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Stirling

John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
Crazy Idea.
I found a 700 watt Stirling engine generator that should be for sale in a next few months.
I have played with aquaculture and aquaponics in the past and now as I get ready to start to upgrade my home to a sustainable one and possible build a home for my family in the tropics I am looking at other ideas.
I am looking at adding an addition to my house with the entire south facing wall to be green house glazing. The southern eight feet would be a green house area for in ground aquaculture. I would grow salad vegetables above and NFT beds.
The aquaculture tanks should make great heat sinks to stabilize the green house temperature.
I am thinking of using a cream separator as a means of harvesting algae. I found research of using the idea in Australia as a centrifuge for the purpose. I also found algae research being used as Biogas feed stock also. I am not a big fan of algae as an energy source due to the trouble extracting oil but I think this would be doable as biogas feedstock.
With an ARTI biogas plant the turn around time is less than two days so the plant is not that space intensive.
By harvesting algae from the aquaculture tanks I can remove nutrients at a mush faster rate than using aquaponics directly. The heat used to power several Stirling engines hooked up through a charge controller to multiply capacity I could make the green house self supported in heat and energy. The effluent from the gas plant then could be PH balanced with egg shells, Limestone or sea shells and then used as nutrient solution for a hydroponics system. Since the nutrients would be concentrated it could easily be used for heavy fruiters such as tomatoes or bell peppers.
In researching for a paper for school I came across studies using spent mushroom media as livestock feed. With the nutrients in the waste product being high in carbohydrate the media would also be a useful feed stock for a biogas plant.
When everything that can reasonable is extracted from the input in the house/green house has transpired then what is left is still something that can feed the surrounding food forest/garden.
I have played with almost everything I plan in my house. I just never put them all together at one time. Now I am just planning and extrapolating it out. I am under estimating return and over estimating problems and hopefully it should work.

I am the first generation of my family to grow up on the grid eating out of the super market. I hope to be the last.
arild jensen


Joined: Mar 02, 2012
Posts: 37
Location: New Hazelton BC zone 3 lat 56 north
John tell us more about the Stirling engine you found. I have been looking for years for such an engine for sale in North America. nobody here builds them.
So is it your intention to fuel it with algae?
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
My intention is to use Biogas made from Algae and any other high carbohydrate waste product I can find. The biogas plant I intend to build is modeled after the ARTI design.
http://www.arti-india.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45&Itemid=52
As far as the Stirling engine I have been watching this one for a few months. I plan on buying one over the next few months and seeing if it is something I can depend on.
http://www.hyporex.ca/
I bought a Russian made cream separator when I was living in the Dominican Republic. It was less than $200. I found information about using a cream separator as a centrifuge to take algae out of the water. Algae slurry in a methane digester would be a reasonable way to extract energy.
When I had tilapia in my pools on my roof in the Dominican Republic the water was literally so green it was dark six inches down. I feel that I could pull quit a bit of algae out of the tanks and not take away the food for the tilapia. I would be returning crop waste to the fish as another food source.
My ultimate intention is to build a working model of systems I need to be off grid in the Dominican Republic while I am here in the United States. Then I can replicate what I do there.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
Here is a reference for using a cream separator for algae harvest.
http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/003/W3732E/w3732e06.htm
And this is the link to algae as a biogas feedstock paper.
http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1181&context=cenv_fac
Basically what I more or less figures out is if a slurry about the constancy of pancake batter is made out of algae, potato peels, banana peels and so forth then it will produce the equivalent energy as one gallon of propane in 24-48 hours for 5 gallons of slurry.
The biggest trouble with biogas is it takes 124 cubic feet to equal a gallon of gas. If I have a Stirling that is using the gas at a constant rate and I have multiple engines with a charge controller I could turn on more to handle peak loads. Then I could keep my storage capacity lower. Also a Stirling engine uses heat to run and is not picky about the source. A rocket stove properly designed could be a back up source of heat. The biggest thing I need to work out is the burner as the wrong mixture of air leads to carbon monoxide problems so I need to make sure my engines are not in to occupied spaces and have a heat exchanger to bring the heat into the green house.
My biggest plus is I am in an area with no building codes. The only real issue in my area is septic tanks and so forth. My house has a preexisting septic and I can use it as long as I do not go beyond one bathroom with out getting into trouble with the county sanitarian.
I have source of oak sawdust for $25 a ton that I can farm mushrooms with and then use the spent substrate as feed stock for the biogas.
http://www.allaboutfeed.net/news/spent-mushroom-substrate-as-animal-feed-additive-2878.html
The rules with the ARTI biogas plant are if an animal can eat it the plant will use it to make gas. If spent substrate is being used as animal feed I should be able to feed it to my gas plant.
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 460
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
Stirlings are notoriously expensive for a very low power density. A low temperature organic rankin cycle generator is probably a much better bang for the buck and is also an external combustion unit so not fuel sensetive.


