I’m given to believe by the nice people who sold me my new, wood-burning stove that it’s about four times more efficient than just burning the fuel in an open hearth. I suspect that it’s actually still horribly inefficient and a pretty good tool for promoting global warming.
Naturally, I thought of searching the patent databases to understand what innovations are out there to improve performance. Lots of ‘prior art’ exists on fitting fins, ducts, baffles etc inside a stove, to improve burning efficiency, or to extract heat from the flue gases.
Today’s invention is a little different in that it consists of a bank of magnetic fins which can be attached to the outsides and rear of a cast-iron stove and which greatly improve the convective heat transfer to the airflow in contact with these areas. Painted in matt black heatproof enamel, these would be comparatively unobtrusive, yet capable of boosting the effective output of many domestic heating stoves.
Repeated heating and cooling would result in eventual demagnetisation, requiring renewal…but these fins could be made with detachable magnets whose replacement could be arranged to occur as part of normal system maintenance.