So… in the process of making Terry a flare video, I had to light up the truck using the new blowers. First time ever!
I learned several things last night, not all of them pleasant. I’m passing all this along for your benefit.
First off, I had a major air leak, from all the jockeying around I had pulled it loose. It was the joint coming into the base of the hay filter. Hard to see, since the rubber connector was still in place. I didn’t know this but I suspected. Because it was loose I had a devil of a time drawing any vacuum on the gasifier.
Finally once I had a bit of gas I touched it with a torch… BANG! Right back through the blowers, into the hay filter, and flames even shot out of the loose connection by my feet. Wow! "I guess that’s where the leak was… "
So I set to work repairing it, and at some point accidentally touched a hot part on the gasifier… only it was the plastic hay filter. Once I realized what this meant, I pulled the lid off, and was greeted by hay-smoulder-smoke, very different than woodgas and not pleasant… I managed to soak the filter with water and put out the fire. No damage done, far as I can tell.
After repairing the connection I tried again, and made this video of a decent flare. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7MgHrs_nJs Note when I stop the flow it creeps back in the pipe and stays lit for when I turn it back on. Indicating I still have leaks. I will be soap-bubble checking everything.
Later I tried starting the truck on woodgas, as per usual. At some point while cranking I got a backfire (timing was down) and I heard a sound like a gunshot, then something hit the ground. Turns out my hay filter lid is capable of being removed from the barrel, ring and all - given enough force. The bang blew it across the yard about 10 feet. No harm done, I reassembled and drove around on gas a bit. It runs and drives fine, even with all the leaks. Air valves closed though.
I rechecked the hay filter several times and didn’t see any signs of heat. But I will say to anyone who follows - these barrels can’t stand flames for very long, they’re plastic. If you suspect a flame front traveled through your hay, even wet hay may catch and smoulder. Touch all the walls you can reach to check for temperature. Pull the lid and check for smoke (not woodgas).
And in future I’ll be tying a string to my lid bolt, just in case.