Rising energy costs have proved to be the bane for a large portion of our planet’s population, especially for people living in the developing countries. Well, journalist and boat owner Dylan Winter has cut through many such cost related predicaments with his ingeniously conceived DIY heater. So, what materials did he use for his homemade contraption? The answer is tealight candles, two ceramic flower pots and a bread tin. And, while these objects may seem to be mundane, the entire contrivance works on the effective physical phenomenon of convectional heat transfer. More importantly, it has the ability to heat your room for around 8 hours a day with a cost of just around 13 cents (per day).
The process of ‘activating’ the DIY heater is pretty straightforward. Winter had started off by lighting the tealight candles and then placing them inside the aforementioned bread tin. He then placed the smaller flower teapot upside down on the tin, thus entirely covering the candles. The hole of the teapot (usually situated at the center of the bottom side) was then covered with a small metal lid. Finally, the bigger flower pot was placed over the smaller one, and its hole was kept open (check the top image).
The working principle is simple; the lighted candles inside the smaller flower pot heats the enclosed environment, thus serving as an inner ‘hot core’. This temperature difference between the two pots in turn create a convection current that results in the heated air to come out through the hole of the bigger pot. Furthermore, the beauty of convection is that while the hot air rises up to take the place of the room air, it also cycles the cold air of the room with hot air (with the heavier cold air channeling inside the heater and then coming up as heated air).
For more details, check out the YouTube video below.