Yep. Look up the T.E.G. Thermo-Electric Generator. Also, there's the Stirling Cycle Engine, which has been around for a LONG time and some folks have used them for converting waste heat to kinetic energy and/or electricity.
Seems to me that if the intent is to make electricity, the TEG or some kind of thermo-couple would be the way to go, fewer conversions.. On the other hand, if the intent is to use the electricity to turn some gizmo or provide some kind of kinetic motion, the Stirling Cycle would be my choice for the same reasons..
The efficiency of a TEG is typicaly just around 5-10% and very small amounts of watts are produced. TEGs for driving a blower or producing a bit light are relatively cheap. A small Stirling has an efficiency of around 15% to 30% and much larger amounts of watts can be produced. A Beta Stirling would be the cheapest to build stirling. Even a Beta Stirling is expensive to build, at least as high temperature version. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_generator en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine
In Germany the power companies are forced by law to buy electricity from everyone at a good price, thus generating electricity from waste heat is of great financial interest for homeowner. One can buy here stoves with an build in Stirling to raise overall efficiency to near 90%.
The other way round is also common, using an Otto engine to produce electricity and heating the house with the waste heat.
This third possibility is the most promising for producing a significant mount of electricity with a wood stove. Parts of the gas produced by a gasifying stove could be used to drive an Otto engine. There are Otto engines of any imageable size. An Otto engine is much cheaper to produce as a TEG or Stirling of a comparable power. It would not need any control for varying rotation as it could always run in the most efficient range. One from the Waste could be used to.
Steam is appealing as the engines are usually quiet and they are interesting to play with. The big problem is that they mostly use pressurised boilers, and these are dangerous and often kill people. One of the reasons for the invention of the Stirling engine.
One of the reasons for the invention of the Stirling engine.
Can be build even from a pringles box and a low energy generator can be cheaply build with solenoids. On that can run 7/24 at higher temperatures and do some real work is more challenging. There are reason, why most of them are just models.
Not everyone wants noise in his home, so rotating devices are not so welcome.
TEGs make no sound. But the main problem i found using them for some years is overheating. For them to put out more watts, cold side must be as cold as possible and hot side as hot as possible, but not more than 260C. That is very hard to achieve. Yes, you can use pumps, but they make noise and need electricity - usually more than tegs provide.
Relistically one can get night light - enough to see the way to wc at night. And its very nice when some light appears when stove heats up in early morning or dark afternoon. When set up, TEG system does not need any maintenance. Only watch the termometer! Wood heat can make drastic leaps.
photoman290: i did try drumming in my friends jazz band for a while. i was ok but they decided i was more use running the PA, being the band techy. plus they decided they didn't want a drummer anyway. wrong instrument for the style. annette hanshaw sort of stuff.
Feb 16, 2015 5:32:37 GMT -8
Daryl: Photo, I'm listening to Stanley Turrentine. Not a drummer but it is jazz.
Feb 16, 2015 11:42:17 GMT -8
ericvw: Daryl, we have about 6" of snow, so far... Who knows what the total will be come morning. It's the first proper snow this year tho, so yay! My wife is more excited than I am. Last year this time we had about 16" on the ground... Ah, Global warming-whatever
Feb 16, 2015 18:13:51 GMT -8
Daryl: Yay!!! You guys celebrating? Doing anything special? First big snowfall is always fun. It's so pretty. Like living in a new world.
Feb 17, 2015 2:47:32 GMT -8
photoman290: we dont get snow here much. the last time was about 4 years ago. before that about 1987. that was proper snow. agree it is magical,for the first day anyway.
Feb 17, 2015 3:08:28 GMT -8
Daryl: Where are you, Photo? You don't have to provide the specific area.
Feb 17, 2015 3:34:03 GMT -8
photoman290: southwest cornwall uk near lands end. we are almost an island so the sea keeps the temperature a few degrees higher.
Feb 17, 2015 12:44:02 GMT -8
ericvw: Our celebrations included looking out the window, then sitting by the wood stove (rocket stil not built ), then slipping around in it this morning on the way to work!
Feb 17, 2015 15:19:24 GMT -8
ericvw: DCish, how's the bell/ bench today? Y'all end up with some good snow?!
Feb 17, 2015 15:35:40 GMT -8
Daryl: Knock, Knock, Eric.
Feb 19, 2015 2:36:52 GMT -8
ericvw: Who's there, early bird?!
Feb 19, 2015 4:40:51 GMT -8