Nomado fan-assisted wood stove

Discussion in 'China' started by presscall, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    With a 5-volt fan in the base connected to a power bank by USB and all-stainless steel construction, the core concept closely resembles that of the Chengdu wood stove.

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    Alongside the Chengdu. There’s only a slight variation in combustion chamber size - around 90mm diameter, 120mm high, ‘throat’ opening 70mm diameter.

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    The pot rest frame is detachable for stowage. Pot rests folded up, frame reversed and slid on the stove body.

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    Three of these latches around the lower circumference of the pot rest frame flip over to mount or dismount it on the stove.

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    The fan unit’s held in the stove base with four screws. The casing sandwiches a pad of thermal insulation. The fan is brushless and has ball bearings, so it’s likely to be durable.

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    Stove comes in a tool roll wrap, equipped with a velcro strip, pop fasteners and a strap to get from this ...

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    ... to this

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    A pocket in the sack carries a pair of tongs to make stoking the stove with fuel less of a finger-scorcher.

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    The stove carton.

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    It carries suggested firing procedure.

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    As do the instruction sheet enclosed, which has these illustrations.

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    Proof of the pudding, excellent performance. My power bank (out of shot) is a folding solar panel charging a lithium battery and I’ve incorporated a speed controller, which I described in my Chengdu stove write-up. Fuel was wood pellets at this point, but I’d also been burning dry wood sticks.

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    Fan off, stove functions perfectly well as a conventional gasifier stove.

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    My header photo shows that the stove casing - the lower half at least - stays cool enough to handle.

    John
     
  2. salan3

    salan3 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    There seems to be many of these on the market now. Which do you prefer?
     
  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    The Chengdu’s grill attachment doesn’t fit this one and there’s not, as yet, an equivalent accessory. Otherwise, not a lot to choose between them. The two of them will be gainfully employed on my patio!

    Price-wise, the Chengdu cost about £25 more, but had the power pack/solar charger and speed controller included, so maybe better value on balance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  4. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    Nice to see it up and working.

    I think I'll keep an eye on the market for a little while till I look for another powered one. I still haven't done a bbq on the Chengdu as yet, and there is still quite a pile of stud work wood on the drive that needs cutting up.

    It would be interesting if someone developed a colapsable one in a similar fashion to the small unpowered gassifiers.
     
  5. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Potential for the Biolite grill to work on it with the pot rest frame removed. Just propped on it for the photo, but needs positive locating/securing.

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  6. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    @Simes @salan3
    I discovered a weakness with this stove fellas.

    Unlike the Chengdu, there’s no double-walled base.

    Fan removed from the Nomado. That heat-discoloured metal is the base of the combustion chamber.

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    On the Chengdu there’s a domed second skin to the base of the combustion chamber.

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    I discovered the design flaw when I was installing a second fan (more of that project in a minute).

    The original fan manufacturer’s label and specification had shrivelled up with the radiant heat from the un-shielded combustion chamber base. I discarded that label, but when I installed another fan, it went from this ...

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    ... to this after a firing.

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    Solution was to cut a heat shield out of Novus gasket material (the stuff heatproof washers are made of).

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    Heading up this write-up is a photo where I demonstrated that the base of the stove remained cool enough to touch.

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    What I also discovered was that taking my hand away improved the airflow to the fan significantly. The designer relied on air inlets in the cylinder wall at the base. Sat on its base, they’re the only air inlets and they’re restrictive.

    So, I added feet to raise the base off the ground. Desirable before, essential now my tandem-stacked fans reach almost to the original ground level.

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    They’re off a Selus gasoline stove with a stress-cracked fuel tank that I’d already plundered for parts to make up a working example.

    They fold neatly when the stove’s packed away.

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    The twin fan project

    Just an experiment really. The variable speed controller we’ve been using for the Chengdu stove works well and the lowest speed produces not too fierce a flame.

    I wondered though what the effect would be of a fan that operated at lower speeds still, down to barely producing a forced draught at all.

    I installed a 12-volt fan with its own USB plug tandem-fashion with the 5-volt stock fan the stove came with. 12-volt fan is underneath, nearest to the combustion chamber base - but equipped now with the heat shield.

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    We’re used to the fiery blast of the Chengdu on maximum draught.

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    Down to a low speed and with a low fuel loading.

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    With the 12-volt fan engaged, the point at which there’s only just a forced draught is very controllable.

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    With a low fuel loading, this combustion setting can easily be dialled in.

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    In practice. Boiling chopped onions in a little water prior to them being mixed with grated cheese for a cheese and onion pie. Here the 12-volt fan is on maximum output to bring the water to the boil. Still a moderate flame ...

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    ... then reduced to simmer.

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    I switch fan ranges simply by swapping USB plugs to connect to the speed controller.

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    John
     
  7. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    Don't you just love the Chengdu turned to 11 :)

    Without some heat shielding I guess the Nomado fan would eventually degrade after not too many firings. Nice to know the Chengdu has the additional shield.

    I did wonder what your earlier comment was alluding to about dual fans. :) I resisted asking.

    The Chengdu certainly needs the lower settings the variable controller gives, for the bread baking I was feeding it lengths of 1" batten at pretty regular intervals on 'low'. It would make a great space heater on 'high'.

    Did you have to source longer screws for the piggyback?
     
  8. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    @Simes
    The Spinal Tap reference to the volume control never fails to make me laugh.
    In ‘lockdown’ mode I couldn’t in all conscience shop for something non-essential and getting an Amazon delivery person out for them seemed just as bad.
    So, I silbrazed each of the original screws to two additional lengths of shorter M3 brass screws. Bit wobbly - force of the MAPP jet shifted the parts even when wedged up against a firebrick stop, but they serve.

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    Oh yes, the instructions for the Nomado quote a year’s guarantee for the stove and three months for the fan. I thought that ominous when I read that but puzzling too since I expected a brushless, ball-bearing equipped fan to have a longer life than that. I see why now.