It’s been a while but I’ve finally put all the pieces together; thought I would share…
1st photo: system overview 6.5 kw honda clone, 50 gallon barrel charcoal gasifier, 50 gallon cyclone/filter
2nd photo: generator closer up, showing the bilge blower, air filter, deep cycle battery for starting
3rd photo manufactured nozzle
4th photo looking down into the gasifier
5th photo full up ready to burn…
6th photo 90 minute run about 2.5 kw load…
So far I’m running on softwood charcoal only. The unit is so large because it is for stationary use. If I was going to go mobile I would switch to hardwood. This one is for power generation, battery charging, chainsaw use, etc…
Best regards, David Baillie
Looks great, i want to make this as my next
About the charcoal;
I have bamboo charcoal ( licht and hot)
Eucalyptus and tamarind.
Which should be better for small gasifiers ( stupid question i know )
How about removing the ashes ? the small gasifier would not pose as much difficulties, but the 50 gallon drum, weights about 80 Lb when is full with charcoal ?
Hey David, I though you were getting tied to the grid? Maybe that is why you now have time to some more building. Looks like a sound, solid, easy to operate system with lots of fuel capacity. Couple of questions. Are you using a 1" pipe for the nozzle? Is it protected with a stainless steel sleeve? Are you putting some exhaust gas back into the oxidation zone to temper the reaction? Are you taking the charcoal gas out the top of the reactor (through the lid)? How long does it take for your bilge fan to pull all the air from the two 55 gallon drums before you can sustain a flare? (my guess it is at least 5 minutes, maybe 10)
Now some things to consider. A 50 gallon filter is MASSIVE for an engine your size and much more than you need. A 5 gallon plastic pail with an air tight lid will do just as well. I am now putting a small cyclone on the gas outlet of the charcoal generator and that catches a lot of the dust that comes over and keeps it out of the filter. From the small cyclone, it goes into a plastic pail where the foam rubber filter is placed. There is a wool filter on top of the foam rubber that really does a good job of catching any dust that gets by the cyclone. The wool filter (a piece of wool blanket) is just shook out to clean.
Anyhow, more than one way to pluck a duck. Nice setup!
Gary in PA
Hi Koen, I’ve been reading your posts but have not felt like I could contribute anything until now. Regarding your question on charcoal; Any woody plant material will work. I know, bamboo is a grass, but it should still work. Bottom line is the charcoal must be well charred and all the volitales driven off. In other words, this charcoal contains no tars. Size is important for a small gasifier. No larger than your thumbnail and no smaller than a grain of rice.
About removing ashes? Just lay down some sheet metal, tip the generator over and dump out the charcoal. What I am finding is most of the fines and ash is near the bottom of the barrel. So the charcoal above that really needs no sorting, Just dump it out,in one pile then dump the charcoal in the bottom half of the barrel in another pile. This is the pile you will need to re screen to remove fines, dust and clinkers. Then the charcoal goes back in the barrel for another round.
The large charcoal gasifer David shows will probably only need cleaned out every 5 or maybe 10 hours. I have not put enough hours on my Simple-Fire to tell you how often it must be deslagged. Maybe this winter I can work on giving updates to my unit and start building up some data.
If you want a simple device to convert charcoal into a useable engine fuel, the system David shows is hard to beat.
Gary in PA
Hi koen, I have read that in Australia eucalyptus charcoal was always the preferred fuel stock; dense and low ash. Really it depends what you are using it for. Light fast growing wood and light wastes will always be more available but less dense so better for stationary use. Mobile equipment choose hardwood. For ash collection I let it build up in the bottom of the unit. So far with 10 hours on it the ash is not a problem. After that amount of time I will probably dump the contents back into my sieve and remove the ash…
Keep it simple, best plan. David
Hi Gary, good to hear from you. Thanks for the compliment. I’m loving my new toy. Sorry for being so quiet of late just busy as we all are… Dead on on the ash by the way. I’ve got 10 hours so far and just re-sieved the charcoal tonight. Now I just need to build your awesome grinder… I’ll post this on the yahoo site as well with more pictures
Best regards. David Baillie
Hi Gary, David,
Thanks for the feedback.
About Eucalyptus and Bamboo, they are the fastest growing on earth and i use them to make charcoal all the time, the bamboo charcoal is able to cook 60% more water with the same amount (1kg) as hardwood charcoal (tamarind) 4,4Liters against 2,6Liters and keeps the burner clean.
