Moisture Condensate tank Extreme cold

I am collecting part’s and have started my build. Living in Alaska I believe will have unique challenges. I am wondering if anyone has calculated the amount of water collected in your condensate tank per/ miles or hours ? I understand different moisture content of woods will be a factor. I will be trying to deal with very cold weather here (winter time ) 30 deg F to - 30 deg F. I believe I will build a shorter cooling rack, and build in bed system similar to Sean French. Also thinking about making my condensate tank of heavy plastic, as steel will conduct the cold much quicker. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Hello Robert,

I think there will be a couple of factors that will account for the condensation accumulated , One being the fuel moisture content of the wood and also the humidity of the air. I think your cold climate will be dryer than my area in the south east.

I will drain my condensate tanks and take note of the amount that accumulates and get back with you.

On plastic vs. metal tanks keep in mind if needed you can put a torch to the metal tanks

Wayne Thanks for the input looking forward to the results of your drain calculations, I have noticed that on your builds the condensation tank seems to be 10 gal plus, Does the tank need to have some size for gas reserve ? And yes the winter air here is especially dry, one in my favor I think. On another I stumbled on a car that someone gasified at some time here knocked on the door to chat with them but no one home will post some pictures.Thank you so much for sharing your experience and for your time.

!5 % moisture in the wood would = 15 pints of water per 100 pounds of wood plus the water that is in the air on any given day. Some of that water will break down into hydrogen and oxygen, but these things can make a lot of condensate on the right day.

Stumbled on someones gasifier project close to home from days gone by, knocked on the door ,hoped to talk to the owner but no one home. Enjoy!

Thank’s for the info Dave,it will be interesting to work the bug’s out for cold weather along with the other 75 % .

Good Morning Robert,

I drained all the condensate from the v-10 Ram this morning before making a trip into town. I will be doing a few farm chores today hauling hay ect. I expect to put about fifty miles down. We have light rain and humidity of 93%. I will keep up with the amount of wood and miles and report to you.

Thanks for posting the picture. It is kinda eye catching!!

Hey RobJ
If they will, offer buy this system for scrap value.
You WANT that high pressure/hogh volumn blower and power supply.
The car, a SAAB? sedan not something you want. Not enough space/weight capacity in this for a while system and on board fuel supply.

Talking the the biulder of this would be good alright. He/she with thier large for this small 4 cyclinder? engine fuel gas suplly piping with sweep corners show some smarts here.

Steve Unruh

Good Morning Mr. Robert,

I have monitored the v-10 ram over a 24 hour time span now. This includes a trip to the coffee shop Sunday morning, visit brother, feed cows, visit friend, drive over farm and timber and a trip into town this morning.

I have driven 56 miles, have shut down and restarted about a dozen times, one relighting this morning. The fuel used was about 70-80 pounds of wood, (moister contend unknown) and a hand full of plastic string from hay roll.
Part of the day the humidity was 90 plus but most of the driving was around 50-60 %

Most of the miles were speeds 40-60 mph and a few 75. About 30-45 minutes of driving was done at idle speed in low range checking cattle in the pasture and locating down and dead timber, only about a mile was added.
The hay filter contained about ¼ gallon of condensate, the condensate tank about ¾ gallon and the fuel hopper condensate tanks about 1-1/2 gallon.

Keep in mind the more condensate from the fuel hopper is a good thing.

and i dare say if you’re draining it regularly I don’t think extreme cold will really be that much of an issue

Thank you for your time, and the information collected. Do you think that I should build a shorter cooling rack and keep the temp, a little higher from the gasifier to the intake ? I understand the temp has to drop sufficiently for the moisture to condense. I may need to drain the hay filter after each day/use, or the water will be solid ice over night. The air here is very dry in the winter, I hope that that will be a big factor. I am thinking that I may need to warm up the system for a little longer in the morning.and insulate areas.
Thank’s Steve U for the input.


Started you a project thread in the Builder’s section. Looking good so far!

Robert, I put in a new PVC condensate tank this fall. It’s 6" pipe about 3 feet long, capped on both ends. Works great so far, here in Minnesota, but it hasn’t seen winter yet. Last winter I had (and still have) a 4" x 24" section of PVC in the 3" line under the floor. There’s a drain plug in the 4" section, just under the driver’s seat. After each run I’m sure to drain all condensate from the coolers, the filter and the 4" pipe under the cab. The amount that comes out varies with the fuel, the weather and the overall tightness of the whole system. The 10 - 20 mile runs we usually make yield totals from two teaspoons to two cups.
One thing you don’t hear much about is the extra power needed in snowy conditions. Sometimes I have to switch over to gasoline to get up the driveway…
Good luck on your build!

On the truck I have a 1 foot or so vertical section of 3" PVC with a drain in the bottom but it tends to get plugged with soot and freeze. On my trailer I went to a horizontal length of 3" PVC that is around 3 feet long. I have a tee near the end with a 1.5 inch drain plug. I occasionally just take the 3 inch plug out of the end. As I usually park on the right side of the road, it is aimed downhill. I may wrap it with a few wraps of corregated cardboard in a few more weeks so it doesn’t freeze while rolling. We have already been in the mid 20’s a few times and it snowed most of the day here today… Oh, I never glue my PVC joints, ever !! Just duct tape and electrical wire to seal them. If in the sun or wind I cover with aluminum tape … Mike

Robert At -30 deg. F stay home! Good whiskey freezes at that temp. Only a few of us out here have ever seen these temps. Safety aside, I think you would need constant automatic condensate draining to keep ice from forming at the reduced pressure in the fuel pipes.

just my two cents Dave

John, Mike , Dave, and Wayne Thank you for your input, it will all be helpful as I design my system.

The magic number for starting any car around here is -28F and that is with a magnetic heater on the oil pan. I see no reason to go anywhere when it is below zero at all. The vapor off the torch even freezes in the air as well as my lungs. It’s a good time to use paper to light off the center of the Wayne style unit. The other thing to consider is the start blower. Mine seized up from lack of use for 2 weeks. It took me 15 minutes or better to get it spinning again today and it was probably only 45 degrees. Woodgas is very corrosive so if you let anything sit, you will find out in a hurry. Off to bed … Mike
PS, a picture link