Best Generator?

You said you’ve already built the gasifier? Please send photos.


Thanks Joe,

This is exactly the info I need, I’ll have a look in to the ac/dc this week on my battery search.

I’ve test ran the gasifier and managed to get a flare, however I’ve just disassembled part of it to add an upgraded cooling system and filter. I should have it finished at the end of this week and will upload pictures and videos.

Thanks again.


Yes photos please :smiley:
Have you built i by some plans/building instructions? Type of gasifier?


Hi Ashley , i am not sure of the deals being offered in the UK at this moment in time but if its anything like here in OZ they come as a package , its not just Tesla doing Powerwalls anymore most the leading energy suppliers have tie’s with the manufactures and so offers galore to be had , but warnings you get nothing for nothing if they are offering complete systems that you pay off with your monthly/ Quarterly bill be sure they will be getting the bulk of the energy fed back into the grid and you will be paying for it over here they have dropped the feed in tariff down to between 5p and 7p a KW or around 11cents , i’m one of the lucky ones i am still getting the max feed in of 60 cents a KW .
Also worth checking up on is supplying your property with home made power on a system that’s grid connected make sure you know about that as they will come down hard on you .
I would start off by buying a inverter charger , get something like a PIP hybrid do not bother with any other makes that look similar they are just cheaper knock off copys i only hear good things about after sales ect with these ones (MAX) 11kw 48v 230vac MPP Solar inverter 500vdc PV input dual 150A mppt wifi | eBay
They do a range of different voltage units 12 / 24 and 48 , those units will work off your solar and generator they will also charge your battery’s and if your batteries are full will then move power to the house or grid connect so i am told , then all you need is 2 inverter generators the biggest you can find or afford and connect 1 or 2 to your system for clean power .


Thanks Dave, very good info, much appreciated.

I must say, I’ve joined groups like this before and found that most people just like to jump on beginners and offer more criticism than help. This is an absolutely brilliant group and hopefully, in time I can offer as much back to the group! I’m guessing like me, the gasifier has become a hobby/obsession based around having fun and experimenting as apposed to something people just need to have/make.

My model of loosely based around a few designs I’ve seen and research online but isn’t built to any specific plans, I’ve always found the best way for me to create is to build, re-build and re-build again to really figure out how things work (the logic and science behind it). It is, at the moment mainly weld free so I add in and remove parts easily but eventually it will be welded and put on a permanent frame work. The gasifier unit it’s self is down draft, somewhat like the fema version but after there I’ve taken a lot of ideas and really made it my own!


Keep in mind now these raw wood gasification systems have too work within a window of upper and lower and lower power rates. The specifications of a design to achieve that and produce good clean gas are pretty tight.
There is a section here in the llibrary that has tables to follow to give you an idea how to size components.

Dry hardwood scraps are excellent fuel no matter what kind of systems you build just be sure to cut the wood to uniform size blocks for good fuel flow.
There are a couple of schools of thought on how to start out and I am one who thinks that that charcoal production and charcoal fuel is an excellent place to begin.
Since you already tell us you need some heating and you have a boiler system already then using some of your wood for charcoal production and using the waster heat from that to heat water will be a great way to reduce heating costs.

As for electrical connections… I can’t offer you much advice.
I understand some UK wiring and codes but I have never been involved any plans for a grid connection for a generator or inverter. ( I can offer interpretations, explanations, and opinions of what your contractor, inspector might say but I can not give you advice because Canadian codes are significantly different.

This is Gary Gilmore and his Keystone stove.
its an excellent design to heat a shop and make charcoal.


As stated the majority of your currnet household: and I’d assume woodworking shop electrical consumers want an Alternating Current power input.

Batteries. All batteries store and release electric energy as Direct Current.

