Erica and Ernie chose the top four Innovators in Rocket Mass Heater technology from all over the world. Erica tells us a bit more about why, "We were looking for a collection of people we'd like to meet, and whose work we share with other people who ask about a particular feature or function.
In addition to being excellent designers and prototype-builders in their various different ways, these four have also been excellent contributors to the grassroots research community, sharing their results with others through the forums at permies.com, proboards.com, permaculturenews.org, and other sites.
There are half-a-dozen other worthy contributors who made our short list; and countless other excellent designers and masons out there perfecting their craft, but these four seemed to represent a good cross-section of what's going on in rocket mass heaters today."
Peter van den Berg
Born 1st of March 1946 in The Hague, Netherlands.
Lived in the same town since.
Formal education: Cabinet maker up to master.
Skills: Woodworking, bricklaying, plumbing, welding, plastering,electrical wiring, composites, making molds.
Work: Cabinet maker 17 years, composite specialist and mold maker at Fokker Aircraft 17 years, master of boats for Delft University among others, 14 years, retired since 2011.
Interested in efficient wood burning, mostly by way of masonry heaters for the last 30 years.
Tried to make a living building those heaters but gave up after 5 years.
Since 2007 investigating and developing rocket heater variants.
Designed and built my own passive, energy neutral house.
Links to his stuff:
Concerning Rocket Mass Heater
Concerning Horizontal Feed Rockets
Why Erica and Ernie chose Peter:
"Peter van den Berg was among the first to post emissions-testing data on rocket firebox models, and his attention to detail has led to two new firebox refinements that reduce emissions even further, and to the cast firebox currently in production by DragonHeaters."
Tim has come a long way since his days as a diesel fitter mechanic and now spends his time between Australia and New Zealand as a semi professional pyromaniac and mad scientist teaching people how to burn stuff and make really cool machines and devices for low carbon living. He currently teaches Appropriate technology for the Koanga institute in New Zealand and Eternity Springs farm in Australia.
He has previously been farm manager for the Permaculture research Institute of Australia, power station operator/mechanicl, Adventure guide and professional turtle wrestler. His rocket stove and char making powered hot water systems, ovens and cookers reflect his passion for elegant simple and durable combustion technologies, other projects include gravity powered water pumps, solar thermal cookers and dryers , Pedal powered washing machines, cargo bikes, hovercraft, wooden boats and aquaponics to name a few. When he is not tinkering he can be found on Macleay island off the coast of Queensland Australia where he and his family live and are currently in the process of building a rammed earth house (with maybe a little sailing thrown in).
Link to his stuff:
Why Ernie and Erica chose Tim:
"Tim Barker, from Australia / NZ, built one of the most robust rocket water-heaters we've seen, capable of being run safely and maintained by a rotating student body on a permaculture teaching site."
Matt is a designer, builder, and tinkerer who spends his time collecting firewood and growing food on his farm on the Olympic Peninsula. A lifelong wood burner with a curious mind, he has been designing and refining wood burning devices since childhood.
Link to his stuff:
Why Ernie and Erica chose Matt:
"Matt Walker solved the flame-viewing problem - twice, using different materials - and continues to innovate with bell-style heat capture, firebox ovens, and stovetop accessories."
Uncle Mud (aka Chris McClellan) raises free-range, organic children in the wilds of northeast Ohio. In his spare time he tinkers with,
teaches, and publish books about cob building and Rocket Heaters.
Links to his stuff:
Super cheap rocket greenhouse heater
School bus heater with 35 gallon "bell" seat
Why Erica and Ernie chose Chris:
"Chris McClellan first caught our notice with a woodstove-mass-heater, and continues to explore the boundaries of what's possible with new / reclaimed materials, smaller spaces, and portable heaters (one of his latest is installed in a school bus)."