It can be done!
arild jensen


Joined: Mar 02, 2012
Posts: 37
Location: New Hazelton BC zone 3 lat 56 north
Max Kennedy wrote:Stirlings are notoriously expensive for a very low power density. A low temperature organic rankin cycle generator is probably a much better bang for the buck and is also an external combustion unit so not fuel sensetive.


Are you including the solar heated units used by SES?

Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 460
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
Yes, look at the $/watt for the SES units. Cost relative to output is quite high. High power stirlings are uber $.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
High power is over rated. My experience in the third world demonstrated to me that 2.5kw was sufficient to run a house hold. From what I can work out I could have that power for about $1 watt investment. Pressed I will be happy for 500 watts.
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 460
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
If you find a 500w stirling for $500 or a 2500w unit for $2500 you be sure to let me know. I'll buy one!
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
The link I provided is supposed to be able to put 12vdc at 60 amps for under $500. I am going to get one to experiment with to make sure. I emailed the company about their plans and they said they were going to be selling the units complete in the following weeks. I do not know what the price is with the generator.
http://www.hyporex.ca/
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 460
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
I'm assuming that will be the superstirling. I saw no specs on it other than displacement. Let us know if they come through.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
I will keep you posted. If it does come through it could be a boon to all of us. Being able to make affordable power on demand is one of the problems with off grid. I know from experience that it is not the quantity but the reliability that counts. 500 watts all the time is just fine if it can be counted on.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
John Sizemore wrote:The link I provided is supposed to be able to put 12vdc at 60 amps for under $500. I am going to get one to experiment with to make sure. I emailed the company about their plans and they said they were going to be selling the units complete in the following weeks. I do not know what the price is with the generator.
http://www.hyporex.ca/


The website is pretty closed mouthed about these...More info would make me more trusting. I can understand them not giving out engineering drawings, but a fuller set of specs and specs for the heat source used for testing and needed for running should be there. What kind of cooling is needed? They appear air cooled, does some of the power need to be used for a fan for example?

As for the generator, if 12vdc is what you want and the speed is right or can be made right with pulleys... an automotive alternator with internal regulator will do the deal for less than $100 up to about 60a. If you want 120v ac... the gas motor on most gensets is what will wear out first. Pulley size becomes much more important to get real close to 50 or 60 hz (depending on where you live). With dc the alternator speed affects efficiency, but if it is off a bit (to the high side) the voltage will still be ok.
arild jensen


Joined: Mar 02, 2012
Posts: 37
Location: New Hazelton BC zone 3 lat 56 north
Has anyone looked at the whispergen design? I know the price is outrageous. They are attempting to sell into the upscale market. However the design is sound and I suspect could be produced for much less. Two years I heard about a swiss made design coupled to a pellet stove. When I finally managed to contact them I was told they were not going to market the product into North America. Hmmmm? Why not?

The mechanics of the hypox unit looks somewhat primitive like a model version I pulled from a 1960's copy of Popular Mechanics
I would be curious what it looks like after 6000 hours run time.
Bearings turned out to be the weak point in the whispergen design.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
From what I have been able to gather the Hyporex was nothing more than a copy of the old Stirling kyko fans. I found in a Stirling site where they company had produced the fans for domestic use in Pakistan until the 90s. Some people tracked them down and they were approached about a producing another run. They started producing again after they got a large enough order. I do not know if it is the same group but the photos look pretty close.
The Whisper GEN is intriguing. They took a hit to production with the earthquake and were limited in producing the remote site version. I do not know what the current status.
Remember the lister clones from India are copies of old technology but yet they are still effective regardless of what the EPA says.
These Stirling may be in the same category. Old antiquated design that functions.
arild jensen


