Anyone own a Caldera Cone Sidewinder stove with the Inferno woodburning option?
I have one and am amazed at the effieiency of the Inferno woodburner. Hardwoods like oak burn down to a white ash. This is the effect of the double wall gassifier design burning the gasses more efficiently. Also two handsfull of finger sized hardwood sticks lasts 20 min.
There are a lot of woodburning stoves out there but the Inferno seems to have the best of many features. It rolls up and fits in the accompanying pot, it weighs 3.5 oz. and doesn't require constant feeding of fuel as does the Bushbuddy.
I have Caldera Cone Ti-tri with inferno inset. It's made specifically for the Trangia 27 pots (fits both, they're both about a liter).
I have the same good experience with extremely efficient woodburning, almost as good as the legendary bushbuddy. The Caldera burns "more" than the bushbuddy, more wood, more fire, and burns longer between tossing in more fuel. It can can take more twigs at the same time without loosing temperature and starting to smoke. Can also take wetter fuel once its roaring away. The high fuel consumtion is not a problem per se because there's always a lot of dead twigs about, at least where I live.
It's perfect as a small campfire too, not only for boiling water.
Only major drawback is that its very fiddly putting together and packing away. You always get soot all over your fingers. It's a bit fiddly inserting the pot and lifting the pot too. These are the reason I mostly don't use it, even though it's an excellent woodburner.I prefer a bushbuddy clone actually, pot on top, easy no fiddling about with assembling and not as sooty fingers.
But I suppose you wouldn't get the same pot problems problem with the Sidewinder ti-tri, because of the pot's higher position on top of the supports. No supports with the ti-tri classic, the cone itself is the support.
I suppose the caldera also would be a good fireplace in a tipi too (thinking Tentipi, but any tipi with good ventilation would do nicely I think).
Thanks for the reply.
You're right about the Sidewinder Inferno's high (shepard's crook Ti stakes) pot supports. The pot sits down inside the outer cone only about one cm. so it's easy to lift out. Actually when using the Sidewinder in ESBIT mode, where the pot sits entirely inside the cone, over time the pot has become easier to remove. Apparently the cone has loosened a bit with repeated assembly and disassembly.
And, yes, without a pot on top the ti Cone is great for a small campfire that doesn't require denuding the surrounding forest of all its dead wood.
As for the soot on the Sidewinder, I keep an old cotton cloth to wipe it down. I rinse it our whenever near a stream and store it in a zipperlock bag. Soot is a natural substance and the small amount released doesn't harm the aquatic biota. (Yeah, I asked a Nevada Fish & Wildlife officer about it. He was amused that I'd even be concerned.)
Good ventilation in a tipi should be the type the Plains Indians used. i.e. a narrow covered tunnel from outside the tipi to the central fire ring. This permits cold air to enter and be directed to only where it's needed, at the base of the fire.
Modern sealed woodburning stoves use the same principle, cold combustion air enters the stove through a tube from the outside, keeping warm air in the house and not sucked into the stove. A lot of rural folks in the U.S. use these efficient Swedish and American woodburning stoves for heating. With a passive, sealed tubular fire grate cooler air is pulled into the tubes' lower openings, heated and comes out the upper end of the tubes. These sealed tubular grates can be used in a glass door fireplace as well.
As you can see, woodburning stove efficiency is something that fascinates me, whether it's a home stove or a backpacking stove. But here in the Las Vegas valley no woodburning stoves or fireplaces are permitted for air quality reasons.
Yes, it's fascination that you can reach very high efficiency with the caldera design.
Insulation of the "reactor" area and oxygen right where its needed is the trick I think, more so than the preheating the air idea.
To further increase efficiency I believe you could insulate more. There is a lot of good ways to insulate, ceramics being very useful. But most methods are heavy.
With thin titanium sheets I guess if would decrease the distance betweend the two sheets around the "reactor" area and have the air standing still in between I guess you would increase thermal insulation so that the loss of preheated air for secondary combustion is a smaller factor than what you gain by increasing temperature in the core.