You now have been offered up three ways to do this.
MattR’s and mines way to just use woodgas friendly multiple engine Inverter-Generators.
I call these woodgas friendly because the woodgas gasifier’s output and gas energy quality varies in it’s batch run cycle. The engine driven Inverter-generator will not care so much. Engine speeding up and down as needed: still internally clocking to produce safe stable 50-60 cycles per second AC electrical power output.
Dumb-Dumb common synchronous electric generators MUST be very closely RPM driven. Otherwise, you will confuse electronics. Overheat and fry electrical motors. Ask your friend about this.

2nd way is to set up a battery storage bank. Safe. Proven. With lots of supporting equipment. Butt . . . Costs. Costs. And Costs.
Costs to set up. Costs to daily-weekly maintain. Cost in multiple systems use-aging out replacements.
Industry will use 100-600 volts DC systems for efficiency. You must never go above a 48 volt system. High voltage DC grabs you; and will muscles lock, kill you. Your life partner will be pissed you do this to yourself.
So your first cost is to go with a recommended DC battery bank to AC output Inverter. The best of these WILL take a synchronous generator (or Grid) AC power and convert to DC to charge the battery bank also. IT’s DC design voltage is why you source it first.

3rd way is possible too. Actually fairly common far out, in no Grid lands.
Just convert over to all DC. Woodgas engine generating. Battery storage. Electrical consumers too. This is not silly at all. This is how the majority of of RV trilers and motorhomes; and live on boats marine do things. Expensive to set up if all new.
Not expensive if you bone out complete fuel-less, engine-worn-out, clapped-out RV’s.
The component quality in these will not be high. But all that wiring, terminals, sockets and ancillaries! Ohh! La-La!
Ahhh. Yeah. You have to become a bit’o jack-legged electrician going that route.
You make up for the poor quality of equipment by sourcing used spares. Get good at diagnosis and swapping out using your own pre-stocked spares.
Fun fact. A 12 volt DC incandescent light bulb will outlast by at least 10X an AC incandescent. A 12 volt DC light bulb will give the majority of current LED lights a run for their money in lifetime. At 1/10 the cost new. Adgeing LED’s can chatter back into your systems. Really screwing with in-house wireless.

Take heed intertying to the Grid. They will then expensively dictate to you.
I keep the house on Grid. Cheerfully disconnect and personal generators run the house when they fail me. Even always run extremally a Christmas light string when having to generate as a shout out cheer.
I keep the outbuildings and shop Grid-Free to force myself to work and develop DIY for real.
Changing over each of the electric starting vehicles and engine systems here with common same-same HD truck 12 volt batteries. We go pump supplied fuel-less like we have in the past. Then pull these for a small overnight maintainer bank. Not ideal. But very, very practical.
Steve Unruh


Making wood gas is not hard Ashley. Making clean wood gas is “more harder”. Your personal design may be an excellent producer. Not likely on your first attempt but possible. Regardless I would first hook it to a small engine you don’t care about; old lawn mower or something like that and run it for a while. If you are making tar you will know soon enough. Do not fuel an expensive new generator until you have first proven your design. I don’t wish to stoke the charcoal vs raw wood debate but if you need to get a system up and running quickly with few issues then consider some of the charcoal designs.


It depends on this TomH.
Look at those Harbor Freight units MattR is using.
These use base 420cc and 459cc Harbor Freight engines. What can wood gas tar hurt? The engine valves. The engine rings. Single cylinder air cooled EASY; just a few nuts and bolts and one head gasket.
So just pre-buy a spare engine for it’s parts.
Mucking up. Is always the very best of teachers.
I will still maintain that the best ways to learn to make tar-free woodgas systems is to muck up engines. Then have to restore those engines.
The majority of the not-make woodgas tar is in the OPERATOR side of things!!!

Such as . . . time your stop gas using when the gasifier is used up down to just above the nozzles charred converted wood. Next liting up will be easy and clean then. Just minutes IF you use a real blower. Not a weak podge.
Never leave unconverted wood in a gasifier system. Residual heat it will sweat the whole system wet.
Screw the big 6+ hours hoppers. Add no more that 2 hours fuel wood batches. The you are not wood moisture overloading the available thermal energy.
And 30-40 other Always-Do’s; and Never-Never’s only three books to my knowledge even try to cover.

