Once again about the system of “free gas movement” or proposal…
I receive letters from all over the world from people who are interested in our stoves. They ask different questions. Some questions are of general nature; some are highly professional. Many questions are related to comparison of stoves of different styles popular in western countries, and our stoves that are built “ on the principle of free movement of gases”. Sometimes, it is difficult for me to understand questions and give correct answers because I don’t speak English, and my knowledge of the stove construction process, materials being used, building codes, and other standards common in western countries is limited. I am very thankful to people, who helped me to achieve understanding with masons and interested people abroad, and helped to broaden my knowledge. My special thanks to Norbert Senf, a Certified Heater Mason, Member of Masonry Heater Association of North America, with whom we have been cooperating and managed to achieve understanding. I am very interested in experience exchange, and willing to apply achievements of the newest technologies and all the best that was developed in the field in my stoves.
Once again about the system of “free gas movement”
In order to better understand the essence and the advantages of the System of “free gas movement” Kuznetsov presentation let’s view the following. Let’s imagine a river flowing into a mountain lake and running out of it forming a waterfall (fig. C1). The water fills the whole lake’s cavity (up to the lip of the waterfall) irrespective of the cavity form. Everybody knows that water on the surface of the lake is warmer than the water in the depth of the lake and therefore the upper layer of warm water is running out into the waterfall. Cold water remains in the lake. The whole process of water movement described in this case does not require any external energy and runs due to natural power. Therefore this process is natural, optimal and expedient. If we create a vertical partition, which doesn’t reach the bottom, as it is shown in Fig. C5, the system will work due to natural power (according to the law of connective vessels), but a certain amount of cold water will start running into the waterfall from the cavity bottom too.
As is known, air is heavier than the hot gases, the latter fill in any cavity turned upside down completely. If we turn the fig. C1 by 180 degrees and fill in the lake cavity with hot gases instead of water, we will get a solution shown on fig. C2. Let’s call it a “bell”. The movement of the gas flow in this case (similar to movement of the water in the previous example) takes place due to natural power without any external energy applied. Moving gas flow carries heat energy and products of combustion in stoves of any convective system (“convective” means “based on principle of convection”). Let’s take a closer look at these two components of gas flow. Let’s look, due to what the gas movement takes place and what are the features of the system? Let the electric heating element 1 be a heating source. With an electric heating element there is no need to remove products of combustion, and channel 2 on top can be closed. In this case, the hot gases’ movement in the bell takes place due to the gravity force without external energy of the chimney’s draft. The hottest gases come to the very top of the bell, the coldest ones, being the heaviest, accumulate at the bottom of the bell and run into channel 2.
What will happen if another bell with a closed channel 3 is added to the system above or beside the first bell (fig. C3 and C7)? In both cases, the second bell will always be filled by colder gases from the lower part of the first bell. Therefore, the first bell (lower in fig. C3 and left in fig. C7) will always absorb more energy, then the next one. However, an important difference between these two variations of the system can be seen here: every horizontal cross section of the system on fig. C3, where bells are stacked one upon another, will be evenly heated, whereas in every horizontal cross section of the system on fig. C7 heat will be uneven.
Let’s see what happens if the electric heating element is separated from the bell by a partition, forming a channel (let’s call it a combustion channel) as it is shown in fig. C4. In this case, there will be no gas flow movement in the bell by convection. This system will not work without help of some source of external energy. Draft usually serves as an external energy source in stoves; therefore, the system’s performance will depend on the amount of this energy (i.e. on chimney parameters) and gas flow resistance. If we create a vertical slot (let’s call it a “dry joint”) in the combustion channel, the system will be reestablished, operating similarly to the system shown on fig. C3. The coldest gases here will come through the lower part of the dry joint.
