Instructables
Picture of Flower Pots & Tea Lights Heater
0.4908169399972752720131202_140532.jpg
I found this in a review and had to try it out. A room heater made from a small roasting tray and its trivit two clay flower Pots 4 tea lights and a scrap of aluminium foil
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Burner

Picture of Burner
light your tea lights and place them close together in the middle of the roasting tray. Place the trivit so it is sitting on the edges of the roasting tray above the tea lights not sitting on its legs in the tray as it would normally be used

Step 2: Convector

Picture of Convector
Place the smaller clay flower pot (in this case a 5") over the lit tea lights on the trivit block the drain hole with a scrap of aluminium foil the empty case of a used tea light will do fine. This is important as it traps the heat in the smaller pot and causes the convection without it the bulk of the heat will go straight through both drain holes

Step 3: The Radiator

Picture of The Radiator
Place the larger pot (in this case a 9") directly over the smaller this acts as the radiator and heats the room. I tested this in the coldest room in the house the bathroom my tea lights were very cheap £1/$1.50 per 100 & burnt for a little over an hour this was long enough to drive the condensation off the window and make it noticeably warm on entering. My local bargain store is currently offering 3.5 hour tea lights for £2 per 100 or 8 hour ones at £3 for 30 so unless you need to leave it over night say to keep a green house frost free refueling is cheaper
Cautions this is a combustion heater using un sreened naked flames normal precautions to ventilation explosive atmospheres location etc should be observed,  both pots get too hot to touch so you will need an oven glove when changing the tea lights. Also because of this place it away from flammable materials on a non flammable surface as the roasting tray got pretty hot too
KevininWA15 days ago

I made this with a couple of modifications..I wrapped copper tubing between the pots that was fastened through the outer pot, and then attached a battery powered fan to the tubing, using a reducer fabricated from a 2 ltr. bottle and drilled a hole to match the tubing through the bottle cap. This made the outer pot a bit cooler to the touch, the inner pot is still quite hot because it is directly feeling the heat from the candle flame. The convection current still works its way past the copper tubing coils.. but in the end... I considered it a fail... too many gadgets.... The BTUs produced by the candles are unchanged.. and the best method of heat disbursement is the battery powered fan blowing against the outer pot.

What a great idea....... I love this.

Ok I made it!!! I used this model https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b11dqKJrulk costed me 23 euros or 28 dollars. It is a nice looking "furnitur". Now about the job it's doing. I have 7m2 room in a big old house. Outside is now 10 C or 50 F. You will say it's not that cold, but it was a one night change form 29 C 84 F . It was 14 C in my room before I light up the heater, 3 hours later it's 18,5 C. It's still burning so it may get warmer. I will use it as an alternative. We turn on the central heater every night from 8pm till midnight. The flower pot will sustain the warmth till the morning when I go to work.

I do not imagine having to spend the hole winter entirely on candels, but it will work for what I need it.

Fikjast Scott8 months ago

This is so cool, the truck drivers would like this. When they get stuck in the snow, they use a coffee tin and candles. This would be great. Not sure if I would like the idea of having a burning candle in a truck.

Great project

Stan1y (author) 10 months ago

I've been experimenting with multi wicking using tuna tinsmy self but I am still trying to come up with a good method of apraising the heat out put of multi wick over larger single wick. The use of oil lamps is quite reasonable as the item that made me think this ideawas woth testing was the memory ofan old basic oil heater for keeping the frost out of a green house which was basicly a 1/4" parafin lamp as used to be used for road works in ametal radiator housing ratherthan a lamp housing.

ewbray10 months ago
Found a way to have a much more STABLE base for the unit. I used an old 10 inch cast iron frying pan instead of the bread pan or meatloaf pan. Then fitted an upside down 8 inch round metal basket inside the cast iron frying pan that raised the flower pots level slightly higher (approx ⅞ of an inch) than the cast iron frying pan's edge's level to let oxygen to get to the flames. Cast iron frying pan's handle also makes it easier to move the space heater, {if necessary}, besides giving it a low circular heavy base that is NOT going to be tipped over!

