Thrive Off Grid

The video is working good.
Bob

3 Likes

You may be able to use these, but there is a difference in the construction of the Peltier TEC (thermoelectric cooler) and the Seebec TEG (thermoelectric generator).

3 Likes

Yeah thats what Alfred has said in the past. The actual TEG’s are more expensive. A Peltier is a cooler a TEG is a generator. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Matt, you seem to be biting off a big chunk on this one, but it would be of immense value if you could perfect this ability to detect tar. As always, I applaud your inventive pioneering spirit.

3 Likes

What you’re describing is very interesting. Purely playing devil’s advocate rather than shooting down the approach, my first thought is that other side products carried by the moisture (e.g. acids) will also have a substantial impact upon conductivity due to the ions they place into solution. I’d expect those compounds to have a greater impact upon resistance than tars etc. BUT if production of those compounds follows a similar trend to the production of tar, then you may still have a valid proxy for inferring the relative amount of tar.

4 Likes

Exactly, It needs to be built and see how it acts in practice. Cheers!!

5 Likes

One point is its the sensor itself that is going to change as tar is produced. Once its on that sensor it can not self clean. So it will be locked in the range of detection of what ever is stuck onto it. By this time the controls will have faulted out and the user will need to clean the sensor and figure out whats wrong. Like in the video once I fouled the probe tips with the gooey tar it could no longer read the condensate.

2 Likes

My client in Scandinavia has his own pellet fuel plant. Indeed you can make your fuel and this unit is far cheaper than a commercial chipper with out need for sorting and drying process. This thing is the whole kit and caboodle. That has a hammer mill integrated so raw materials in, fuel grade pellets out ready to run. A small wood chipper with mulcher could be employed to prep larger fuels. But you could not use a cheap chipper like that for wood fuel gasifier at least it would not be very practical as 75% would go to waste.

6 Likes

It would be interesting to hear how it works for him.

Pete Stanaitis

3 Likes

I will update as I learn more. He just received it, he is going to let us know its continuous energy consumption rate is and possibly do some video.

Spec wise its 15kW start up and can produce 60 kgs pr hour. The continuous power consumption should be much lower.

3 Likes

So the machine is back together and running on gasoline. I tared this thing up pretty good, I had to go in and free up the valves. It was suggested to me at Argos to heat the valve. Ive tried this long ago and stopped as I was getting too much heat wrecking the valve seals and distorting the spring. I thought I would revisit this but use very mild heat and I thought it worked. Did not see any ill effects from it.

(Never ever apply heat to your valves even a small amount of over heating will distort your valve springs; I found this out later in tear down. )

So I had the valves functioning again and moved on to attempting running on gasoline. It would not fire other than backfiring. Started to think bent valve, so got the compression tester out and nothing!! No compression!!

So ordered new valves and a re seal kit. Tore into this thing and popped the heads off and valves look fine!!?? Pulled all the valves revealing the distorted valve spring and cleaned everything up. I re shaped the spring same way it was distorted replaced the intake valves and put it all back together. Then I noticed something. the rocker arms were not fully relieving keeping both valves open during a combustion stroke. Yeah that would cause no compression. All four lifters were doing this. Drained oil cleaned out the lifter bores and filled her up with Kerosene. Hand cranked here for a bit and drained and then fresh oil in. Problem is gone.

So the plan is to run on gasoline a bit longer and try to clean it out a some more. While its performing this run Ill fabricate the tar sensor and get it installed So hopefully Ill be back up and running on woodgas by end of day and Ill try to get a video of the sensor readings running in action. :fire:

2 Likes

Now THAT could be a game changer. A forced air, natural gas fired home heating system could reasonably produce all the electricity it needs. It wouldn’t have to be connected to mains power at all. It would still continue to function in a power outage. This type of system has been around for a while now but it has been prohibitively expensive.
Rindert

3 Likes

I have all the parts to build a small prototype. This will be my weekend project, hope to have that on video by end of weekend :slight_smile:

Alfred, has come back with wanting a 1000 bucks to work with him and wont give me a straight answer on cost for some straight up modules. Very frustrating, I just want cost for the best off the shelf modules he has to offer.

May just have to look deeper for Chinese made modules I guess. But like Bruce has stated the peltier modules are not the same as a TEG. The TEG I do think are a bit more expensive and I have not found a source for them yet.

4 Likes

Yeah Im digging deaper into this as Ive kinda given up on Alfred. Yeah those Peltier modules I ordered are probably only going to put out just a few watts. Like under 10 watts!! each lol.

