Lite vs. Ceramic Rocket Stove Insulation

EcoZoom rocket stoves come in two different styles. One with solid ceramic insulation and the other with a lightweight ceramic fiber. So what’s the difference between these two types of rocket stove insulation?

We get a lot of customers writing and calling to ask what the difference is between the Dura and Dura Lite or the Versa and Versa Lite. Just by looking at the two models one can’t tell a difference, they are made with the same specifications and have the same color. It isn’t until one picks up the two models that they can feel the difference. The Lite models save 8 lbs in weight compared to their regular counterparts, which is a very noticeable difference when you have to transport the rocket stove.

If you go a step further and take the top off of each of the stoves the difference then becomes apparent. The regular models have a solid piece of golden colored diatomaceous ceramic, which is a fancy way of saying that the ceramic is very porous compared to other types of ceramic, making it very good at insulating heat. The Lite models are also fully insulated, but instead of a solid piece of ceramic they use a ceramic fiber that looks and feels much like the insulation found within a home. The white ceramic fiber weighs significantly less than the solid ceramic while not compromising anything in terms of durability or insulation threshold.

rocket_stove_insulation

The peice ceramic on the left is the insulation used within the Dura, Versa, and Plancha. The Dura Lite on the right shows the lightweight ceramic fiber that fills the inner body of the Lite stoves.

Now having explained the difference in the insulation, the question that needs to be answered is which is best for you.

Here are some things to consider:

Camping or Hunting
If you are going to be going camping or transporting your stove a lot, it may be best to go with the Lite rocket stove insulation. The difference in weight is very noticeable and will make a difference when carrying your stove between your car and camp. Also, rough handling of the stove may result in cracking of the solid ceramic. While this doesn’t affect the overall lifetime of the stove, it can result in ceramic dust coming out of the bottom of the stove.

Emergency Preparedness
If you don’t plan on transporting your rocket stove a lot, or are going to keep it stored until needed, the ceramic model may be your best option. Its higher weight density allows the rocket stove to be stored easily without having to risk being damaged or shifted among other supplies. The heavier weight of the ceramic insulation feels more rugged and can be used as a base to stack other supplies on top of it within a 5 gallon bucket.

As a regular user of EcoZoom stoves, I prefer to use the Dura Lite and Versa Lite because of the weight savings that comes along with the ceramic fiber rocket stove insulation. I also do a lot of camping and appreciate the weight savings of the Lite insulation, which allows me to transport the stoves more easily between my car and the basecamp. That being said, the EcoZoom Versa is our most popular model and many customers don’t seem to mind the extra 8 lbs in weight that comes with the heavier solid ceramic insulation. It really is up to you to decide which type of rocket stove insulation is preferred!

 

About the Author:
is an EcoZoom employee and likes to cook outdoors with his EcoZoom stove on camping trips or sunny days. You can email him directly at tom@ecozoomstove.com.

Do-It-Yourself Rocket Stoves vs EcoZoom: Insulation Matters

A key component of EcoZoom rocket stoves is an insulated combustion chamber. When looking for do-it-yourself rocket stove designs or weighing commercial options, be sure to consider the importance of proper insulation.

It takes just a few keystrokes to quickly learn how to build your own rocket stove designed cook stove. The internet lacks no shortage of do-it-yourself (DIY) rocket stove design plans or step-by-step instructions to build a rocket stove. We wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s no secret as to how to build a rocket stove and what makes the concept powerful, in fact, it’s quite simple and you can learn a lot from building your own stove. What isn’t so simple is deciding what type of rocket stove is best for you: A simple DIY design from a coffee can or a commercially built cook stove built to last. In this debate, one of the key components worth talking about is insulation.

To function and cook properly, cook stoves need to be able to generate a high amount of sustained heat, which is easier said than done. One way is to use a lot of fuel to keep a fire burning over a long period of time. As a result you will need to constantly tend the fire and keep a large amount of fuel on hand. Alternatively, an insulated combustion chamber, such as that found in EcoZoom cook stoves, helps retain heat within the stove and create ample amounts of sustained heat with just small amounts of fuel. The resulting efficiency is a 60% reduction in fuel compared to an open fire.

While the insulation within the EcoZoom rocket stove is key technology for generating sustained heat, it also serves other essential purposes. One of these is increasing the lifetime of the cook stove. The lightweight abrasion resistant ceramic insulation found within an EcoZoom helps protect the stove from burning out over time. Rocket stoves without any form of insulation force fire within the internal combustion chamber to come in contact with the main structural support of the stove. As a result, the structure of the stove will be compromised over time as the fire slowly burns out the components of the stove. EcoZoom cook stoves not only come fully insulated, but they also come with a refractory metal lined combustion chamber which further helps in protecting the insulation of the stove and increasing its lifetime.

EcoZoom_Versa_Insulation

Can you tell what portion of this EcoZoom Versa lacks insulation? Proper insulation helps generate high sustained heat, increase the lifetime of the stove, and make cooking more safe.

Lastly, insulation within cook stoves acts as a safety mechanism by protecting users from hazardous burns when coming in contact with the stove. EcoZoom cook stoves are fully insulated, which allows cooks to touch the outside of the stove without being immediately burned. Over the course of an hour of cooking, the outside of the stove will become hot to the touch, but not to the point where you will be immediately burned. This safety feature of EcoZoom stoves allows you to tend to the stove with confidence and even use the stove as a way to teach children how to cook with fire more safely.

So next time you are thinking of building your own rocket stove or looking for do-it-yourself rocket stove designs, consider those that include insulation as a key feature. Not only will it help you cook more efficiently, but also increase the lifetime of your stove and make cooking more safe. Building your own rocket stove can be fun and educational, but if you are looking for a durable rocket stove consider purchasing an EcoZoom for its sturdy build, efficient cooking ability, and durable components.

 

About the Author:
is an EcoZoom employee and likes to cook outdoors with his EcoZoom stove on camping trips or sunny days. You can email him directly at tom@ecozoomstove.com.


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