To modify (compact) the source of heat, the next thing to do is to put the vegetable shortening in the empty 12 oz. tuna fish can and then put an old saucer in a frying pan that was half full of water. Once the water came to a boil, place the can of vegetable shortening on the saucer. As the vegetable shortening melts, vanilla extract or lemon extract is added to the solution; this gives the vegetable shortening candle a very nice aroma while it burns. Keep adding vegetable shortening and the flavor extract until the can is full to the brim.

Cooling the liquid back into a solid is best performed by either placing the can in the refrigerator and/or the freezer. After the solution becomes solid, push four (4) of the small birthday cake candles equidistant from each other into the matrix. The birthday cake candles supplies wicks that are better than any DIY homemade wicks.

By melting the vegetable shortening first, this REMOVES all of the air that the manufacturer places in the product during its production. This will help insure 5+ hours of burn time per oz. for each wick in the matrix.

Now there is one (1) fire unit, instead of four (4) separate fire units, that should give the user 10+ hours of continuous burn time for their flower pot space heater!

The 'secret' to good design of any device is to REDUCE the number of functioning parts down to the bare minimum!

If the user wants to stick more with the original design, the user could also make a {lamp oil and/or cooking oil} candle out of an old 2.5 oz. baby food jar X 4 and use those instead of tea lights since the user can get about 5 hours of burn time for each ounce of fluid! This way the user can refill the fluid candle bottles as needed and there is a much less chance of the heater being knocked over.
Frying Pan.jpgAmerican-metalcraft black-round-wire-basket-10 in.jpg
EmcySquare11 months ago
Sorry but this thing can't work as promised. I see you did not post any test results like room tempertature and such. I made a video about my test of this device taking note of temperatures and such.
Result: change in temperature room ZERO. Still make a nice hand warmer. You might try your gloves or socks over it but still I would not advice to do this for security reasons. In any case you cant' do more than that.
The reason is simple. You got about 1BTU of heat for each candle you light. You measure the power of home heater by THOUSANDS of BTU. Cant' compete.

The video is here (sorry, Italian only)
http://www.prepper.it/index.php/recensioni/38-prodotti/356-riscaldatore-a-candele-funziona-davvero
Stan1y (author)  EmcySquare11 months ago
I agree my test was un scientific set up in coldest smallest room in house( 2mx2m approx or 6'x6' approx NOTE the Approx and I know they are not exact conversions) with heating off and it is north facing after exausting one set of tea lights the room was noticably wamer. The pots were both too hot to handle sensibly with out protection and the roasting tray was about as hot as you would want to touch with bare hands. I have looked at the test you quote and note significant differences in the heater tested to the one I have shown it uses a single large candle jar as fuel, un shielded from draughts with a significant air gap between the top of the jar and the base of the clay pots which will result in significant heat loss, the whole point of this design as I understand it is it captures as much of the very limited heat out put of a candle(s) as possible and radiates it into the room in a more efficeint way. I will also take issue with the 1BTU per candle heat out put as you are claiming to be more scientific given that I've seen candles from 1/8" to a 45 gallon drum of fat with a 6" wick you can not make such a statement as all candles produce just 1BTU of heat ,not quite what you said but it appear you have little grasp of experimental variable.
EmcySquare Stan1y11 months ago
You are right but only on a few points. My statement on BTUs was an approximation since usually 1 BTU is approximated to the heat produced by the flame of 1 burning match. That fire is about the same of the one of the tea candles used. My candle hat 3 wicks, so it's about 75% of your head output. But my room was 1.5 sqm...
Still... even if the candles where "super candles" capable of 10 BTU each, or even "magic candles" of 100 BTU each your output would be 400 BTU max (magic included) and is FAR lower of any stove that ranges 8000 to 16000 BTU usually. Otherwise we should tell all those engineers that work at heating companies how dumb they are producing such inefficient systems.
Another version: in 1700/1800 scientists wrote about thermodynamics. They where able to produce steam engines and start the industrial revolution. Still they where so dumb to heat their houses with a fireplace or home stove! Does this make any sense? Not at all to me... Pots and candles have been around a few centuries now, and we get to this only after sending a robot to Mars? Hmm...
Anyway, post me you video with some measurements, I'll be happy to look at it.
Permahaven11 months ago
Great Idea, will try this out in my greenhouse next spring, when nights still are cold
/Tony