Egloo: A simple, ecological alternative to electric heating

This Italian student’s project offers electricity-free heating for the home.

The Egloo is the brainchild of Marco Zagaria, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. He has designed a compact, hamburger-shaped heater that harnesses the full potential of candle light and terracotta for households that do not have access to (or looks to reduce the use of) electricity.

The Egloo’s simple design is comprised of four pieces: a round base on which to position three or four regular tea candles, two domes that work together to circulate heat and a metal grid that supports them. The inner dome (thinner than its outer counterpart) works to trap the heat generated by candles, gradually conducting it to the outer shell and creating a small but potent convection system.

The grid that separates the dual domes from the base allows cool air to travel into the Egloo, fueling the candles and allowing hot air to issue from the opening at the top. The Egloo’s base and domes are made from terracotta. The design harnesses the clay-based ceramic's heat resistance and thermal conduction qualities (as the Egloo retains high heat in its clay shells long after the candles have been blown out).

The Egloo essentially creates a thermal exchange in whatever room it is placed and can effectively warm up a 90 square foot space. The manufacturer states that the Egloo can heat up an indoor space by approximately 10 degrees after being lit for 30 minutes.

The candle-powered heater project was successfully funded through Indiegogo. With a suggested starting price of €60, it is not exactly an inexpensive utilitarian solution.