But maybe its to hot for the small gilmore ? ( i call it Kogi 1 , Koen-Gilmore style if ok with you Gary)
At the picture, the right one is with bamboo, i repeated the test twice with switching the boiling kettles, but result was same ( nice way to find the heating value of your fuel )
Gary nozzle shots
#1 raw material
#2 cut slots
#3 bend end to pass nipple but not coupling
This might be a good thing to try on the thin walls
Thread is 1 1/4"
Is from stainless
Also i like to use the piping in thin wall stainless
Hey David lookin good.
I was finally able to get your picture set to load.
Charcoalgas sure must be different than woodgas for the fuelgas moisture.
Long hose laying like I see both you and GaryG do would nail me with a condensate slug blockage in just 45 minutes to an hour here in the Pacific NorthWet. Ha! Maybe thats the problem, eh? Just watched a Ring of Fire travelogue about southern coastal Chile that looked just like home. Cool, cold rain, rain 80% of the time 9-10 months of the year . . . . southern tip of south Island NZ and all of the BC coast. Most of Irealnd, all of Scotland . . .
A long down sloped 1 1/2" feed pipe to a “Tee” just before the motor is the solution here. Gas short legged UP then to the motor. Down leg to a candensate catch with drain.
Colder yet it can be advantageous to engine exhaust reheat the gas AND the secondary air matching just before into the mixing area. A trick reminded to me recently by a Peru coastal fellow gets to watch a lot of winter mists forming and going.
The vehicle guys mostly always working with nice engine/radiator heated underhood air and overlook this benefit.
Really cuts down on the mixer area drop out of soots. Old carburetor venturi is just too damn good for temperature dropping out gas moisture!! Phil Covey just get rid of it. See his video. He looped back to exhaust reheat. Some of the early Victory “Hotwatt” in delvelopement engine-generator vidoes showed this detailing. Be my hands you are watching. Very vid camera shy.
There is many different members of the Eucalypt family the preferred one here for firewood is iron bark. It is so dense that axe blows tend to bounce straight back off of it, last for a hundred years or more as fence posts with no treatment. It also leaves very little ash where others make more, iron bark is also much slower growing than the varieties that have spread around the world and become weeds. Blacksmiths like iron bark charcoal too as it does not make flying sparks.
Thanks for clarifying that. I don’t know what species they would have in Thailand. My point was just that denser materials will give you more run time. I pulled my info on eucalyptus charcoal use in gasifiers from fluidyne’s site talking about old charcoal gassifiers. Mine is sort of inspired by that one and Gary’s simple fire…
Best Regards. David Baillie
Hi David, Gary,
The bamboo gives about the same bulk density as eucalyptus here, not so soft and very brittle
the indirect charcoaling at higher temperatures , give a high percentage of carbon , i think thats good, but they light up a little more difficult, once lift all my charcoal is smokeless and give a nice blue flame with a little pale orange.
i hope the quality will be ok for the purpose.
today firing up again, but heavy raining…
After 12 hours of run (several 1.5 hour runs not continuous) I cracked open the filter tank to take a look. I had been stress testing it to see what would happen. Honestly the last two runs have been low on power so I knew it would be clogged.
Picture number one: dust sticking to side of filter barrel
Picture two: condensation coming out of the gas so at least the swirl action and cooler works well
Picture 3 : thick coating of dust on foam filter
This tells me that I should listen to Gary’s advice and make the filter assembly easier to open up and clean
Hi David, Not bad for a 12 hour run with the charcoal gas being sucked by a 13HP engine. Two suggestions. Easiest first. Try cutting a piece of wool blanket or heavy wool fabric in a disk so it covers the foam. This fabric will capture almost all of your dust, leaving the foam to take care of what little dust gets through. It is also easier to clean the fabric filter. Either shake it out if the dust is dry, or wash it out if it is damp. Since you have the condensation in the bottom of the cooler, you have damp charcoal or high humidity so the filter dust will be damp and needs washed out.
Second suggestion. Install a small cyclone where the charcoal gas exits the generator. I just added one to my Gravely tractor and am impressed by the fine dust it collects. If it was not attached to the gas outlet, that dust would have to be intercepted by the filter. The cyclone also can start cooling down the gas. I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow and post it. Adding the cyclone takes me one step away from “simple” but it you can put one on your system, it will give you a longer run time.
Gary in PA
David, Here is the small cyclone I added to the unit on my 8HP Gravely. It really helps cut down on the dust going to the filter.