Hello from Alaska

Hello from Fairbanks Alaska.
Just started reading the book. Ive had the old fema plans and MEN plans for a while but never built them. I look forward to learning more about this system. So far from what ive been reading the design makes a lot of sense.
I am wondering if there is anyone else here who has tested the gasifier in extreme cold for long periods of time? Curious if/how the cold affects gasifier operation.

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Welcome Abraham!

I’m sure one of the cold weather guys will be able to help with that question. From what I’ve read if you use large diameter cooling rails it gives space for any freezing water and not block your flow.

Edit: I also have noticed the guys from Sweden will drain their liquids same day in the winter.

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Hi Abraham, what Cody said, drain water/condensate at every longer stop (shut off) insulate pipings, maybe coolers, after what works for you during cold season.
Reading the temperature of the gas, just before it’s enters the engine, make sure it’s above freezing is a good help.
Also have in mind when building the system, no water traps/ pockets that block the gas flow, if it happens to freeze anyway.

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Göran, I’ve never bothered insulating anything downstream the gasifier. What’s the disadvantage of too cool gas?

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I think it’s just a matter of the systems construction, at my old Volvo i’ve used old-time wet “washer” and a scrubber filled with leca balls, this froze up sometime (-15-20°c) regardless of i’ve emptied it. A little insulation really helped then, but every system is different.
Anyway it was not a big problem for me, just tried to imagine the conditions in Alaska.
Besides of freezing i don’t think one can have to cool gas, ofcourse there could be odd things happen where secondary air and woodgas mixes, think i read somewhere about abnormal condensation during cold season?

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G.K.
Alaska is like an oversized Sweeden. Which climate zone???
S.U.

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I think the tv-shows fool’s us Swedes?
Make Alaska look like the suburbs to the nort pole?

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Ya i can see condensation being issue. It is on many things here. And Some times things just don’t want to work when its -30 and colder. So theres that. Thanks for the feedback. I look forward to playing with it when i get that far. I really want to have a generator set up for woodgas. Have to finish building my shop first.

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The Cold climate zone. Ha.

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Hello abraham welcome too Drive on wood , i built a wk gasifier and it worked good for me though it usually not much colder than ZERO here few weeks out of the winter. The cooler weather probbly makes the hopper cooler, pulling more moisture out of the wood better anyway. Us folks in the northern side of the country, just have too drain the condensate tanks after shutting down for the night so they dont freeze up in the tanks.

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post deleted by auther.

My next gasifier may have a hopper heater and hopper cooling / condensate extractor tubes, since weight and space will not be an ishue building a stationary generator unit.My gererator will be at leiste a small 4 cyl. Any thing smaller would be better too run on charcoal gasifier.

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You might seriously consider doing a charcoal gasifier. You are boiling the water and tars out of the wood, and you don’t need nearly the investment in tools or materials to get started. It is pretty basic. Depending on your scrap pile and skill, you might be done in a few hours for a small engine. The OTHER reason is most of the soil there is pretty weak and rocky, and you can use the small char pieces as biochar to improve the soil structure by promoting things like mycorrhizal fungal growth, which assists plants and adds to the structure.

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I agree with Sean; charcoal would be best for you. I don’t know what you heat your house with or are going to heat your shop with, but if it is wood you will be making char that could be used in the gasifier.
If you build a wood gasifier, one other trick you can keep in mind is; have a tank for condensate to be emptied into and run your hot gas through the tank to help keep the condensate from freezing and also it will help cool the gas. TomC

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Welcome Abraham ,
What size generator are you wanting to run and for how many hours a day ?
Now i don’t live in a ice cold climate like you do , but i do live in a part of the country that because i am half way up a mountain does get chilly in winter times , and so i have 2 indoor wood burning fires in my house and i get most the fuel i need to run my 8Kva generator on Charcoal for roughly 4 hours a day charging up battery banks and power equipment like saws ect , all i do is put fresh wood into the fire’s wait till they need more wood and then take out the hot coals into a sealed container before reloading the fires with wood again and do that roughly once every hour each fire , keeping you and the house warm and a bonus off shoot is free motor fuel .
Dave

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Hi again cold climate Abraham,
Here is another far interior cold dry North woodgasifier guy: Byron Gagne

There once was a guy from central coastal Alaska who posted up. You know wet’n cold.
Haven’t heard from him in a long time.
And some of the central Canadian fellows who are cold-dry too.
Arvid Olson (tritowns), Terry Lavictoire, and Gary Tait.
Search for their works using the magnifying glass search tool in the top of page bar.

Me? Naw. Just cold and wet. Wet and cool. And at times just wet, wet and above 50F having to shed off the wools to keep from steaming.
Regards
Steve Unruh

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Thanks. I will check that out. May be better for a generator. I have a 6800 watt generator right now but want a larger one eventually.
Id also like a truck converted too of course.

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I use heating oil mainly right now. And pellets. Havent used exclusively wood for a few years. But we have plenty up here. Thanks for the advice

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You will probably want two anyway. Char is better for small engines… Check out @Matt 's thread He does a bit of work with generators and gasifiers.

Somewhere in there he discusses this, which he is/was using in his shop.

Which I wouldn’t use it in a house, but it is one of the few that are continuous and you can utilize the heat.

He also did some work at one point with using it as a backup generator for offgrid.

Personally, I would use solar/battery and charge the batteries with it, then run the generator through the solar inverter. It can get tedious trying to run the generator 24/7 and making/processing fuel and such especially if you don’t through the winter.

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You lose a noticeable amount of your wattage output with a woodgas or chargas powered genset. So that means either oversize the unit, and account for the losses or use methods that don’t need a direct pull on the generator. Sean made a good suggestion of using the generator to charge a battery bank, or making your own battery charger with a Permanent Magnet Alternator or Generator. You can still use the genset for really demanding things that would stress out an inverter, like power tools for example.

Matt uses a 9000W generator on charcoal and can still run his power tools in the shop.

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