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Kandle Heeter Candle holder

Discussion in 'Gear and Accessories' started by NavyCuda, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

  2. 3z3

    3z3 Glorious Leader Founders

    Interesting. Considering it's just several pots held together with a single bolt, and several nuts and washers, with a cross section shown on the main page, this doesn't look like a tricky project to pull off. In fact, there's a buttload of YouTube videos where folks are showing their makeshift pots off.
    I might make one, and I have a temperature gun I could point at the pot to see what it's radiating. A little more empirical than touching it and saying, "at least 200 degrees!"

    Also, you'd need a heat source with high output.

    A paraffin tea light contains about 13g of paraffin wax, and paraffin's energy content is approximately 42KJ/g. This means the potential heat power of a single tea light is 547KJ.

    A J is also described as one Watt-second. 547KJ= 547KWs.
    We like to measure power in Wh so divide the 547,000 by 3600 (3600 seconds per hour) (likewise you could just divide 547KWs by 3.6Ks/h)
    Anyway, after unit conversions, you have a candle that can put out roughly 152Wh. That's okay, except your candle burns between 4-5 hours, meaning you're getting between 30-38W (per hour). That's kind of sad for a space heater. Now the clay pots with washer setup should work well to capture radiation energy and the heated exhaust gases from combustion. The entrapped air, heated by the metal heatsink, and light absorbed by the clay pots, should maximize the amount of energy captured. It's still shitty-small.
    You'd want nearly 50 candle heaters to roughly match the equivalent of a 1500W heater - say an oil-filled electric radiator.

    Now let's talk about costs to heat shit up.
    In Nova Scotia (which has stupid-high electricity costs compared to you rain-karma-and-green-tea-powered hippies on the West Coast ;)) it costs just over 14.25 cents per KWh (vs 7.52 cents/KWh at Tier-one rates in BC). Running our example oil heater at full tilt for the burn time of our hippie pot heaters (5h) should cost ~$1.07

    Just farting about online, I saw IKEA (which we don't have out here) is selling 100 tea lights for $4 (because any price ending in 99 cents annoys me). You're paying $2 for the same power output (provided that the pots actually are equivalent of an oil radiator.
    That's just under double (1.87x) the cost, and BC folks are looking at paying 3.55x more to heat with the pots than what they'd shell out to BC Hydro.

    Looking at cost offsets (cost to build the hippie pot heater(s) vs. buying an oil heater:
    1500W Oil-filled radiator heaters cost anywhere from $60-$100. It appears the mode price of the cheaper radiators is around $60 anyway, so we'll go with the cheap-o route.
    Cost to DIY your hippie-heater is roughed-out as follows:
    ~3 clay pots, and 3 clay pot trays (assuming the average price is about $1.50/ea for the six items - and I'm pulling this out of my ass because I haven't been able to find a decent, reasonable price spread for clay pots): $9
    One Bolt: $.50 (assumed to be a beefy bolt of cheap metal)
    ~10 Nuts and washers: $2.50

    So based on the worst price estimates I have ever pulled out of my rectal library of assumptia, your hippie-heater will cost about $12. And we'll assume that it's big enough to accommodate 8 tea lights (as most DIY videos tend to show 4, but I am a firm believer in making shit with MOAR POWER!!!!1!), so you'll need 6 of the damn things.
    That's $72 bucks of initial cost (plus assembly) to heat a large room.

    TL;DR: It may be handy in an emergency, and it may be a fun project to throw one or two together, but fucking expensive if it's your primary heat source.

    Questions also raised from these videos also include what the size and starting temperature of their rooms were, outside air temperature, any ventilation systems used in the building, insulation properties of the space, and building type. For example, being near the top of an apartment complex means you're likely scoring free heat from below, but an air exchanger running will throw in cooler air that still needs to be heated.

    I also have a pellet stove which, during a power outage, I can hook up to a car battery with an inverter if it's minus-WTF-Celsius outside. It's heat output is at between 8000-42000 BTU (2.3KW-12.3KW equivalent). There's no way in hell I'm lighting 78 (and hell no to over 400) candles around a room to match it unless I suddenly went all weird and wanted to sacrifice stuff.
  3. NavyCuda

    NavyCuda Grand Nagus Staff Founders

    I think where it might be nice is on the desk by the computer, so that the overall temperature of the room can be kept lower for reduced heating costs.
  4. Shawn

    Shawn Moderator Staff Founders

    That is cool and a good idea, I want one


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