Wood gassifier...any one having easy enough and tested plans to build my own?

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Meinecke, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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    Hello...

    Since Murby brought up this subject in the Solar array subject, i was googling around and found about a ton of things how to do it, but they were all so different, that i was hoping, that someone here uses a diy one and can provide useful tips, plans, tricks or what ever...
    Cause it looks like that such a device ends on my to-do list...
    Thx in advance

    This one here looks pretty doable for non prfessional steel workers:
     
  2. Murby

    Murby Well-Known Member

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    This guy has the right idea...


    But even he isn't doing it correctly.. While his basic design of the burner area is spot on, the rest of his system isn't right..

    His burner bowl is insulated with refractory cement.. while he's using a DIY blend of plaster and sand, he's on the right track with that part of his build. He also has the air nozzle right.. really nice setup there..

    His system fails in only one area so far as I can tell... and that's airflow capacity. The gasses have a lot of tubing and filter media to pass through and the passages need to be bigger to allow unrestricted flow. When he starts running his generator, you'll see that he's using a small hose to hook up to it.. You need a big hose.. as in two inch.. then you pipe down with a reducer.

    You'll notice when he starts his generator and turns the load (lights) on, that it looses RPM's.. while this doesn't affect light bulbs, it will destroy pretty much everything else. If you try to run anything with a motor, it could burn the motor up. When a generator loses RPM's, the voltage and frequency output also drop and this can destroy motors quickly. He needs a larger feed pipe going to this carburetor. The rest of his system is well done and I'll probably build mine similarly with only a few minor changes.

    I don't just plan to use it to run a generator though.. I want to compress the gas into large propane tanks to be used for heating water, cooking, and emergency generator fuel for short runs. 500 gallons of propane tank compressed to 150 psi should store quite a bit of gas.

    That's the thing with these gasifiers.. you can't just turn them on and turn them off.. Its a process to get them running.. takes a good twenty or thirty minutes to come up to full temperature where the tar is being converted. A lot of these people on youtube aren't converting the tars and when they hook up to an engine, it only runs for a twenty or thirty hours before the valves become gunked up with the tar.. You have to "crack" the tar and that requires 1800°-2000° F.. very very few gasifiers reach that temperature. The guy in the video I linked to does I believe...
     

  3. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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    Hello...thx for the answer...I have my generator set to 50 hz (3000rpm insted of 3600rpm for 60 hz) since i use my German Washer with it, so i am aware of HZ and pure sine and modified sine or even generator what ever sine wave smile...
    Since i am in the States i learned that Utility Power is not as close to reliable here than in Germany, So i have all my Sensitive Equipment on APC pure sine UPS anyway...so charging Batteries and running the APC's with it would be my Plan anyway.
    And heat/cook...but i am surprised about the compression option....does that GAS degrade over time or just sit and burns when needed like normal GAS?
    I will take a look into his system you posted...lets see
    Just watched the videos...
    And i am not so much a fan of his self feeding design...
    The angle from the old gas can nearly flattens to straight close to the burning chamber, which leaves material stranded and maybe getting stuck by tar down there...
    And i think you are totally right...the Burner concept is great...like the high temp and insulation design...but the gas pass-through is limiting, but should not be an issue, since you are going to compress and use later on your plans...
    And i am not so sure if the ash tray and air nozzle down in the burn chamber are withstanding the temps/oxidation for a longer period...but the compact barrel design at the end again is just nice...
    I think i will go with this one as well, and check out some changes

    Great tip...thx...would not have thought about tar...
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  4. Murby

    Murby Well-Known Member

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    One of the problems with gasifier design is sizing.. if you go too small, you don't produce enough gas.. if you go too big, the air flow through the combustion zone won't have enough velocity to generate the temperatures needed to convert the tars into gas...

    The velocity of the fresh air coming into the combustion zone is critical.. if its too slow, the coals won't get hot enough to burn the tars.. Volume and velocity are key in the design. This is why I want to design one with adjustable or replaceable inserts so I can run a 15KW generator or (quickly and easily) change nozzles to run something much smaller..
     
  5. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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    What do you think of Mr drizzler?

    Looks way less work, and the amount of gas looks surprisingly good...and the temps are high as well...and its insulated
     
  6. Murby

    Murby Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to watch the whole thing and see how he constructed it... My first thought is that he has no cooler or filter.. the gas has to be cooled first and it needs to be filtered or its going to screw up your engine in very short order..