Joined: Mar 02, 2012
Posts: 37
Location: New Hazelton BC zone 3 lat 56 north
The Whispergen are incredibly silent. We ran one at the Ibex show in 2003 during the show and many people never realized it was running. I was scheduled to receive factory training as an installer summer of 2003 but that was when the model was pulled from the market due to persistent production flaws. For several years afterwards they declined to sell the units outside of NZ until the bearing problem was resolved.
Part of the reason for lack luster sales had to do with marketing. At first they tried to sell the generators into the south Florida boat market as a silent generator.
Somebody was not thinking. The last thing you want in /s Florida is a heat producing furnace that happens to generate some electricity. Problem being the output of the generator was insufficient to power the amount of air conditioning required. When Whispergen finally got their stuff together they did try to market it in PNW as a furnace that happened to also produce some electricity. However once again the 1500 watts was inadequate to the load demand and their price was outrageous at $14,000 plus taxes and installation. A a comparison a decent Kabola furnace cost $12,000 and delivered more heat suitable for Alaska cruising.
You can always tell a marketing guy , . . . . but not a hell of a lot. Father always knows best they think.
A factory built 2.5 -3.0 kW Sterling generator should not amount to more than $4,000 Add another $2,000 if you want house heating included. But that is not sufficient profit margin according to American business think according to the MBA's that rule the roost these days.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
Looks to be closer to being for sale.

http://www.hyporex.ca/stirling-generator.php
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 460
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
And what type of pricing are they looking at?
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
According to their web site about $1 a watt.
kent smith


Joined: Sep 05, 2010
Posts: 211
Location: Pennsylvania
Just my observation when looking at the hyporex site coming from decades of machining and equipment building experience, the construction looks very hacked together. I would wonder about the longevity of the construction and issues with how balanced the mechanism is. There are some good ideas, but it sure could be done with greater professionalism and precision.
kent


Kent
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1399
Location: Chihuahua Desert
$1/watt is reasonable, but not ground breaking. I am looking forward to this coming up for sale, because it should be the most reasonable priced stirling available.


Living off grid - guides for the off grid lifestyle in the modern age
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R Scott


Joined: Apr 13, 2012
Posts: 2314
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
    
  28
Abe Connally wrote:$1/watt is reasonable, but not ground breaking.


Agreed.

It is the availability of the watts (no sun or wind required) that makes it intriguing, just like woodgas. For those of us that need to have near constant heat in our house about the same time we have very little sun, it has some stacking gains.

Need to run the math for this vs. battery banks vs. woodgas vs. TEG.


"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi. "Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1399
Location: Chihuahua Desert
I don't know the temperature difference required, but if it is low (doubtful), we could use compost heat to power it. If the temp difference is much higher, solar concentrators might be viable.

Biomass would be another good option, hook up a rocket stove configuration, combined with a biochar maker, and you can make soil amendments, heat, and electricity all at the same time! Talk about stacking functions...
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 460
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
An inexpensive heat engine in the 1-10kWe range would be a major player and if anyone finds one that is in actual production, not the steam engines from India, the fit and finish is terrible, please let me know!
Jim Gallagher


Joined: Sep 20, 2012
Posts: 1
I would be very interested in all ya'lls feedback. I am offgrid with 630 watts of solar, 12 battery bank and 6.5 hp horizontal mount gasoline ICE turning a 60-80 amp alternator whenever needed (hardly ever). We use propane for refrigeration and a propane generator to pump water from well to above ground tank and for washer. I have yet to make syngas and biochar but since this is a carbon neutral solution, what is wrong with modifying small internal combustion engines to run direct from this. I am intrigued as well by sterling engines and the like but... I think we can do with what is already to go and focus on accessibility and integration. This for the many- is really where we'll make a difference.
Let me know what you think of running ammonia absorption refer off syngas.. I'm pretty sure my chinese propane generator will run off this. Also any recs on biochar/syngas gasifiers for sale or homeade designs appreciated.. this company has this one http://gekgasifier.com/gasification-store/...
Please let me know what you think of this http://www.evingerinc.com/EG5-Gasifier-Kit-p/eg5k.htm Saves time but what are we paying for? Get gasifier/biochar maker built.. then I'll figure out how to fill my propane bottles with syngas add (vapor) gas injection to my TD truck and be good to go...
Marcos Buenijo
pollinator

Joined: Dec 18, 2011
Posts: 583
Location: Southwest U.S.
    
