4th Gasifier Run
Did a 4th gasifier run last night. I tried to take more video this time, to show the starting process, etc. I will post that when I get it edited. But I will give a report for those of you without video playback.
The three new things this time were (1) having the wiring hole in the bilge blower plugged, (2) having the alumina nozzle installed, and (3) having the car breather on the inside of the reactor lid.
This was the first true "cold start" from charcoal gas only. The generator had not been run for about a week, the petrol line was unhooked, and there was no residual petrol in the system.
As you will see in the video, starting took a few minutes. But, as already noted, this generator is often very hard to start even on gasoline. I would say the effort is comparable.
This time, we had a problem with the motor outrunning the drill and twisting it out of Hoss's hands a couple of times. We need some sort of slip clutch or ratchet to prevent that. We are thinking about using the "coast mechanism" from an old bicycle.
After starting, the generator ran like a top. Although we played with the mixture and exhaust return a little bit, this was really unnecessary after they were set. We were just experimenting.
I watched the temps pretty closely, because I was concerned about the nozzle being too long. The back of the reactor got up to about 550 F and stabilized.
We added some additional load this time. In total, we were pulling about 1800 watts. Our goal is to get up to about 2500 watts (this generator is rated at 5500 watts). We could have added more this time if we had some predictable loads.
We had hoped to do a 1 hour run. However, we started with less charcoal than we thought we had on hand (only about 9 gallons, or slightly less than 2/3 full). About 40 minutes into the run, I noticed that the upper barrel was heating up rapidly (already up to 180 F when I noticed it) so we shut it down.
Very Pleased with this test.