    Cooling the gas is really important because the hotter the gas is, the lower its energy density.. Hot gasses use up more volume per energy unit than cold gasses will.. So if your generator sucks in a cubic foot per minute, you want that gas to be as cold as possible so you get as much energy into that cubic foot as you can squeeze.

    Even poorly constructed gasifiers can be made to run clean if you change the feedstock to pre-burned coals. By partially burning wood to produce coals, and then snuffing out the fire, you can then use those coals as a nice clean fuel source for just about any gasifier.. even a poorly constructed one. By pre-burning the coals, say in a 55 gallon drum, I think you're burning off all the tars and dirty gasses.

    I heat my home with a modern wood stove that has stainless after-burning tubes at the top of the firebox.. The stove goes through three stages.. 1) Heating.. which brings the stove up to temperature but also results in the most smoke, 2) Primary Combustion...which generates most of the heat.. and a third stage called clean burn that produces blue flames instead of orange.

    If you load up a gasifier with pre-burned wood coals, it will burn clean.. The problem is that you also remove about 60% of the energy the wood had doing it. There are advantages however.. it means a smaller gasifier with fewer problems to solve.. more portability for short runs that don't require lots of fuel.. of course, the drawback is that there's labor involved in making the coals and a lot of energy is wasted doing it.
     
  7. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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    I think i need a welder...i am so up to the project now...i think the rest of the year, as soon i moved into that place, i might no sit still for a minute working on projects...solar panels, garden well, gasifier...oh boy...
     
  8. Murby

    Murby Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to my life! LOL
    I'm always working on some project around here.. and yes, you most certainly need a welder.. its almost as important as a penis...
     
  9. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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    But here in the states pretty much everything is sooo freaking expensive, and with this 110 volt it is not even possible to have a strong Vacuum cleaner...
    But it think it is the old saying...if you want to life...rent...if you want to work, own...
     
  10. Murby

    Murby Well-Known Member

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    I've always wanted a 3 phase refrigerator and toaster.... I wish my house to be 120/240 and my garage to be 3 phase 480.. 3phase is how you get work done!
     
  11. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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    I loved my regular 220V/16 amp outlets in every room and in the Garage or for the range my 480V
    Moving to new Country is not only bringing good surprises...
    Not even sure how to hook up a welder here...110/16 might not be strong enough to even turn it on...hahaha
     
  12. Murby

    Murby Well-Known Member

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    Homes in the USA will regularly use or have 240 volt outlets in various places.. Its common to find them behind electric stoves, clothes driers, swimming pool pumps, well water pumps, electric water heaters, and in a garage... Its not as rare as you might think..
     
  13. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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    Found another good one...but it think i like the one you found best...
    Will see if they can be somehow combined...
     
  14. Murby

    Murby Well-Known Member

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    The one mistake most of these people are making is that their gasifiers are built out of carbon steel... The combustion area needs to be stainless or it won't last very long..
     
  15. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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    Following this 101 right now...not sure if you saw it, so maybe beneficial, since i think there are some good tips, like air/fuel preheat etc...

    Min 10:30 gets mostly interesting
     
  16. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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  17. Murby

    Murby Well-Known Member

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    Nice system.. very complex.. lots of stuff to go wrong.. I bet it makes a lot of gas..

    I've formulated my basic requirements.. I'm working on designing a wet scrubber for the gasses as I'm not real enthusiastic about the filtering a lot of folks do.

    one of the things none of these gasifier folks show you is how long their engines run for before getting gummed up by the tars.. Everyone can make a pretty flame and they're all proud of it.. but after 300 hours of operation, I'd like to know how many of their engines are still running.
     
  18. Offgrid48

    Offgrid48 Member

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    I am using Ben Peterson's wood gasifier design (wood gasifier plans.com) it is a very solid and versatile design. Reaches high temperatures needed to crack tars and can be sized for small or large engines.
     
  19. Meinecke

    Meinecke Well-Known Member

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    Hello...Did you build your own?
    How do you use it? Just to fill bottles with it or constant or just on emergency to run generator?

    Thx for details
     
  20. Offgrid48

    Offgrid48 Member

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    Yes, I built mine from the plans. I am also offering to do full builds of this design on a cost+ basis and am selling parts kits for those that want to DIY. My primary use is for our off grid cabin to run the generator for our batteries, although it can also be used for emergency backup power. Storing the gas is not efficient as you can generate the gas any time you need it very quickly. Easier to store the fuel wood. Up here in the NW, from Nov-Mar, we only get a out 10 sunny days a month so even if you use solar, there are a lot of times you will need to run your generator to make up the difference. (http://offgrid48.com)