4+ lb package. With great anticipation we opened the box, and there it was. Our candle heater. It took about 4 minutes to assemble, which entails looping the 2 chains through the frame, single wrapped around each other between the posts, and our candle was lit and filling the room with aroma, light, and some heat. We supplied the candle, everything else was included. Though not meant to be a single heat source, it definitely spreads more heat than with the candle alone. More photo’s can be found in our Photo Album, and the creator’s website at

Update: Do not use a candle without a jar. The increased heat turns the whole thing into a puddle. The instructions call for a candle in a jar, and should be followed.


The Kandle Heeter(tm) Candle Holder is an attractive Ceramic Radiator suspended above a Candle Flame on a solid steel frame. And it really works! The Steel and Ceramic Radiator collects and concentrates the Heat from the Candle Flame, becomes Hot (but not burning), and Gently Radiates the Heat from the Candle into your Room. More information and photographs are available at and you can Buy It On Ebay! $24.95

Invented and Manufactured in Fortuna, California by Doyle Doss from Solid Steel and Ceramic components the Kandle Heeter(tm) Candle Holder is just over 9 inches tall and just under 7 inches wide and deep. It weighs over four pounds and ships in its own 200 lb test cardboard box.

The Steel and Ceramic Radiator is comprised of Three Nested Ceramic Modulators held together and separated by a Solid Steel Inner Core. The Steel Inner Core is positioned directly above the Candle and is driven to very high temperatures by the Flame. It gets Very, Very Hot!

The Nested Ceramic Modulators transfer and moderate the High Temperature of the Inner Core, one to another, until the outer Ceramic Modulator becomes a gently radiating Thermal Body that releases the Concentrated Heat from the Candle into your Home or Office. If you burn Candles, it only makes environmental and economical practical sense to Capture the Heat that is normally lost to the ceiling and use this Heat in your own environment. (A typical 4.5 oz. Jar Candle contains over 1,000 Btu’s!)

The Kandle Heeter(tm) Candle Holder makes a Real Difference in a small room or bedroom. If there is a Temporary Power Outage you will be able to create a Warm Room for your family and friends – Light and Warmth (both from the same source!) makes an Encouraging Difference while you wait for the storm to pass. If you have a Recreational Vehicle or Camping Trailer it will help you save Propane while you are enjoying the Great Outdoors.

Please visit our website ( Please distribute this information in your newspaper, magazine, blog, and to your friends. We would greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions. We are DOSS Products, we specialize in Energy and Environment Practical Invention, and we want to help you Stay Warmer This Winter For Less! Thanks.

Doyle Doss


AIR-X Wind Turbine Arrived, More Rocket Mass Heater Videos

The 24v AIR-X arrived today, and the Whisper 500 watt unit arrived last week. The Whisper was donated by Jim Juczak of Allan Smith, the creator of the Rocket Mass Heater came for supper, and we discussed his design, and alternative implementations. We will be building one of these soon. A ebook of the heater with video and Sketchup diagrams will be available from us shortly, as well as one with the wind turbine setup and installation. He has also added a couple more video’s on startup of the heater, and heat circulation. The manual wood splitter mentioned in the video’s is found at Bailey’s Online.


Build your Own Solar Water Heater

There are lots of references for building solar water heaters, but one of the best articles we have come across describing the different types and how they are constructed (and what climates they are useful in) is the Rob Harlan / Michael Hackleman interview (free download) at, from the September/October 2000 Backwoods Home Magazine issue.

They discuss the 7 major types of solar water heaters, which are the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to using the power of the sun in a practical manner.

1. Integral collector/storage
2. Thermosiphon
3. Three-season
4. Drain-back
5. Drain-down
6. Re-circulation
7. Active closed-loop


Eden Pure, What’s the Big Deal?

I’ve had a couple of people ask me just what’s so special about the Eden Pure heater that Paul Harvey used to hawk. I did some digging and here’s the scoop:

It’s an electric heater. Yep, that’s it. A 1640 watt quartz radiant heater designed to heat a 1000 sq. ft. space. It’s no better, no worse than any other electric space heater you can buy for $30 at the hardware store. All electric heaters are 100% efficient at converting electricity to heat. So why the big price tag? Good question. Because they can convince people they have something special. It’s called “Good Marketing” …..


Allan’s Rocket Mass Heater

A friend of mine just posted his working version of a Rocket Mass Heater on Youtube. This is a great example of a clean burning, extremely efficient heater that can be used for space heating, cooking, or heating water, or any combination of the above.


The Rocket Mass Heater

Want an extremely efficient, clean burning wood stove? Check out the Rocket Mass Heater by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson! A house that burns 7 cord of wood a season can burn just 2/3 of a cord with this style heater, as it burns cleaner, extracts more heat from the “chimney” without creosote build up (no chimney fires), and stores the heat in a thermal mass for gentle long term radiant heat, so the fire doesn’t have to be fed constantly. The best part? You build it yourself, and it’s very inexpensive. Learn more from the $13 eBook at We bought it, read it, and are starting on our stove. We recommend it.


Multi Fuel Burner – Heat / Cook with Veggie Oil

We have a bunch of used but good condition 45k btu heaters (Military Surplus M1941) coming in that will burn a multitude of liquid fuels, like kerosene, diesel, used fryer oil, etc. This is a DIY Tinker type item, not a ready to run appliance. Can be installed in an existing wood stove or drum (We have the original wood/coal stove for these oil kit inserts available for $115). These sell for $50 delivered in the USA (lower 48), and we are working out a quantity drop ship to the UK for local delivery. For USA customers, send an email, for EU customers, send a email to

We have a digitized manual available at and a discussion group for this device at