I've experimented with a thermos, making an air inlet in the side close to the bottom of the cup. First I made it too small, it needed to be a rather big hole to get the right airflow, especially when debris were filling up when I dump various fuel in from the top.
Since there is a whole in the thermos it's not really a thermos anymore, but when the air is heated in the small area between walls I suppose the thermoconductivity is worse than if you had fresh air passing by all the time to be preheated before being let out at the top for secondary combustio.
The thing burned very cery hot, reducing such fuel as acorns, pine cones, dry old food, dry rabbit pellets (yes, poop from a rabbit) anything actually to white ash dust. No visible smoke. No need for secondary combustion when it's hot enough obviously (Heureka!).
I would really like to take a good titanium cup and "destroy" by making a good air inlet close by the bottom. if some of the top is covered, so the heat radiates back while still maintaining good airflow, I believe it would be a great backpacking stove.
An air inlet from below might be even better because of the reduction of loss of heat compared to the heat that radiates out from the hole in the side.
But the hole in the side still has several advantages. It can be directed towards the wind as needed. It's not as easily obstructed by debris and you can poke with a stick if it is. It is dead easy to make a whole. It's within the destructive ability of most of us to make a whole. A nice construction with an air inlet from below demands more skill and patience.
Actuelly you can reach pretty high efficiency wit a regular campfire to, if you have the skill to do it (reflecting stones, reflecting wood, dry spot, adjusted to wind etc). But it takes a lot more fuel and necessitates carrying a saw and an axe, and except for som places (Canada, Sweden, Finland, Siberia etc) there is too many people and too little forest for such a "native" approach. And if more people did it we would probably see an increase of nincompoops who would set fire to a lot of forest. So we'd better cut down on fuel consumtion and have an enclosed portable really small and light fireplace, eh?
I bought one of these from ChimneyHeaters.com . I installed and it works fine. Heats my 2000 square foot house. I have the pump connected to a UPS but I am not sure how long the pump will run if the electric goes out. I had it installed all winter and did not have to turn on my Electric heat once which saved me about 200 euro a month here in Romania.The Electric is not stable here so I had to rush to take out the fire a couple of times because the water pump had stopped and the pressure valves were going off. The UPS will solve that but I dont know how long a UPS will keep my central pump going. I will attach a pic of what chimney heaters are in case you are not familiar with them. The pump is a Grundfos and has three speeds.
Also I bought one of these heat exchangers from ChimneyHeaters.com and it is Stainless Steel. The rest of the pipes in my house are Copper and some plastic. I get a tremendous amount of heat from this thing and I am worried that it will melt the copper or plastic tubing. The heat coming out of the Chimney Heater is about 190f does anyone know if this is to hot for the copper or Plastic pipes in my House?
We're getting a bit off topic here.
I will add that using the tiny and clever ESBIT fuel tab holder (the tiny titanium "Gram Cracker") helps regulate the burn better by covering two sides - well 3 sides counting the bottom - and having the heat concentrated and protected from wind by the cone makes it absolutely the most eficient ESBIT stove I've ever used. And I've purchased and made many ESBIT stoves over the decades in my search for efficiency.
Well that search is over. I can now cook most dinners with one tablet. That's 1/2 oz. per dinner for fuel, not too bad. ESBIT or the slightly hotter US FireLite tablets are my preference over alcohol. The burned tablet's residue on the pot bottoms is easily wiped off, and the only drawback when using fuel tabs.
Like other Caldera Cones, the Tri Ti and Sidewinder stoves'design both concentrates the heat and protects the fire from wind, thus the great "in the field" efficiency over other stoves burning the same fuels. As effecient at combustion as the Bush Buddy stove is it still loses a lot of that heat due to its lack of a good windscreen. BB owners must fabricate their own windscreens.
Cap'n Paranoia, the Tri Ti or Sidewinder cones are amazing. Build one yourself since you seem to pefer clones. Titanium Goat has the Ti sheets.
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