When heat is generated by combustion, it is necessary to remove products of combustion. They are removed through a chimney. Channel 2 serves as a chimney in Fig. C2, and channel 3 – in fig. C3 and C4 accordingly. With a chimney, draft will influence gas flow movement. Here, it will affect the coldest gas component (cold gases from the lower part of the bell). Recall the example with a waterfall given at the beginning of the article where only warm water flows into the waterfall. The systems shown here work the same way. We can speak about separation of gas flow into hot and cold gases in these cases. If we do not make a dry joint in the combustion channel, the chimney’s draft will affect entire gas flow, washing out its warm component by analogy with the system C5 where cold water from the bottom is pulled into the fall. (The same is true for the system on Fig. C6).
Summarizing all what is said, we can list all remarkable features of the “system of free movement of gases”:
- Bells may have any form and volume.
- Heat energy is transferred due to a natural power (gravitation).
- Turbulent gas movement takes place inside a bell.
- The hottest gases accumulate at the top of a bell.
- The coldest gases, being the heaviest ones, accumulate at the bottom of a bell.
- Excessive pressure (overpressure) is being formed inside a bell with the temperature increase.
- Walls of a bell are evenly heated in each horizontal cross section, and the heat increases in each cross section that is higher.
- Heat energy source can be located in any place within the lower zone of the bell. Regardless of the location of the source, character of the heating process remains the same.
- Several heat sources can be used.
- Vertical placement of consecutive bells (one upon another) guarantees that every horizontal cross-section of the system is heated evenly. The lower bell will always absorb more heat than the upper one.Several heat sources can be used.
- With horizontal placement of consecutive bells, each horizontal cross-section of the system will be heated unevenly. The first bell will accept more heat than the next one.
Knowledge of features of the “system of free movement of gases” is necessary for proper understanding of the article “ The basics for stove design”, which can be found on the site http://www.stove.ru.
All other systems of gas movement (systems with a forced gas movement) can operate only due to external energy applied and do not possess the remarkable features described above. In systems with forced gas movement, gas flow (both its components) is moving only due to the force of a chimney’s draft. Following are the systems with a forced gas movement: serial convective systems, parallel convective systems (contraflow systems belong to this type), combined convective systems. There are many modifications and variations of each of these systems. Practical applications of the “system of free gases movement”
In the Soviet Union, development of the “system of free gas movement” in open-flame furnaces lasted until 1958. Professor V. E. Grum-Grzhimailo elaborated the basic theory. His follower, Podgorodnikov I. S. Ph.D., continued his work. After Podgorodnikov’s death in 1958, there were no serious research done in the field. Using “system of free movement of gases” as a basis, Podgorodnikov I.S. designed series of stoves called “Teplushka” as well as a number of heating and heating/cooking “double bell” stoves. Stoves of his design were widely built in Russia, and earned a good reputation. The Podgorodnikov’s “Teplushka” stove is still considered the best heating/cooking stove, even though most of these stoves are still built with imperfect, not airtight bakeoven doors.
After the death of Grum-Grzhimailo, Podgorodnikov wrote a number of books (his first books were published under his pseudonym “I. S. Podgorodnik”). One of his books, “Residential stoves,” was published many times in the past, is published now, and is in a great demand.
I managed to define some basic principles that weren’t reflected in these scientists’ work. In particular, “basics for design of the stoves, functioning on the principle of” free gas movement” were formulated. Using these materials as well as Podgorodnikov’s theory for stove design, it is possible to thoroughly analyze performance of any stove. I have used these materials to simplify and improve Podgorodnikov’s “Teplushka” and heating/cooking stoves, which is certified by the Russian patent. On the basis of these materials, I created hundreds of stoves, which possess new unique features that are not found in stoves anywhere in the world.
What advantages does the “system of free movement of gases” have? Why this work is perspective?
One of the main advantages of our system is incredible flexibility of design, allowing to design and build multifunctional stoves of any size and shape; stoves with unique features and functions. Electric heating elements, hot water coil, a cooktop, a bakeoven, steam generator, heat exchanger, etc. can be easily installed in our stoves. We have designed and built hundreds of stoves with such functional features. Many of our unique stoves possess several functions combined in one stove. Many of these combinations are impossible to achieve in other stove systems. We have an experience of stove construction with a bell’s volume of 5 sq.m. (total volume of this “double bell” stove is 10 sq.m.)
