Dodge V10 Generator: What would the output limits be?

Has anyone worked out what the Dodge V10 running on woodgas will put out in HP/Torque at a comfortable continuous cruising RPM?

What I’m getting at is a theoretical mobile heavy-duty generator. Imagine if someone bought Wayne’s D2500 V10 (or commisioned a clone), disconnected the driveshaft at the rear axel (or made a truck-based PTO differential), and attached a massive genset head. Based on the HP/Torque figures at a sustainable RPM for the truck, what kind of wattage would a woodgassed V10 be able to generate?

I vaguely remember seeing a University run huge semi-truck trailer mounted woodgas generator setup that costed several 100,000$USD, required perfectly screened/sorted wood chips, and still wasn’t producing as much base energy as one of Wayne’s 318 Dakotas.

Far as we can figure without actually testing, it’s in in the 90 to 120 HP range. Plenty to drive on. There’s significantly less when things go south… but when it’s tuned up the gasifier does make about that much power.

I think 90HP makes 60-70kw (generator guys correct me here). Using the “derate by half” you’d want a 180+ HP engine, like a 350 Chevy. Or go for high torque low RPMs with a 460 Ford.

Would be much easier to buy a second hand Gas powered generator (and I mean GAS) these are around in large sizes. The type I am talking about are very similar to a Diesel but manufactured to run on gas and for USA would run at 1800 RPM. It would take very little to get it running on wood gas.

Gary Hoffman is absolutly correct.
I have seen pictures of this turn-key real-world-available Ford V-10 Indudtrial 100kW (natural gas rating) gen-set being woodgassed converted by one of the $100,000. gasifier system manufacruers to generate on a large horse farm using its litter waste as the fuel stock fuel. Only 12K to 14K $$,$$$. for this actual engine-gen set new with ALL controls, with a warranty, and parts and service support:
APL/GEK lists as using a Cummins NG gen-set on thier 100kW system.
Chris Seymour’s Superior Gasification using Caterpiller NG gen-sets.
Why reinvent the wheel, eh?
Very, very few auto engine conversion made up gen-sets have I seen ever get completed and up and runnning. Not never. Just very, very few. Big job to put a whole system together. Ask AndyS and SeanF.

I guess what I’m suggesting isn’t quite “re-inventing the wheel” as those units are (more or less) stationary. The huge Semi-Trailer >100k$ gasifier I’d seen I believe was suposed to be used by FEMA for on-site power generation during regional emergencies.

What I’m proposing is build a D2500 V10 truck like Wayne’s (maybe with the 85gal barrels and 14"ID firetube from his new 318 Ram build). The main difference would be a large gen-head in mounted to the bed that somehow gets shaft rotation from the engine (maybe more like a 4x4 tranny but instead of driving the front wheels, it drives the gen-head). Drive to a location under its own power, switch the transfer case (is that the right term?) to drive the gen-head, and provide bucket-loads of power to surrounding needs. All in all, it’d have the footprint of a large pickup instead of a huge semi-truck.

To clarify: 1 gasifier; 1 engine; provides both self-transportation to rugged terrain and significant power generation on-the-fly.

Our 25 kW generator heads weigh over 400 lbs. This is going to add substantial weight. The 50 kW heads I believe are in the 700 lb. range. My estimation for our 4.3 powered 25 kW system is at around 60 hp running @ 1800 rpm running on the woodgas. This is a 200 hp Vortec, however this is 200 hp running at 5500 rpm, not 1800 rpm. So you need to figure out what the engines out put will be at what rpm the gen head requires and this really depends on the engine.

If you built this onto a trailer and then built some sort of a quick disconnect at the crank pully of the engine, this might be an option. You will simply drop the trailer turn the truck around and install the pto shaft at the front of the truck and make some power. Might need to get a little creative and remote the radiator to get it out of the way.

You will need to get a governor to maintain rpm and will also need to build a rev limiter. If you over rev one of these big gen heads it will fly apart on you. We aren’t excactly trying to reinvent the wheel, just trying to make our’s more round.

Also you would need to consider how to cool it, as it won’t be moving there will not be sufficient air flow through the radiator to keep it cool. May sound like a great idea in theory but there is quite few engineering challenges to make it work.

Just put a genset on a trailer and connect the gasifier to it, a good days work could see it up and running.

WoodFuel consumptions.
100 kW/el will be 200 POUNDS of suitably prepped fuel an HOUR with a maximized deveploed systems. MORE on a system in refining development.
50 kW/el will be at best 100 POUNDS of fuel wood an HOUR. (100 pounds of fuelwood is just what Brian these cold clear Arctic days we are having now is costing me in 24 hours to home heat which is 2X my normal wet cool PNW daily winter consumption rate)
25 kW/el will cost you min ~60 POUNDS of prepped fuel wood an HOUR.
12 kW/el will cost you min ~40 POUNDS of prepped fuel wood an HOUR.
You can dance this down to the 2-3 kW/el range with higher and higher needed pounds of fuel wood needed an hour per actual kW/el generated and used due to system “base engine” internal power needed to overcome interal frictions and especially pumping losses. Gen heads being less efficient lightly loaded with thier own internal rotating base mechanical loads in bearings and especially “windage” mechanical power needs. The gasifier itself downsized will lose out more heat energy as unrecoverable/uncoverted and use more base line fuel wood.

