Monday, February 20, 2012

Heating Micro Spaces by Walt Barrett

   Yesterday out of curiosity, my son John and I performed some quick space heating tests using a $30.00 electric cube heater in our test bed micro home.  Its maximum output is 1500 watts and we set it on high to see how fast that we could raise the inside temperature from 40 degrees F to 70 degrees F.  The outside ambient temperature was 40 degrees as was the interior of the cube.
   The space on the first floor of our micro home is only 448 cubic feet and we closed the ceiling hatch to seal off the full sleeping loft on the second floor to save time heating that space.
   Because the Micro has not been heated, or used all winter it took us 1.5 hours to raise the temperature to 70 degrees. Once the electric  heater  heater achieved 70 degrees it just throttled back automatically and and barely ran for a couple of hours turning itself on and off as needed while we had a couple of cool ones and discussed the new composting toilet and shower module that we will be starting to build in a few more weeks.
   This was by no means a very scientific test, but it did give us a rough idea of the electrical cost in 40 degree weather from a cold start up. We will get a watt meter for our next tests. We estimated that we used about 2250 watts to go from 40 degrees to 70 degrees judging by the rating of the heater.  I have not had time to figure the heat loss of the building as we are extremely busy running our other successful green businesses.  I can tell you the the space is 8' X 8" X 7" and that because it is basically a summer camp and our solar test bed that it only has four inch fiberglass insulated walls, and five windows on the first level.  You can refer to our well known film on You Tube for construction details. How to build a micro home
   This informal test also tells me that even the tiniest of wood stoves, or vegetable oil heaters etc. would drive you out of the cube if you let them.  We have developed some very effective vegetable oil heaters and stove using used vegetable oil.
   Just as a reminder, we are using the profits from our very green products and
We are developing methods to mass produce micro homes and the related off the power grid operating systems.
We need your support in this research.  Please tell your friends about our products.
Walt Barrett