Our system makes it possible to use high technologies in our stoves, making automatic fuel loading, automation of fuel combustion and regulation of heat transfer possible. Modern systems of air circulation make it possible to use such multifunctional stoves for houses with the most unusual layout.
We build multistory stoves of various functional purposes including those with integrated fireplaces. All these stoves are capable of using electricity as a fuel (in energy conservation mode-accumulating energy at night, when electricity is the cheapest). We install water heating boilers and hot water coils in the stoves. They are installed in stoves’ channels, not in the firebox. This maintains combustion temperatures at high levels, thus enabling to use the fuel energy in full. Besides that, we heat thermal mass rather than the heat medium (water). Mass of the thermal receiver can be heated 5.5 to 6 times better than water thus considerably increasing the accumulating capability of the system. Our steam sauna stoves heat three rooms (steam room, shower room and a relaxation room). They supply hot water, ventilate rooms and prepare steam of different quality including dry, superheated steam, generated at temperatures close to critical (+374oCelcius). This gives an opportunity to generate own millivoltage electricity. We have experience in construction of steam sauna stoves capable of regulating temperature and humidity parameters in the room without additional devices. There is a possibility to design stoves, that can warm up the room quickly, accumulate heat and heat the room, automatically monitoring a preset temperature without help of additional external devices and without electricity supply.
We have conducted a simple experiment for comparison of our system with the most popular system in the West – a contraflow system: A stove 6 has been built the way it can be easily altered for the test purposes. To achieve it, we covered the stove with a cast iron plate laid on a thick layer of mineral wool. The stove has been built from unpolished soapstone. First, we have built it by a contraflow principle.
The stove was tested, rebuilt according to the “system of free movement of gases”, and tested again. The tests have been conducted under the same conditions. In an hour, walls of the “countraflow” stove warmed up to 155 degrees (Celsius), and the walls of the stove of our design – to 180 degrees (Celsius). This fact means that combustion in the stoves built on the contraflow principle takes place at lower temperatures, and there is no separation of cold and hot gases in them. Such experiment could be easily repeated.
Experiments done by Podgorodnikov I.S. also tell about high temperatures in the fireboxes of “bell” stoves. A graph of changes in temperature inside the firebox in "Teplushka" stove is attached. This graph was created by I. S. Podgorodnikov (" Bitovie Pechi" (Residential Stoves), Moskow, 1960, pg.23 ) ( the graph has temperature in Celsius on Y-axle and time in minutes on X-axle. A phrase at the middle of the graph says, "firebox door is open" and is joined by thin lines with points when it happened (45 and 90 min. respectively)) A rapid drop in the temperature on the graph is caused by opening of the firebox door. We can see from the graph that temperature of combustion in "bell"- or "dome"- shaped stoves is higher than in systems with forced movement of gases.
Also, I have designed a stove similar to stoves of Finnish companies “Tulikivi” and “Tiileri”. However, unlike Finnish contraflow stoves, my stove was designed according to the principle of “free movement of gases”. The stove turned out to be very good and brought excellent feedback form clients. Fig. 4 explains how the stoves work. Our stove is a multifunctional stove with its lower half heated better than the upper. This results in evenly heated space around the stove: difference between temperature at the floor and at the ceiling is only about 2 degrees Celsius. Our stove can use electricity as a fuel (heating elements can be installed), and it’s noticeable that the heating character remains the same regardless of the fuel used. The stove has the following modes (functions): heater, open fireplace, bakeoven, and food smoker (preparing smoked meats and fish).