You want simple, direct?
Buy Grid.
Buy pump spec fuels.
Sheeple vote bleet’ing for your Masters, all of the Way. Bleeding their colors for them: Red, Blue, White, Orange, Green, Purple, Pink.


Thanks Guys,

Steve, if I’m looking at needing a 6KWH constant (or there about a) would you recommend me running two 6Kw generators, continuously? And adding a third if needed, it seems like the easiest and as you say safest route to take. Im not too bothered about conserving excess energy as such, as I said the fuel we use is free (off cuts) and up until a couple of months ago it was all going in to a skip (crazy!!), I just want to make sure we have the option to use the power if needed. Also we are on a budget, I’d like to get this up a running before spending big money and I can always change my system in a few years time.

I’ve been looking at some of the Hyundai inverter generators, are these any good? Apparently for the price they brilliant.

In regards to the gasifier I seem to be producing a fair amount of gas and yes, I’ve had issues with both moisture and the cleanliness of the product, I’m not expecting this to be resolved over night and I’m currently working on a third cooling system and three large inline filters. I won’t be rushing in to pumping the gas in to a generator before I’m sure it’s of a good standard. I worked in a biogas plant for several years using CHPs and understand the damage that can be done. But again, I’m more than happy to learn from mistakes and clean them up too! Thanks again.


Ya what Tom says is true

A good test is the blow your gas threw a chilled pipe and look to see what condenses from it
By chill I mean cooled to about15-20c
Then you know what kinds of things will collect in an engine after shut down

Another option is to filter done gas with a white Cotton dish towel and see if there are dust particles or tar stain on it
No matter how perfect your gas may look there will always be soot and some tars and condensates.
What you want to avoid ate sticky gritt filled messes

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These are likely all Chinese made
Unless it says Honda or Yamaha it’s never made by who you think

Are they good?
Probably good enough

A rule of thumb about a generator?
Does it hold at least 3 litres of oil and does it have a filter
If they boxes are not ticked you have a light duty consumer unit and you need to factor in the replacement cost after as little as 1000h use


What Wallace says is correct so far as the inverter-generator quality.
My first an actual Honda (labeled made in Thailand) I could buy a real service manual for. Spare parts available. my engine spare parts are in now three other of the same type Honda OHC engines in other equipment’s.
My second was an actual Yamaha brand (labeled made in Japan) that I could NOT buy a service manual for. Spare parts? Yeah. In Japan. Yamaha here is not a popular OHV engine.
The 3rd will be one of those made-in-China 9500 Harbor Freight (Canada - Princess Auto) units.
And he is correct that the engines in these are considered at best 1000 hour service life engines.
Unless as I’ve proven you use the best synthetic oils. 5W-50. 0w-40. Crankcase oil capacity can be added on. Filtering added too. The 459cc engine in the 9500 has an oil pump. And a pressure port to set up for at least by-pass filtering. Me? I’ll most like just stick with ~50 hours; one-liter changes.

On woodgas the very best way to have the least tars passed through unconverted is to best size the gasifiers internals; internally insulate; externally insulate; and run it true internally HOT, HOT. Min of 650C to 1000C. You see metals starting to damage and you are there. Rebuild. Redesign to self, ash build-up protect the metals. Consider refractory brick lining on a stationary.
Tars are just more H, C’s and oxygens to make more woodgas.
Multi-stage filtering out poor hearth practices just creates toxic disposal problems downstream IMHO.
The best woodgas vehicle guys only make ash, some slipped true wood char; two types of condensates; and a wee bit of heavy asphalt-like residue. All valuable for other purposes.
Stationary guys are the ones who get operator sloppy, and use staged gas washing, and many steps filtering over elaboration. Because they can.


I’m stationary and resemble most of these comments.