A woodgas powered elecrtical genrator will turn you into a wood fuel scrounging and prepping Slave. Or; you turning one of the kids into this woodfuel prepping Slave. Give it a week and you will have a rebellion to quell.
Why I said just ask Andy Scofield and Sean Frence who have actually done this and fuel wood fed one of these big V engined generating units. Good for mill and manufacturing operations already gnerating the hourly hundereds of pounds of semi-prepped wood wastes.
Big Not so good for drive up scrounge around wood fueling.
Push comes to shove you will be putting the scrounged woods in a heating or cooking fire.

I should also clarify that this idea is NOT meant for a private home-owner/citizen. The original Semi-Trailer I read about was a University run (Auburn U.) project with either Federal Government agencies or international Aid organizations as the intended customers. I have only found a few vague press releases about the original trailer and a “Facebook” page that was created but never built up or maintained. If this Semi Truck trailer unit (Which I just found out was commercially named “BioMax25”) could be replaced with a smallish, self-mobile unit, that would increase the usability of such a system. Here’s the original post by Wayne regarding the BioMax25 Vs. his V-10 truck that I’d remembered and spurred this thought cycle. That also says the BioMax25 was 500K$ price tag, not 100-300K$ like I thought.

Steve U. Yes, the intended customers would be either companies who could provide the intended fuel themselves (Mills or wood based manufacturing ops) or Governmental agencies who can go to the local mills and “request” large piles of semi-prepped scrap woods by the truck-load.

I like this idea, and often thought how to use the truck "once my build is complete " either then driving ? Pto, or hydralic pump powered by the same truck, I was visualizing in my mind setting up my truck like a service truck, providing welding, air, and electricity,
When home I would just plug my shop into the truck. But ready to go into the field when needed, this idea interests me, ill be watching this thread.

Sometimes ones ideas or original you you just have to go for it and do what you thought might work, failure or success, like my father says " the only thing stopping us is fear and common sense"!

Byron: I like it! That’s taking my idea one step further and something I should have thought about.

I should note that I can’t afford to build any gasifiers let alone a specialised one with a built in generator. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Brian and guys
Just a thought if you want to use a wood gas powered truck to then generate a large amount of electricity?

I had to take,my Chevy over the pits for road test, they test the brakes on a rolling brake tester, why not build a similar dynamometer style rolling bed with a alternator attached that can bolt together and fits in the back of the truck.
So you jack up the back of the truck place the rolling bed under the back wheels and (both back wheels ) or you will overheat the spider gears . Then set your cruse control to govern the speed, not very accurate but that can be worked on.

Just an idea.
Or to go further use the same system to power a mobile chunker, so you can chunk on site, bag it and take it home, or chunk on the road on long trips, just need to work on a drying system!

Thanks Patrick

Steve is right. Scale is everything. You want 5 kW or do you want 100 kW?
For the bigger system compare a large propane tank with gas line to large genset ------ to a slab large enough for trucks to dump mountains of chips which may need to be dried and protected from moisture, certainly needing to be sifted, then talked into making their way into the gasifier in a measured, monitored way. Fines from sifting to be disposed of somehow. If you are not lucky enough to get chips delivered and have to chunk your own, just back that picture up and double it in terms of effort and needed space. And this is a dynamic thing. This thing says “Feed me!” And, “Change my diaper!” The trucks have to keep coming, the feedstock has to be handled. The waste stream also needs to be handled safely. The feedstock preparation can be a much larger piece of the puzzle than the actual gasifier genset system. And require more labor.
I see the larger systems only being suitable for an industry that has a large waste-stream of suitable feedstock already in motion and where diverting this stream to gasification is not too problematic.

Good Morning April,

You said it so well !!!

Most of the population has no business with a gasifier but there is a small percentage ( a few million ) that has the means to feed that baby and don’t mind getting their hands dirty changing the diapers . Those people will learn to love that baby and just don’t know how they could do without it .


I echo your sentiments.
My gasifier burns up 200 - 250 kg 440 -550 lbs in a 9 hour day, producing less than 22 Kva, so a big 100kva monster will need a 4-5 times that amount! That’s a lot of chunking ! And as you say a lot more drying. It’s beed raining here for the past 4 days 110mm - 4.3 in and more rain to come. I don’t have a dry piece of wood left to feed my monster. Even my dryer can’t keep up, I’m starting to look at the furniture in a whole new light!

Burning every thing in sight

Near where I live there is a factory that processes Macadamia nuts and they do a lot of them. Rather than using a gasifier they have installed a boiler and steam turbine generator that produces 1.5 Mega watts. That enough power for over 400 homes.

These shells are already dry and are very hard and dense, they contain a lot of energy. They are ready made to go directly into a gasifier however they have gone down the path of just burning them for heat. I would expect this would be the case for a lot of industrial size operation that it would be far simpler to burn the fuel in a boiler.