So I just got back from testing, and I can finally show the project I’ve been working on for 8 months!
There’s been some recent (around December) studies out that indicate that the effects of tiny soot particles are much more serious for global warming than previously thought.
There already exist ways to replace your fireplace with a more efficient one, so I was aiming for a solution that would be a quick and relatively inexpensive fix.
As I mentioned elsewhere, it may not look like much for an 8 month project, but there was a ton of math and research involved.
I started with the initial concepts in parallel with my research. The point of this was to make incredibly stupid concepts first, then slowly improve them with knowledge, but still have the first few unbiased by the existing trends in the field. This took about 3 months because of the research in parallel.
Quite a few calculations were done here to figure out exactly what materials were needed and how much. The excel file I used is huge, but here’s an extremely compressed version if you’re interested:
Taking cues from these initial concepts, and my full knowledge of the field, I created some refined concepts:
Noticing some patterns in these refined concepts, I broke them down into the two required elements: collection and cleaning
The collection method was a pretty easy pick. The biggest challenge was already to ensure the pressure drop was low enough to avoid sending smoke back into the house, so the external collection was selected.
For the cleaning method, I wasn’t really sure if cleaning was even really needed, so I built the prototype with no mechanism to see how much it accumulated.
Some build photos:
And finally, a quick shot of testing a few hours ago from my phone (I’ve got some nice ones on a camera, I’ll post them up soon)
Conclusions… well I honestly haven’t had enough time to think it through yet. In general, it worked almost exactly how I thought it would, but the carbon stains on the inside are showing a few strange flow patterns which I’ll have to consider the reasons for.
Would love to hear your comments, criticism, advice and suggestions for improvement!