Got to wondering about something yesterday, and tried it overnight…

No, it doesn’t work. 🙂

The efficiency of the new space heater would certainly benefit from a fan right there, but running an electric fan overnight – though I don’t think it’s unfeasible – is just instinctively bad medicine in a small solar power system. I wondered what would happen if I parked that woodstove fan there.

What happened, overnight, is nothing at all. I woke at about 3:30 while the heater had been on for a while and it was just sitting there.

This morning while the fan was on the woodstove and spinning merrily along, I put it back on the space heater which was also burning. It continued to run, very slowly, I think because the fan body was already hot. As it cooled the blades ran slower and slower but never entirely stopped. It certainly wasn’t doing any good, though.

I’m impressed with that heater’s design. We went way overboard in protecting the wall from its heat, since it’s built to send heat out the front and nowhere else. The top gets uncomfortable but never painful to the touch, the rest of the case barely heats up at all. Inside the case is a different matter, of course. It came with a rubber hose to connect the propane bottle to the valve, and that was a dangerously bad idea. It gets really hot inside the case near the firebox. But having done a few dumb things with propane over the years, I knew that up front and bought iron plumbing for it before the permanent installation.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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2 Responses to Got to wondering about something yesterday, and tried it overnight…

  1. Mike says:

    I wonder… If you were to scrounge a BBQ warming rack and mount metal legs (pipe?) on it so the rack was slightly lower than the top of your heater. Then place the rack with the fan on it right in front of the heater. As the heat was coming out of the front of the heater, wouldn’t that heat the base enough to get the fan spinning?

  2. David Johnson says:

    I was going to make a similar suggestion–but try to make sure that the top of the fan is not in the warm air stream–you want the biggest temperature difference between the top and bottom as you can.

To the stake with the heretic!