Flutterby™! : In hot water?

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In hot water?

2005-04-09 16:31:26.711651+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

I sent this query as an email to crasch, but I figured the rest of y'all might have some answers. Got a friend who lives simply. He's got a small hut hidden away in a place with a temperate clime, but sometimes come winter he wants just a little bit of heat. In the colder months, he can heat the place with a couple of candles, but he's been thinking that a ring of copper pipe, perhaps run vertically in the hut for convection circulation, would make a nice hot water system if he could find a small heater that he could run off of a 5 gallon propane tank.

I've suggested various ways to build such a heater, and I see that there are some RV systems, but most of the RV systems appear to want a 12v power source. Any of you folks who've investigated living off of the grid seen such a system or have ideas on engineering one?

[ related topics: Cool Technology ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-09 16:57:07.186138+00 by: ziffle

how about a fireplace?

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-09 17:41:53.588384+00 by: Dan Lyke

He wants to keep the flame (and potential carbon monoxide sources) outside, and he's rather low profile, and producing lots of smoke might alert folks to the presence of a resident in said hut. The hut is often on the edges of larger estates; he's there because the owner of the place likes having someone with a good reputation living surreptitiously in the yard, another set of eyes to watch over the place, but it's good if, for instance, neighbors don't know he's there.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-09 19:33:55.592704+00 by: Larry Burton

Dan, I've got this propane gas radiant heater that would probably get that coil of copper with the water running through it pretty hot. I think the thing costs me about $45 at Home Depot several years ago. It has a mount to mount it to the safty ring around the top of a 5gal. propane tank and will run for quite a while on that amount of propane.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-10 03:09:59.358981+00 by: dexev

If this place gets good winter sun, a passive solar water heater can be simple and effective.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-10 03:24:05.186966+00 by: jims

For making heat, maybe a catalytic heater is best. There won't be a carbon monoxide issue or a flue. Googling "propane catalytic" will get you some Coleman models starting around $30. For the simple living techno geek you could Google "thermoelectric propane" and find some handy devices to turn propane into battery charge which might be nice for lighting. The good news is the things probably aren't more than 15% efficient, so they are really heaters that put out a little electricity, just the thing. But check closely, they are mostly made for outdoor use on pipelines and such and you want to make sure you have a unit that won't asphyxiate anyone.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-11 23:17:06.003966+00 by: polly

is said hut mobile or stationary? interesting sounding fella...