I have to point at another very important feature of our stoves - a so-called “automatic damper”: In our bell-type stoves, hot air presses on a bell’s ceiling with a force equal to the difference between the weight of cold and hot air in the bell’s volume. The hot air fills upper portions of the bell and does not allow the heavier cold air get to the top of the bell. Therefore, colder gases always remain at the bottom of the bell and only the colder gases are swept into the chimney. This eliminates problem of a stove’s rapid cooling if the damper was closed not in time. In such case, our stoves cool off insignificantly, whereas it’s a big problem for stoves with forced movement of gases, such as contraflow. Therefore, it is necessary to take into account heat losses that take place in stoves of a forced convective system due to the fact that the damper is not always closed in time. These losses may amount to several percent. We should have no heat losses in stoves built on the principle of free movement of the gases, as they are equipped with “automatic gas damper”. If we multiply an average percent of heat loss by hundreds of thousands of stoves we will have a considerable amount of energy resources that could be saved if all the stoves were converted to the principle of “free movement of gases”.
There is another remarkable feature of our “double bell” stove: ability not to loose efficiency during prolonged firing. It is known that the longer you burn the hotter walls of the stove’s channels and flues become. The hotter they become, the less heat they can absorb. In this case, temperature of exhausted gases rises, meaning that efficiency of the stove falls accordingly. In contrast with forced convective systems, our “double bell” stoves avoid this problem, because the upper bell, being cooler than the lower one, always absorbs any excess heat.
In the process of work, I constantly get new ideas, create new stove designs. About 70 % of all the stoves we build have new design. We are constantly developing and inventing something new, although it seems that everything has been already developed. I was always wondered by that and thanked God for giving me such an opportunity. Now I understand that God has presented us a system, possibilities of which have no limits. The stoves designed by the principle of “free gas movement” are a new stage, a new step in the development of stove heating.
Nowadays, the question concerning increased use of renewable energy resources receives much attention. Everything is balanced, self-regulated and optimal in nature. Use of renewable energy resources is a natural choice, which does not violate nature’s laws. Many countries have created programs aimed to increase use of renewable energy sources. A lot of funds will be spent for development and implementation of such programs. Millions of people will be working on the programs worldwide. A need for new heating systems capable of using renewable energy sources will arise. Such systems will have to be very flexible and easy to modify. Our “system” totally corresponds to these requirements. I propose to accept our “system” as a basis for the development of a new all-embracing trend in stove heating that could provide numerous unique possibilities for people worldwide. This is a global project and it is necessary to combine the efforts and experience of experts from various countries. I offer cooperation in elaboration of this project.
We have acquired a great experience in stove construction based on the principle of “free gas movement”. The main principles for design, construction of such stoves and their use have been defined. Hundreds of various stoves were built, and all of them were highly evaluated by their owners. I do dot declare that our stoves are impeccable, but I clearly see endless possibilities of the system. The are many things that still have to be done. The stoves should be tested by independent laboratories to determine efficiency and to measure wood smoke emission levels. Each model shall be adjusted and certified. It is necessary to perform a theoretical estimate for the stove construction on the basis of “free gas movement” and describe the gas flow movement in the bells. It is necessary to determine how volume of the firebox, bells, channels and flues affect stove’s performance. It’s necessary to determine the relationship between the gas flow parameters and a stove’s design. It is necessary to describe the work by means of easy to understand diagrams and formulas (though many things are very simple and can be easily understood). It’s seems impossible to describe relationship between the gas flow conditions and the size of the stove elements using methods of elementary physics, because it deals only with gases at the point of balance. Therefore, we need to experiment with our stoves in laboratories. To be able to carry out this job we must have the necessary equipment (like Testo 325, etc), we need specialists, and we need funds.
I believe, that using all the best that is developed in the field in other countries, using best modern technologies available could help to improve our stoves and enhance the “System” in whole. This is why I propose people working in the field to join our efforts. I believe that together we can find a possibility to conduct necessary research and to create an all-embracing global “System” for design and construction of the best stoves ever built.
I am open for experience exchange and welcome any possible offers for cooperation. If there are masons interested in our system, it is possible to conduct a workshop on our “system” in Russia, or in another country.
23/03/2003 © Igor Kuznetsov "Kuznetsov's