Yeah the TEG modules are very expensive and some of the best Ive found so far only put out around 20 watts at a cost of at least 50 bucks. So yeah its all coming back and why I never really pursued the technology. However I am still very intrigued and will continue on with this project and sourcing modules that will meet the development goal of a 2500 watt gross / 1500 watt net output unit.

4 Likes

Found the source for most TEG’s on market.

If bought in bulk higher output could be done reasonably.

5 Likes

I bought a couple of dozen of these a few years ago. I still haven’t done anything with them.

4 Likes

Ok the tar sensor I believe is a success!!

Last night I ran for three hours with the sensor installed. During this entire run I never notice the sensor read out change the entire time. So it either did not work or the machine was simply not making any tar.

Im sitll having flow issues more on that later. But today I went out and fired it up. Crossing fingers when starting the engine and it came to life. YES!! Ok so that still does not mean it works. So as the engine was warming up I notice the read out register and it pulled all the way down from 10 to 1. It then ran a range of numbers bouncing around from 2 to 6. So yeah at this point Im excited and want to get my camera but another part of me like SHUT IT DOWN! SHUT IT DOWN!!. So I ran in to get my camera and by the time I get back out there it has self corrected and it never registered again the rest of the run.

So if I had the code wrote to fault out; this event would have faulted it out and it happened very fast so Im sure no harm would have been done.

So flow issues, I knew I should have ran the 2 inch reductions but I only knew what worked and that was the 1.5 inch used on the Predator 8750. So next week, I will be tearing down and replacing the hearth with the larger restriction. I think it needs less air as well.

6 Likes

Sometimes you need the right tool for the right job :fire:

9 Likes

Took the weekend off from the build and worked on some experimental TEG / SOFC tech. Ive searched and searched for cost effective TEG’s and can seem to get anywhere and same goes for the Solid Oxide Cells. So time to take matters into my own hands :slight_smile:

So I built a printable cell and all of you can do this your selfs if you want to experiment with this. What you need:

Ceramic Cloth / Welding blanket
Carpenter Pencil
Aluminum Oxide / AKA media blast (you can get this at Harbor Freight)
Some sand paper
Sodium Silicate ( binder)

I cut a piece of the ceramic cloth about 5 inches square to create the sub straight. Then tape off a 1" border.

To apply the Cathode side I grind up the pencil lead on a piece of 360 grit (its what I had) 220 would work just as well). I make about a 1//2 teaspoon of the ground graphite. I then add about an equal amount of the sodium silicate and mix well. Then you simply paint this on to the cloth. You want to make sure it is penetrated into the cloth.

For the Anode side you do the same thing however the Aluminum Oxide is already in powder form. Simply add an equal share of the sodium silicate and mix and apply.

Now remove the tape and then apply the sodium silicate around the border of the reactive materials. Then cut off access to make a nice square pallet.

The idea of having the excess and doing it this way is so you can make a metal frame for both sides of cell. This is the part I have not gotten too. The opening of the metal frame will be slightly smaller than the reactive material, this is so you have a good connection all the way around the material. However these frames can not have contact from one side to the other only through the reactive materials.

So this cell is not only reactive to heat but it is also reactive to gas direct from the gasifier. Unfortunately the gasifier crashed and I was not able to make combustible gas shortly after light up. There was a problem with the hopper agitator after the last run so it bridged and burned out. However initially after it first lit it was pretty apparent something was happening as the voltage climbed up very rapidly. It climbed up to around 500 milliamps. I think it would have kept climbing if the gas would have came in.

For this initial testing I simply clamped some aluminum to each side of the cell using some vice grips with a cardboard insulator on the jaws of the grips. I need to make the frame and I bet Ill get a much better connection. Anyways using a torch with the tip about 12" away I can get nearly a 1 volt reading.

So this has been a very fascinating experiment so far. But creating voltage is one thing now to find out if there are any available amps it can offer out. If so than this could hold great promise as this method could allow for these cells to be printed out on a CNC for pennies. This fire blanket I used I dont think is actual ceramic either. I think if actual ceramic cloth was used there is then the possibility of not only printing the cells onto the cloth but then it could be mold directly into functional parts.

10 Likes

Matt for me, you are on the future of the gasifier with loot sofc, in the future this type of process will be the salute of the gasifier, and again, we see the importance of the use of ceramics, the most difficult is the control of the variation of temperature, and especially not to have sulfur and the least possible of CH4 in the SYNGAS, but the SOFC stack accepts the CO and perfectly the H2, but after reaching a certain temperature, Matt , roof alone, you do the work of a laboratory team.

8 Likes