  12
Jim Gallagher wrote:I would be very interested in all ya'lls feedback. I am offgrid with 630 watts of solar, 12 battery bank and 6.5 hp horizontal mount gasoline ICE turning a 60-80 amp alternator whenever needed (hardly ever). We use propane for refrigeration and a propane generator to pump water from well to above ground tank and for washer. I have yet to make syngas and biochar but since this is a carbon neutral solution, what is wrong with modifying small internal combustion engines to run direct from this. I am intrigued as well by sterling engines and the like but... I think we can do with what is already to go and focus on accessibility and integration. This for the many- is really where we'll make a difference.
Let me know what you think of running ammonia absorption refer off syngas.. I'm pretty sure my chinese propane generator will run off this. Also any recs on biochar/syngas gasifiers for sale or homeade designs appreciated.. this company has this one http://gekgasifier.com/gasification-store/...
Please let me know what you think of this http://www.evingerinc.com/EG5-Gasifier-Kit-p/eg5k.htm Saves time but what are we paying for? Get gasifier/biochar maker built.. then I'll figure out how to fill my propane bottles with syngas add (vapor) gas injection to my TD truck and be good to go...


Biomass gasification for fueling internal combustion engines is definitely the only practical off grid engine technology out there that does not rely on refined fuels. Forget stirlings and steam engines as there are no cost effective products available (NOTE: the product discussed at the start of this thread is junk). I like steam power, but again, there is nothing worthwhile on the market. Check out vulcangasifier.com. I think you'll like their units. Also see the YouTube channel "joshuaburks". He has made a wonderful little FEMA gasifier that is highly functional, and his videos are outstanding (he's a natural teacher). A FEMA can be a good unit for a stationary unit operated at a constant rate, but the Imbert is the prototype gasifier for vehicle applications. If you're interested in powering a vehicle with wood gas, then see driveonwood.com.

Careful about using syngas to fuel a refer. Bringing CO into a home is just plain dangerous. If you can prevent the possibility of CO poisoning with 100% confidence, then it should be doable. Consider storing the wood gas daily in a large latex weather balloon. This will pressurize the gas to a low level and allow a small flame to be maintained for a refer, but it may require modifications to ensure a reliable flame is maintained. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xmRWw9LWFw. You can't store a lot of energy in a balloon like this because the energy density of the wood gas is very low. However, if you need only to power a refer, then the balloon can be quickly filled each day with a gasifier. There is also the possibility of using an inverted drum in a water vessel as is done with biogas, but again the energy density is so low for wood gas that you would need a very large vessel to store any usable energy. Trying to compress wood gas into cylinders is a bad idea. You will be dependent on a compressor, you will use a lot of energy, and the integrity of the cylinders will be compromised by impurities introduced with the wood gas.

James Blackstone


Joined: Nov 11, 2012
Posts: 1
Location: near;Everett commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Glad I found this forum... So many people sharing a common idea to obtain the same results. Freedom! I've read most of this thread complete and only wish I knew what all the acronyms stood for. In general I see that we all would like to see viable alternative energy sources that are real and available now. Of course we know why it is necessary to find the answers on our own.

I have studied everything from Earthships to Rocketstoves and a look at the Stirling Engine along the path. Curating content like Paul does with his massive on-line presence with Permies Forums, and the companion sister sites is by far the best method to get the ideas stirring and with all of you crafty observers taking action viable solutions are just around the corner.

I wrote a small article on the Stirling Parabolic method as being a solution. I would consider it a great honor if you would take a lookproduce electricity at home

While my site The Cutural Creatives is fairly new, I'm getting some great ideas for content from this thread and would appreciate it if after you visit my site you would fill out the contact form if your interested in providing guest posts.


More of what makes me tick may be found at http://the-culturalcreatives.com
Marcos Buenijo
pollinator

Joined: Dec 18, 2011
Posts: 583
Location: Southwest U.S.
    
  12
James Blackstone wrote:Glad I found this forum... So many people sharing a common idea to obtain the same results. Freedom! I've read most of this thread complete and only wish I knew what all the acronyms stood for. In general I see that we all would like to see viable alternative energy sources that are real and available now. Of course we know why it is necessary to find the answers on our own.

I have studied everything from Earthships to Rocketstoves and a look at the Stirling Engine along the path. Curating content like Paul does with his massive on-line presence with Permies Forums, and the companion sister sites is by far the best method to get the ideas stirring and with all of you crafty observers taking action viable solutions are just around the corner.

