The Deck

Our back deck is receiving a makeover. ๐Ÿ™‚ A very BIG makeover. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ve been tossing up the idea of passive solar greenhouses for quite some time. I love the concept and how they help to keep a house warmer in winter and cooler in summer as well as creating an area to push the seasons or growing zones somewhat. Our back deck is only narrow, about 120-140cm wide but it is wide enough to be able to help keep the heat in or out… IF it was enclosed in glass.

The 2nd window going in. There's a louvre to the right of this window on the eastern end of the deck.

The 2nd window going in. There’s a louvre to the right of this window on the eastern end of the deck.

The prospect of this was a rather expensive one but thanks to a wonderful friend Tinkerbelle, we have been able to do it on the cheap. Tinkย hooked us up to a friend of hers who works in demolition and who has allowed us to go in and remove windows and doors (amongst many other wonderful things – more on that later) from houses marked for demolition. We have scored 4 louvre windows, several sliding windows and a 3 panel sliding glass door set which, with a little work from a mate, will enclose our deck into a passive solar greenhouse area. The back deck faces nearly directly north so it gets the full flood of any sun and, even in winter I anticipate it should be quite a lovely warm space to enjoy. I’ll make sure it stays warm enough though as I’m building a rocket mass heater out there too. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ll post more about the rocket stove as it comes together but here is a link that will outline an awful lot about what they are and how they work. Basically they are ultra efficient stoves that combust a lot more of their fuel. They run on twigs and kindling and for a tiny amount of fuel they run very hot. They can be used to heat hot water, to cook on, to heat benches and houses and are a wonderful way to heat small houses or spaces. I’m sure they would work well in larger spaces too. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first run mock up of the rocket stove. We lit a piece of paper and with a little assistance it worked. Given that it's far from airtight I am STOKED!

The first run mock-up of the rocket stove without itsย combustion chamber. We lit a piece of paper and with a little assistance it worked. Given that it’s far from airtight I am STOKED!

Anyway, there will be more updates and photos to come as things come together. ๐Ÿ™‚


10 thoughts on “The Deck

  1. Lynda D says:

    Are you going to cover it in clay like the link. I like that one. Looking forward to seeing the enclosed deck.

  2. Lynda D says:

    Hmmm, second thought, does having a fire source under the roof line that is non commercial (approved) affect your insurance. I would hate for it to be voided. Im loving your plans though.

    • I have no idea to be honest. I’ll mention it to Martin though.
      When we did the trial light with the piece of paper we got the extinguisher out just in case. We also have a fire blanket, just inside the door near the fire. That blanket will move out nearer the rocket stove though, just in case. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Love the passive heating and stacked function of the greenhouse. Throw in the rocket stove and I’m wishing we weren’t an ocean apart so we could come and help. We are talking about doing this in our newest project. Very exciting – congrats!

    • Florida might be a little far to come and help but wish you could too! Things are looking to change in the near future and I want to be able to have as much variety in our diets as possible so pushing the envelope as far as climates in which to grow is the only way to go. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for reading.

  4. narf77 says:

    “WOOT!” Kudos Tinkerbelle ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Michael says:

    Hmmm! a sunroom! nice ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve been lucky enough to see some rocket style stoves in action in Timor Leste as part of the work I was doing over there and they work a treat. We had to do a test with a big one used in a commercial kitchen to determine the best way to keep the performance up as the owner said it wasn’t cooking the food very well. It turned out the pot was partially blocking the flue and smothering the flames. We came up with some modifications and hopefully it’s working better now.

    The only thing you might find a hassle is constantly feeding in the wood to the combustion chamber but that’s also good for minimising waste ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Good scores and great ideas. Looking forward to seeing them:)

  7. […] wrote about the deck back in early July (see my post here) and works continued apace, a few hours each day until finally we are at the point where plants are […]

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