October 15 2007


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"Don't forget your bathing suits!" is the greeting on the _dutchtub website.

The _dutchtub is a novel hot tub that uses a wood burning stove to heat the water in lieu of electricity. The system works by using a large super insulated tub (shown above), a wood burning stove, and a water source. The manufacturer claims that an entire tub full of water can be heated in as little as two hours and that the stove can be cooked on in the interim.

The product is especially innovative when considering that the use of traditional hot tubs can erase many of the energy savings strategies homes. Data has been published suggesting that using a hot tub on a regular basis deletes any benefits gained from improving efficiency of a homes energy system.  The reason is that most hot tubs use electric resistance to heat the water instantly. Electric resistance is one of the worst heat sources to use because of its low efficacy. With the simple addition of a wood burning stove the designers have created a very efficient system that runs on renewable energy supplies.

I saw this example of the _dutchtub at the University of Texas 2007 Solar Decathlon house. Apparently the condition given to the team for a donation of the _dutchtub was that they must use it during the solar decathlon event. We shall see what the forest service has to say about that, but I have on good word that the device works as advertised.

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