Jump to content

Ethanol space heaters


Recommended Posts

It may be the cold front's fault but I've been looking into heating, Currently I just have a gas heater and a 3kw fan driven eskom bill enhancer. I've done some reading up and am wondering if ethanol fireplaces are a viable alternative to gas heaters. There are a few benefits like they can be very pretty and require no installation no chimney, no gas lines. Also burns cleanly. I like the idea of not worrying about the gas bottles and not having to go refill said gas bottle and also know when the fuel is going to run out. The cons seem to be much less heat, the units themselves are rather ridiculously priced so there is that; and then also ethanol cost, so what are we talking here? i cant really get an idea of how it compares for run-time in fuel cost. Anyone have any experience with this? are there cheap supplies for ethanol? 

maybe i should start up a still :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, DeepBass9 said:

Do you fill them with meths?

 

Yes i think spirits is basically poisoned ethanol right? the stuff sold is clear and quite expensive like R55 per liter but i recon way overpriced. no doubt a printer and ink situation, you know "only use our approved super eco bio juice for best and safest results"

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, edmundp said:

Best option is still closed combustion wood stove. Last time I checked they may not be installed in a bedroom though...?

yes no for sure but what's really appealing is the ease of use and installation that can be as simple as putting it down.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
Looked into that myself. Basically these units are, well, for decoration. Very little heat.

Best option is still closed combustion wood stove. Last time I checked they may not be installed in a bedroom though...?

Anyone know?

Sent from my SM-N900 using Tapatalk

I support this.. we have the smallest Amesti closed combustion stove and the other night it took room from 13deg to 21deg in 2 hours... uses hardly any wood.

Sent from my SM-G800F using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, DeepBass9 said:

Its a mix of methanol and ethanol with some purple dye to distinguish it from Witblits. Not sure what the cost is, I'm more of a beer man..

Many years ago our local stocktheft unit mixed grape KoolAid in with vodka and were drinking vodka and lemonade at the rugby. Everyone was convinced that it was meths. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Mark said:

I support this.. we have the smallest Amesti closed combustion stove and the other night it took room from 13deg to 21deg in 2 hours... uses hardly any wood.

Sent from my SM-G800F using Tapatalk

Completely agreed it is the best option, however there are other elements that may play a greater role here, mainly things make the Ethanol burners appealing and that is ease of use and aesthetics. i mean i cannot install a closed combustion stove (henceforth CCS) in my tiny home. so i have to look at gas, electric or ethanol. what i don't like about gas is just personal, I'm afraid of it and i hate having to go and refill, buying a bottle of fuel is somehow a better option for me. electric is obviously out on solar so ethanol is an option for someone like myself.

what i don't get is the statement that ethanol burners don't provide real heat, how is that so when the energy density is very close to that of Propane? is it some crappy design in the burner?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris

Lets be truthful here, If it is a choice between cost vs environmently friendly, most of us are interested in cost first (but also want to do a little bit to be nice to environment without killing our pocket)... On that note, if you have access to wood on a large scale, then it is most definately cheaper in the long run (no funny mods, no complicated and expensive valves/switches). Despite the perceived negative impact of using wood for fuel burning, it is only marginally worse than the "environmental" alternatives at the moment. The impact currently (but they are getting better and will eventually be worth it) of choosing wood over another alternative is only for your personal good feeling...

Keep your eyes open for changes, but cost wise (overall), taking available wood and using it for heating/fuel is still economical if you don't want to use commercial fuels (still lower impact overall). But look at ways you can use the extra heat to do other things, then you might be able to feel great and save bucks at the same time.

You would be better off optimising the way you burn the fuel, looking at where the heat goes and how it is distributed... As simple duct changed the entire heating/cooling situation at my place, and that had nothing to do with a fuel/source change...

Link to post
Share on other sites

We use wood in the fireplace but the bedroom is a bit chilly just after a bath so hence the gas heater. My grandfather did a calculation that coal paid for and delivered to the station was cheaper than free firewood. Since the firewood needed to be collected and chopped and the wages and wear and tear on vehicles was more. I do use firewood but piggyback on my staff who ask to use a tractor and trailer to get wood and I give them use of a tractor on the understanding that they collect wood for me too.

I don't think that the calculation still favours coal anymore but "free" tends not to be free.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an argument that firewood (a primary source) is better than any of the secondary, tertiary, etc sources.

They recon "natural" veld/forest fires mean that the "small" outputs of burning wood (assume from sustainable sources) for domestic use is a small contributor in the grand scope of things.  Especially if you used closed combustion methods (high efficiency).

My 2c though.

M

Link to post
Share on other sites

Something that I have noticed is that the indigenous wood collected from dead trees has coals that last 20hrs or so. There is a pine tree dying after a destructive hailstorm which we are using as a source of firewood and the timber is so dry it does not even have that lovely pine smell. The pine timber produces far less ash.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

For interest i've used a loaner ethanol burner to experiment a little and the result i got with the rather small tissue-box size unit was 23 minutes on 100ml. that for me is 2L per day of use and a lot of re-fills. Now like kleva said there its not so much change of fuel source but rather increasing efficiency and it seems ethanol burners are not efficient in the least. My conclusion on this for now is that ethanol burners are more of an aesthetics thing and if that is your primary motivation you can justify cost with all the eco-ness sounding bio ethanol. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to say at the start, having seen them used at establishments, they are a nice feature, useless for real heating having grown up with anthracite stove.

But man, I laughed at that video of the guy tasting the liquid. I saw my son and I trying it at a dare.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2016/08/01 at 10:01 AM, Mark said:

There is an argument that firewood (a primary source) is better than any of the secondary, tertiary, etc sources.

Burning material that is growing now (and can be replanted now) is always better than burning material that grew long ago. Fire wood is therefore a renewable resource, when properly managed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Burning material that is growing now (and can be replanted now) is always better than burning material that grew long ago. Fire wood is therefore a renewable resource, when properly managed.

True but what about dinomunching V8 powa! chop chop mutha....

Wait.... theres another reason to make my own ethanol still haha[emoji14]

Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...