Sizing a wk gasafire to run on pellets

What would it take to run a wk on pellets? I was asked today about using pellets for fuel. I have a friend who has his scrap wood made into pellets for heating his factory. He is interested in driving on wood also but not into the extra wood processing, and would like to automate refueling. Anybody driving on pellets? Other than a finer grate what else would have to be changed to burn pellets?

Jim, once I get my unit figured out on wood, I would like to try wood pellets in it. I’m finding going from a 14" diameter hopper down to a 6" fire tube, my wood is easy to bridge in the funnel. I am trying 1 1/2- 1 1/2" pine this weekend and also some smaller cut Oak, about 3/4". Pellets wouldn’t be a desired fuel for me because I choose not to purchase my wood fuel, but it may give me answers to bridging problems.
I think it may be more viable with mine because of the lower CFM with a small engine? I wonder if it would be more difficult to pull enough CFM in the smaller spaces between pellets in the fire tube for bigger engines?

Pellets are pretty small for a Keith gasifier. You’re looking at possible grate plugging trouble. You won’t hurt anything trying though. One thing to watch out for, if they get wet they will dissolve rapidly. Don’t leave a hopper full of them on shutdown, you may wind up with a mess to clean up.

,ya Bill i’m with you on not wanting to have to buy the fuel, but my friends free fuel is pellets. I feel the standardized fuel would be easier for a newbie to operate and automate. Chris good call on the not leaving a hopper full. I suspected grate mods would be a must. i’m thinking the fire tube could be downsized and pellets sprinkeled in by auger rather than allowed to just gravity feed more like a pellet stove. just wondering if anyone has played with the idea. I.m cought up in welding on a fire tube now. looking like about 220 fins total. I think i’m at about 100 now just a couple inches shy of halfway. fun fun A SWEF smile with every fin

I cant speak for the WK system. However, on an imbert, you need to increase your jet lengths and reduce tier openings. Also your restriction openning will need to be reduced a bit as well. The grate will need to be raised to reduce the char bed to keep from clogging. Pellets produce a very dense char bed, so you can get away with less. However, you may need to use tighter grate spacing. We use 1/4" space with 1/8" bars.

Fuel pellets are very dense in every way. Denser fuel = denser gas = denser char bed.

Well I have used fuel wood pellets as motor fuel gasifier feed stock. 2009. Victory EPS. Batch pellet system.
Works. But overall sucks. Solves nothing but shift bulk wood fuel processing sweating, to then dribble feed automation IN, automation ash OUT designing, building, contolling and repairing&maintaining skull working sweating.

Same brother-in-law, using the same bought 1970’s EarthStove model thick steel plate firebrick lined bulk wood stove has a now younger late 30’s year old Son. This nephew is now on his THIRD pellet heating stove in 15 years. Thier mechanics wear out - repair until the Manufacture and parts are NLA. Blowers and auger motors wear out, burn out - replace until - NLA. Burn pans; SS and castiron burn out - replace. Electronics boards fail - replace until again NLA. No Longer Available means you cannot any longer just order and bolt on new one. Means source, adapt and modify something else to fit. No heat or power until you do. Skull sweat in the cold and dark. Sucks.

First JimL are we talking US/Canada made up fuel wood pellets the size of rabbit food?
Or ISO/EN European standards fuelwood heating pellets like my Begium brother-in-law uses? These measure in three different sizes in centimeters. Means they are ~1", ~2" and I think even ~3-4"?

Four inch “pellets” would probally work kinnda’ sorta’ OK in a vehicle sized WK.
Especially IF they WERE NOT the round rod shaped extruded pellets able to side to side, and end to end stack blocking gases exchanges flows but are a true ideal pillow shaped made up briquette like they evolved to making in WWII Denmark and Finland for peat fuels use in their gasifiers.
Lots of trail and error, refined engineering for a purpose, can be found in bag of BBQ briquttes if a fellow just looks; uses; and sees the real whys of it. Just did not happen.

So the real question is . . . . would your friend with his mill feed stock be willing to set up instead an opposing rotary wheel briquette maker that COULD make up a WK system capable densified fuel “chunk”?

Rabbit food sized pellet gasifer system have been made up but as MattR says they will be far different from a WK chunk bulk fuel design. Wayne has often commented that he can run other than bulk chunked wood fuel only IF as a percentage addition to his normal bulk wood chunks.
I do not figure he actually gets that much junk mail. Or has that much personal plastics wastes.

I can name three purpose dedicated North American pellet fuel small engine gasifiers systems but do not want to appear as favoring any one over the other. This IS searchable.

I am strongly in the I will only use what I can fuel wood grow and process crowd.
Had a small chipper once - came with the wife when I married her. What an engine fuel hog. A PITA hand feed waste of my time. Even though my circular mill will produce a percentage of sawdust this goes as valuable bedding for the critters. Too valuable to burn.

And the above is written by ME; Steve Unruh once part of a three man always needed clean-up/HOG feed crew feeding a hammer mill shredder hog at a 200+ person plywood mill.
“More Fuel! More Fuel!” would come the call up from the steamplant operator. We had to a mange the fines, mediums and large’s that we rubber wheeled cart bins dumped into that big man killing capable Hog feed auger.
All Mill wood wastes were forced air burnt to run first a 20 horsepower piston steam steam engine that generated the mills base electricity. Dry steam then prime energy “spent” to wet steam was piped to the kiln driers and hot presses.
HA! Ha! Mill human areas got what heat was left. Winter holiday shutdowns planned around available “fuel waste” stockpiles to keep critical mill areas steam heated to prevent freezing up.
Entry level “break-in job” was the clean up/Hog feeder crew. Hustle ass. I “wood sweat” even in cold winter on graveyard shift. My leather boots would form white dried sweat salts crystals on their outsides being sawdust dried.
“Earn your salt” then you could advance up to green-chain pulling. Or the Raimann veneer pluggers.
This mill was great expanded in the 1940’s using a lot of tech from the 20’s-50’s with some 60’s expansion upgrades, and kept in continuos operation into the mid 90’s. Was a co-operative ownership owned mill 1956 and on. Only finnaly shut down because of no more big enough trees suppled possible for plywood veneer peeler logs. Thank you President Clinton and PNW eco/green/freeks. You put many hundreds of families out of gainful employment. And lost three close family members generations of paid-in CO-OP working retirement investments. 100% losses. Just try making your sailboats now out of OSB. CAN"T. You using big-oil petro-chemical Plastics for your kayaks and paddles.
Fort Vancouver Co-Ply; Vancouver, Washington USA
One of the six last remaining regional owner/worker/investor wood products Co-Ops starved out and lost. Big Business Top Down lobbyists in bed then with voters/rich Urban/EcoGreens lobbiests. The Greens the in the cameras face force. Puppets. Cake-eaters of any fashionable Spins. “Carbons are Baaa-a-a-d!!” bleating now.

JimL never once did a truck load of any mill “wastes” need to get hauled out for disposal, and/or land filled.
Never ENOUHGH for all of the mills working heat/energy nneds. Electricity had to be bought out for machines and lighting. Natural gas for the kilns. As needed. This hit directly into the annual pay-out Co-Op owners/workers/investors profit sharing.
Your friend aint got a wastes problem. He is fuel rich with opportunities.
Steve Unruh