I wrote a small article on the Stirling Parabolic method as being a solution. I would consider it a great honor if you would take a lookproduce electricity at home

While my site The Cutural Creatives is fairly new, I'm getting some great ideas for content from this thread and would appreciate it if after you visit my site you would fill out the contact form if your interested in providing guest posts.


I checked out your site. I like the format. With respect to solar power generation at the residential scale, I take the position that you can't beat photovoltaics. The Stirling engine has a lot of merits, but getting high efficiency from such a system requires a very sophisticated device with associated high costs and mechanical failures. For example, there were mechanical problems with the SES systems that led to their demise along with other factors. The free piston designs are promising, but again, as far as residential solar power generation goes, you can't beat PV.

Grant Fulcher


Joined: Nov 20, 2012
Posts: 34
Do you think this generator could be a better fit? sterling vs muller ??

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Marcos Buenijo
pollinator

Joined: Dec 18, 2011
Posts: 583
Location: Southwest U.S.
    
  12
Grant Fulcher wrote:Do you think this generator could be a better fit? sterling vs muller ??


Actually, the best option is an electric fairy in the wall socket. She will give you unlimited energy.

Sorry to be cheeky, but I recommend you not put any confidence in such "free energy" motors. I don't argue that it's not possible. I do argue that there is no evidence that it works. Please be cautious.
Balint Bartuszek


Joined: Dec 23, 2012
Posts: 56
Location: Hungary
Marcos Buenijo wrote:
Grant Fulcher wrote:Do you think this generator could be a better fit? sterling vs muller ??


Actually, the best option is an electric fairy in the wall socket. She will give you unlimited energy.

Sorry to be cheeky, but I recommend you not put any confidence in such "free energy" motors. I don't argue that it's not possible. I do argue that there is no evidence that it works. Please be cautious.


Stirling engines are not "free energy" motors. But you are right that most off grid solutions are not practical for us.

The problem with wood gas ICE route is that you need to have a back up motor or two, or you need to use them in a small percentage of the time. Or get an engine that is really built to last. (Note, that those are expensive and rare)
Normal internal combustion engines are made for short life. Since you normally use them as high power energy sources for short times.
Steam engines are better this way. With current materials they could last for ages. (they did last for ages using ancient materials)
Stirling engines are worse. They got the reputation of being long living, but for usable output they need fine materials and expensive engineering. (Or huge space maybe)

Steam looks like best now, but one needs to build its own, which is dangerous. The wood gas - ICE is similar.
Balint Bartuszek


Joined: Dec 23, 2012
Posts: 56
Location: Hungary
John Sizemore wrote:
As far as the Stirling engine I have been watching this one for a few months. I plan on buying one over the next few months and seeing if it is something I can depend on.
http://www.hyporex.ca/


Regarding this site...

I would not try their engine if i were you. Looking around their site, they are selling a over unity device!? Red alert!
While i'm not against unusual energy sources, but over unity, no. Especially without any explanation.
Stay clear!
Dave Turpin


Joined: Dec 07, 2012
Posts: 107
Location: Groton, CT
That website is chock full of red flags. I think I see one of every debunked "energy saving device" that exists. Four over-unity generators (Two for grid power, one is a street light and one for solar panels), snake oil, a "power conditioner".... Pretty much the only thing on there that is not completely mythical is the stirling engine.

However, based on the other things I see there, I have a strong feeling any money you give to them will vanish mysteriously.

The biggest red flag that this is a scam is the bad spelling and translations. Obviously this is not a company from an english-speaking country. My guess is China. The ".ca" URL implies that it is Canada, but there is no way. Look at the horrible grammar here:



Okay? What the heck is a "griptie inverter"? Figure a company with hundreds of years of experience with engineering would know what a grid-tie inverter was?
Bill Bianchi


Joined: Mar 03, 2013
Posts: 226
    
    1
MSRP on the Stirling generator is $5,000.00. 500 W continuous power, 12 KW per 24 hours if running constantly.

Couldn't a lawn mower engine hooked to an alternator and fed by a wood gasifier accomplish similar electric production? I'm not trying to be a smart a$$, just wondering how a rig like that would do compared to the Stirling.
I can get used gasoline lawn mowers in the $50.00 range off Craigslist in my area all day long. Gasifiers don't cost much to build and there are instructions for setting up a lawn mower engine to run an alternator on the web. That setup would cost around $500.00, including a few "backup" engines.
But, I could be wrong about a crude setup like that generating a comparable output.
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 460
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
Yes Bill your scheme would work if wood was the only fuel though it would be noisier. The nice thing about a stirling would be the option of using CSP as well.
Marcos Buenijo
pollinator

Joined: Dec 18, 2011
Posts: 583
Location: Southwest U.S.
    
