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Old 04-02-2014, 11:25   #1
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Have you used "fuel tablets"?

I have a wood stove. Don't like all the ash and residue
from burning wood.

Has anybody used "fuel tablets" in their wood stove
for space heating?

REI has them here:

Esbit Solid Fuel Tablets at REI.com
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:30   #2
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At twelve mins per tablet I can see that getting expensive. It would be cheaper to switch to a diesel burner.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:34   #3
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

I've used them, when I was a kid. We used them for cooking in a small camping stove. They're very expensive for the amount of heat produced.

What are you trying to heat up? A large house? A cabin?

The most efficient heat source I've seen like that is a pellet stove. It burns wood pellets in a blast furnace type of flame and produces an incredible amount of heat while burning a couple of pellets at a time. You set the speed control on a large screw type feeder and that controls how fast pellets go from the hopper to the burner. It burns so efficiently there is very little ash, you can empty it once a week or less often.

I saw one installed in the living room of a 3,000 sft house. The flue was attached to a forced air heat exchanger which heated all of the other rooms in the house. Even at low feed rates, it could make the house almost uncomfortably hot.
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Old 04-02-2014, 16:50   #4
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

I've used many a "heat tab" in the military back before MRE heaters. All the heat tabs I've ever used put off a lot of chlorine gas. I believe it was chlorine anyway, smelled terrible
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Old 04-02-2014, 17:23   #5
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

My brother in California has a corn burner in his mountain home. Very high heat content and seemed to have no ash. Slight popcorn smell. Commercially available or buy from the farmer - dried kernels. His stove had a stoker.
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Old 04-02-2014, 22:40   #6
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

Sorry, should have said in my boat. It's a small
wood stove. Just trying to heat the boat. It got to
a high of about 33 degrees here today. S'posed to
be colder tomorrow.
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Old 05-02-2014, 00:25   #7
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

Any of the previous heat sources would work, again it comes to resources supply and costs per kw of heat. The costs of fuel tablet production would make them seem less financially responsible. Have you considered hho on demand for a fuel source for a space heater.?
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:27   #8
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

I wonder if one of those small pellet stoves for a house would work. My Uncle had a bigger model in his house, and it worked well, very little mess, compared to old style wood burner.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:53   #9
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

The pellet fuel idea seems like the most practical. Here are a few issues you will need to resolve:
-How to best combust the pellets (since your stove isn't purpose built for pellets)
-Look for "low ash" pellets. Different manufacturers can have substantially different quality
-Be sure there are no chlorides in the pellets you buy. I know of stoves that didn't last a season when chlorides were present in the fuel

We have a Dickinson diesel heater. While it's not soot free, it puts out a lot of heat, requires minimal effort to start and no effort to keep running. We used to feed it with a gravity tank (old lawn mower tank actually), then went to a portable tank stored inside a cabinet with an electric pump feeding the heater, and now we've gone to a direct draw from our on-board fuel tank.

Propane heat is the simplest-instant start & no soot, but a heater can quickly empty your storage tank.
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Old 05-02-2014, 15:51   #10
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

Any pellet stove will burn corn. Most wood burners will burn corn. Its hot, high density energy, very little ash.

I heat my house by burning corn by Judith W. Monroe
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Old 05-02-2014, 16:12   #11
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

Im interested in the woodburner debate, if you are spending a lot of time living off the hook is a woodburner considered the best form of heating your boat, thanks!
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Old 05-02-2014, 17:13   #12
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

I am a backpacker as well as a sailor. I bought some REI Esbit tablets. You can have the ones I got. Useless as far as I am concerned. In a 30 ft boat, if you are already set up with a wood stove, and if you are just using it for heating, then you might try presto logs or equivalent. I used them in my 35' schooner for a few years. cleaner than straight wood burning.
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Old 05-02-2014, 18:00   #13
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Re: Have you used "fuel tablets"?

I thought bar-b-que charcoal was the best solid fuel available for vented solid fuel stoves.
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