Stationary advantage is a large gas cleaning unit however.
Dry is the way to go washing just creates more messes and disposal issues…


Good advise from SteveU about using refractory materials where possible in the heart of the beast. Greatly increase durability and as an added benefit, the weight makes it harder to steal and carry away. If you are running lights and equipment when everyone around you is powerless you are painting a big target on yourself.


For small scale stationary gasification. Dont build a wood gasifier; build a charcoal system instead. Direct wood gasification has its place but not at this scale, charcoal is the better solution here. A raw wood gasifier at this scale, will not run stable or self sustain, tar will be a problem at some point and ruin your generator. Build a charcoal unit, they are much simpler and less complex. Way less maintenance, longer run time, more energy dense gas, they will self sustain, you can crack water and reclaim losses, no tar issues. I developed wood gasifier systems for 8 years and avoided charcoal like the plague because I took it at face value. Then I actually tried and I was wrong, very wrong!. In less then a month I completely dropped 8 years worth of advanced development and transitioned to charcoal and will never turn back. There are ways to make charcoal and there will be ways to make charcoal far more eficient then direct wood gasification. I am working on those solutions now.


I strongly second this even if its just a starting point.
You have no shortage of fuel just make good use of it by charcoal production and heat recovery

I spent 20 years working on a raw wood fluid bed gasification systems.
I almost walked away from all of it because wood has so many problems.
Its never the same fuel from run to run.

But Charcoal even not very good charcoal, even green coal ( that’s torrified wood with the moister cooked out of it and the lignin partial broken down ) can be made cheap easy and its far more forgiving of screw ups in a stationary plant.

Now I am working on pulverized green coal systems with fluid beds.

Everyone here has ideas and some talk and some don;t talk much…
Let me tell you one thing.

Lots of soft spoken guys here have very very good simple charcoal units.
They don’t shine like and blow minds like the raw wood mobile units but they are absolutely dead reliable and they don’t blow up engines

Trick is heat recovery.
We are not putting enough time and effort into systems that make cost effective char or green coal as I call it ( torrified wood )

I consider myself as something of an expert in making tar.
I can make tar out of anything.
Sometimes I used to think I could make tar out of thin air…

A man can lose himself in this stuff…
Keep it simple.


I thought i might show you one of the problems Ashley is up against, me too to a degree our power price has gone up but not to the extent of the UK have …yet ! but they will i am told

Hyundai generators are just re badged Chinese cheaper generators i think, BUT they have an advantage of being a branded name you will be able to get spare inverter parts for them .
We dont get the larger KW open framed generators that you guys in the states do , i have looked to see if there are any of the Preditor type inverter generators on Ali express or Banggood but they are all the run of the mill smaller chines suitcase size , the largest sized one i come across here are called Robocar and they are a silent 8KW unit that now have fuel injection mine is the older model with a GX390 engine .


The ones we get are the same as what you can along with the rest of the world. They are all made by Lifan and one other company. Same with the inverters in these generators, they are all made by just a handful of companies out of China.

Lifan and other companies that use the Lifan Honda clones build all these generators to customer specifications. Like Harbor Freight and Duramax. The engine, inverter, alternator are standardized to work to international specifications. The enclosures, frames, interfaces, electrical code and all that is specified to the distributor or re seller. The Predator 9500 and the Duromax 9000i are the exact same generators. They are just different colors with different control panels, those are the only differences between them. So you may find this exact same generator as well but under a different brand by a company that is derived or is more common to your location.


Mecc-Alte is from Italy
You would be surprised what is still not Chinese.

That said you will pay a little more, and it might actually be made in a Chinese plant.
Its not top of the line but you get the advantage of a generator head that bolts to a relatively standard engine using an SAE bell housing.

Its no Onan or Lister/petter but its something built around standard parts that’s universally adaptable to other brands of engine

A well known international brand of pumps and generators.
They will use what ever parts they find most suitable for a machine made to run in commercial service…

they used to use Honda engines a lot.
I don;t know why they changed.

See Honda powered with a standard big block 270 using an SAE bell housing adaptor to a V type SAE crank.
Same head can be belt drive using a two bearing adapter…

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