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Wood gas to run an electric generator?

 
pollinator
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Is this an efficient idea? Is it affordable? I've seen premade units offered for sale at absurd prices. I'm wondering if I could do better and power an entire homestead.
 
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I personally am attracted to using charcoal for the same purpose.
It means processing the wood into charcoal and losing some power in that process, but then  the process of running your IC engine off of the charcial is dead simple.
Since I have home heating needs and charcoal has many uses,  starting with charcoal makes sense to me.

For better information there is at least one member who actively does this, and they are also active at the Drive On Wood forums.
That forum is filled with DIY  woodgass builds.
They seem to know quite a bit and share that information freely.
 
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people run vehicles on it why not make a setup for a generator
 
steward
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I like the charcoal idea as well.  The only issues I'm struggling with would be:

1.  finding/inventing a unit to turn wood into charcoal and the using that heat for my house or a greenhouse.
2.  how much wood would a gassifier use if a gassifier could use charcoal?
 
pollinator
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Chris Watson wrote:Is this an efficient idea? Is it affordable? I've seen premade units offered for sale at absurd prices. I'm wondering if I could do better and power an entire homestead.


Hi Chris, as mentioned above charcoal is a great way to get into the gasification game. I make charcoal while heating my house. you could assume that to replace 1 gallon of gasoline you would require roughly 11-13 lbs of charcoal. If you use a wood gasifier you could assume roughly 20 lbs of wood to replace 1 gallon of gasoline. Charcoal builds are much simpler but you must make the charcoal. If you have use for the heat it is the clear winner. If the amount of fuel you need is large a raw wood unit would be the way to go.  The best site online for anything woodgas related is www.driveonwood.com in the small engine section. Most of the content is free including many DIY plans. There is a premium side as well for the more advanced designs. I would suggest you start there. There are a lot of "look at me" videos on youtube with little in the way of follow up or engine longevity numbers.  I have over 40 hours on my charcoal gassifier tractor and about 40 on a generator conversion.
Cheers,  David
 
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Fema posted a simple gasifier decades ago that is freely available on the net, Google, Fema Gasifier and you will be inundated with how to's and reports from "them that done it".
One of the pitfalls of wood gas is the wood works best if "chunked" into fist size pieces rather than sawdust, chips, or rounds, (to facilitate max charge and unimpeded flow) a tedious and time consuming chore.
That said,... I would think a digester (if you have the space for it) would be far more efficient, and useful.
 
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Anybody have suggestions for a blower motor? The one Peterson recommends is only available in batches of 200. He says it must have at least 9" of water lift, but most blowers are rated in CFM. I am running a 500cc generator with a 1-liter hearth ratio configuration, so I assume I will need a secondary blower to make up for the lack of engine suction. In fact, I have found nothing that is rated in water lift. It's funny, going through the book it struck me that Ben has thought of everything. Yet finding this seemingly critical motor has been very difficult.

Thanks!
Andy
 
David Baillie
pollinator
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Andy Marshall wrote:Anybody have suggestions for a blower motor? The one Peterson recommends is only available in batches of 200. He says it must have at least 9" of water lift, but most blowers are rated in CFM. I am running a 500cc generator with a 1-liter hearth ratio configuration, so I assume I will need a secondary blower to make up for the lack of engine suction. In fact, I have found nothing that is rated in water lift. It's funny, going through the book it struck me that Ben has thought of everything. Yet finding this seemingly critical motor has been very difficult.

Thanks!
Andy

That's probably because Ben has sourced them and probably has them for sale. Most people I know start with either an air powered venturi or a series of marine bilge blowers hooked up in series Or a dimmer controlled vaccuum or a battery powered leaf blower...  Lots of work arounds. If you check out www.driveonwood.com you can quiz the brain trust there for free and read most posts. there is a paid section but if you are building an imbert style downdraft unit like Ben's style those threads are all on the free side...
Cheers,   David
 
Andy Marshall
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David Baillie wrote:

Andy Marshall wrote:Anybody have suggestions for a blower motor? The one Peterson recommends is only available in batches of 200. He says it must have at least 9" of water lift, but most blowers are rated in CFM. I am running a 500cc generator with a 1-liter hearth ratio configuration, so I assume I will need a secondary blower to make up for the lack of engine suction. In fact, I have found nothing that is rated in water lift. It's funny, going through the book it struck me that Ben has thought of everything. Yet finding this seemingly critical motor has been very difficult.

Thanks!
Andy

That's probably because Ben has sourced them and probably has them for sale. Most people I know start with either an air powered venturi or a series of marine bilge blowers hooked up in series Or a dimmer controlled vaccuum or a battery powered leaf blower...  Lots of work arounds. If you check out www.driveonwood.com you can quiz the brain trust there for free and read most posts. there is a paid section but if you are building an imbert style downdraft unit like Ben's style those threads are all on the free side...
Cheers,   David



Thanks David. I am building the unit in Ben's book. I don't think he still sells the blowers. I've been to driveonwood, but I'm still looking for specifics--either names/part numbers of the exact units people have had success with, or at least a number for CFM, RPM, lift, etc. Finding high-suction blowers in DC is tough. That said, since I'll be using my gasifier to power a genset, I don't see why I can just use an AC unit with 20 inches of lift.
 
pollinator
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I did this back in 2016.

-->  



But propane is so cheap now that for a $$ standpoint   it does not make sense for $ / time.


The main problem is the generator will wear out quickly and there are many replacement parts.      For me being in Florida getting a large bank of solar panels to where I don't have to make charcoal or work on an engine just made far better sense for the time /effort ratio.


However,  if we goto war with China and we get our oil supply cut off  I will pull this idea off the shelf and put it into motion.

I have focused on building larger lithium battery bank I am now up to 20 KWH of storage  right now ( 10 KWH ) online  slow getting more online as I figure everything out.

Look up   this website for awesome sauce info about wood gas ->

Driveonwood.com





 
David Baillie
pollinator
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Andy Marshall wrote:

David Baillie wrote:

Andy Marshall wrote:Anybody have suggestions for a blower motor? The one Peterson recommends is only available in batches of 200. He says it must have at least 9" of water lift, but most blowers are rated in CFM. I am running a 500cc generator with a 1-liter hearth ratio configuration, so I assume I will need a secondary blower to make up for the lack of engine suction. In fact, I have found nothing that is rated in water lift. It's funny, going through the book it struck me that Ben has thought of everything. Yet finding this seemingly critical motor has been very difficult.

Thanks!
Andy

That's probably because Ben has sourced them and probably has them for sale. Most people I know start with either an air powered venturi or a series of marine bilge blowers hooked up in series Or a dimmer controlled vaccuum or a battery powered leaf blower...  Lots of work arounds. If you check out www.driveonwood.com you can quiz the brain trust there for free and read most posts. there is a paid section but if you are building an imbert style downdraft unit like Ben's style those threads are all on the free side...
Cheers,   David



Thanks David. I am building the unit in Ben's book. I don't think he still sells the blowers. I've been to driveonwood, but I'm still looking for specifics--either names/part numbers of the exact units people have had success with, or at least a number for CFM, RPM, lift, etc. Finding high-suction blowers in DC is tough. That said, since I'll be using my gasifier to power a genset, I don't see why I can just use an AC unit with 20 inches of lift.


Usually the problem Andy is that you might not have ac until you start the generator...  That said this one is ac. I used this one on my tractor Gasifier it was big time overkill but mine is charcoal. Canadian link...
 
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