  12
Make sure to check out the "stirling engine" thread on this forum where the Lister wood gas conversion is discussed. Turns out the Lister works very well on wood gas without modifying compression ratio. This suggests strongly that any engine with compression ratio up to 17:1 will work with wood gas. This also suggests that the Lister (and perhaps other Diesel engines) can be used in dual fuel mode where 80% of the Diesel fuel is displaced by admitting wood gas with the intake air, and WITHOUT modifying compression ratio. A good gasifier should power such a system at 20% net thermal efficiency if at an optimal rate, and most of heat can be harvested during winter months for space heating (see Ken Boak's system, google "Ken Boak Lister").

On CSP: I can't help but to express my opinion here that a solar heat engine is not a practical way to generate electricity at the residential scale. I take the position that you can't beat photovoltaics. For electric power generation in the off grid setting (without fossil fuels) the only practical options I see include photovoltaics and biomass gasification. Although, a biomass fueled absorption chiller for space cooling is probably the only practical way to provide air conditioning in the off grid setting (at least where any significant cooling capacity is desired).
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 460
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
Just 1 minor problem with the lister project, you can't get them and there aren't any good substitutes for those old workhorses. I've been looking for years.
Marcos Buenijo
pollinator

Joined: Dec 18, 2011
Posts: 583
Location: Southwest U.S.
    
  12
Max Kennedy wrote:Just 1 minor problem with the lister project, you can't get them and there aren't any good substitutes for those old workhorses. I've been looking for years.


In general that's true... but I'd be willing to bet you can get a hold of a Lister type engine before you find a decent Stirling engine (and for A LOT less money). I listed some possible sources for Lister type engines in the other thread including one that has operations in both Kansas and Alaska. They list six new single cylinder units available at their Kansas location at $1295 each. I can't say if these guys are legit. If you find out anything worthwhile about their operation, then please share with the forum. http://diesel-electric.us/

I also wished to emphasize that wood gas can tolerate a very high compression. Therefore, testing with other small Diesel engines is not unreasonable (particularly in a dual fuel configuration). Many people rather arbitrarily eliminated any engine with a compression over 12:1 as incompatible with wood gas, but it turns out this is simply untrue.

Also, I noted in the other forum that small gas engines can be extremely long lasting when operated at reduced and constant speed for battery charging. Of course, in this context one needs to have a good gasifier to ensure reliable operation over an extended period. Link: https://homepower.com/sites/default/files/uploads/webextras/mark8.pdf . I think there is good potential for devising a reliable small wood gas engine system, especially when configured for battery charging at a constant rate.

Bill Bianchi


Joined: Mar 03, 2013
Posts: 226
    
    1
I know storing wood gas in weather balloons or tire inner tubes is frowned upon in general, but it would sure simplify the operation and allow time flexibility. If you're off on the weekend, you could conceivably store enough to run a few days during the week without having to fire up the gasifier again.
Also, I heard that if there are any contaminants in the gas, they will drop into water that condenses as the balloon or tube cools, leading to a more pure gas?

Not stating that last part as a fact. I watched a guy on YouTube who stores his wood gas in a weather balloon and he said the moisture condenses and any tar in the gas drops into the water. Later, before he uses the gas, he empties the water, then hooks the balloon to a generator and runs it on the producer gas.
randall gabriell


Joined: Mar 02, 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Athens Ohio

We have been doing alot of research and development in the area of free piston sterling engines an extremely efficient design that beats the socks off of any beta or alpha sterling. I will keep this thread posted on our progress but we are aiming at a sterling that could be made for 500$ give or take and produces 1kW. I will post pictures or video in the next month or so hopefully. We are currently powering the sterling with a gassifier that has output temperatures around 1200C and uses negligible fuel inputs. Keep tinkering this is the best renewable back back up power option in my opinion!

Randall
 
Consider Paul's rocket stove mass heater.
 
subject: Stirling
 
cast iron skillet 49er

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