10 November, 2016

Cabin heating alternative

Heat or not to heat, that is the question. Not literally the question of life and death, but having a cozy cabin during a colder days is a question of sail or not to sail.

We have the Origo alcohol stove so I've asked myself, is it possible to use it for heating?
The Origo company sells this stove under the name HeatPal 5100, which is based on the same principle. But why to buy another gizmo when we can use the existing stove?

The first problem is an open flame. You can simply light it without the pot, but you will not get much of the heat in the space. It's better to put on some radiator.

Then I found there is a nice add-on for the portable camping gas stoves like this one.

portable camping gas stove heater

I've modified the slightly the base flange to fit our alcohol stove and gave it a try.

radiator starts heating up

You can also notice the aluminum sheets that act as heat shielding. It's just a bent sheet which you can simply put on without any screws. We use it also as an oil shielding when cooking.

heating at full power

There is a lot of heat coming from the radiator and you can also observe a nice warm color, however there is a big problem which is the moisture from the burning alcohol, but also mainly deadly carbon monoxide !!!
We have a carbon monoxide tester on board and it started beeping loudly just after a few minutes of burning.

danger level of carbon monoxide just after a few minutes

I've tried to open the cabin hatch slightly, but when there is like 10 °C or lower outside, all the heat escapes very quickly.

Conclusion is: project failed !