WK for portable generator

I had a question about using a standard WK gasifier (to be built on my 1984 F-150) as the gas supply for my 5700 Watt Ridgid Portable Generator (http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-5-700-Watt-Gasoline-Powered-Portable-Generator-with-Yamaha-MX300-Engine-RD905712/203183983?N=5yc1vZbx9n)

I have a propane and natural gas conversion kit on my generator (http://www.motorsnorkel.com/motor-snorkel-tri-fuel-natural-gas-propane-and-gasoline-conversion-kit-3023.html)

So, I am wondering if I can build the standard WK gasifier for my truck, and have a tee to hookup my generator to? (Kill 2 birds with one stone so to speak). Of course, running the syngas through the Natural Gas conversion kit. I have seen you tube videos of people running chain saws, etc. from a line out from their vehicle gasifier. Just wondering if the sizing will work or if there would be issues in this case?

Hi Tim,

I can’t speak to the suitability of the gasifier, but be sure you rejet the fuel orifice. You are going from a fuel that is 1000’ish Btu/ft^3 to something around 150-200 Btu/ft^3.

You will also be going from 10" of water positive pressure to some negative pressure. I doubt the carb was designed for that.


Hello Mr. Hooper and welcome to the site .

If the truck gasifier has a good char bed and if the gasifier is brought up to operating temps before running the generator all should work well for a limited time . With a generator that size I think it would be OK to run up to an hour at a time before bringing the gasifier back up to operating temps ( driving the truck again )

I am not familiar with the natural gas conversion but I would think there will be so much differences with the btu value of the gases ( woodgas vs natural ) that the conversion will not operate properly .

Back in 2008 we took a cross country trip to the west coast and back . On the trip we would stop often and put on demos . There were no way we could give all the folks a ride but we did fire up a generator and power electric tools to show the gasifiers ability . ( gas tank removed )

Also at Argos last year I ran a small generator from the truck sawing wood. ( Chris may have a video ?)


Here is the video I took Wayne, http://youtu.be/ie6T_Btm8Xs

Thanks for the feedback already. I have just joined the site recently and can’t believe how helpful everyone is and all the information there is to glean.

So, Wayne, how did you run your small generator then? Right into the carb mixing it with air 1:1?

I assume the standard WK gasifier is oversized for the generator. Is this why it would only be able to run it for an hour and then need brought back up to operating temps?

What about using a smaller choke plate inside? I don’t know if this would step things down well enough or if there are other variables still. (I am still new at all of this, so I am trying to learn some of the variables).


Hello Tim

" So, Wayne, how did you run your small generator then? Right into the carb mixing it with air 1:1? "

The wood gas delivery line is fed right into the air cleaner housing . Also a small valve is mounted in the air filter housing vented to the atmosphere . This valve will be adjusted to allow the motor to draw in the correct amount of fresh air for mixing. The gasoline is shut off the carb but the throttle is working so the correct rpm can be obtained .

" What about using a smaller choke plate inside? I don’t know if this would step things down well enough or if there are other variables still. "

There are certain parameters a gasifier will function and make clean potent gas ( turn down ratio ) This is being able to idle for a length of time with out getting too cold and traveling down the road fast without getting too hot. .

Putting a smaller choke plate in the gasifier would be an advantage to the generator but at the same time be a disadvantage to the truck .

Hi Tim, if you are converted to natural gas I would suggest putting a shut off valve between the diaphragm regulator and the carb. The vacuum of the running Genny might cause problems. As stated above feed the fuel into the air intake at about a 1:1 ratio. Also the slip char from your WK would run a charcoal unit… Just saying…

I am mainly thinking of running the generator for emergency or occasional use. So, would it be possible to change out for a smaller choke plate when running the WK gasifier for generator use and/or possibly run an extra flare to keep up the operating temperature? Then I could switch back to a larger choke plate for driving the truck.


You are saying to have the shut off between the natural gas regulator and the carb so that I skip the natural gas regulator all together (and run the woodgas straight to the carb)? Thanks for your input.


Hi Don, it says the video is private

Good morning Tim.

I would give a lot of thought to what David said above . ( using slipped char from your truck gasifier to power a small Gary Gilmore type gasifier )

Public now? http://youtu.be/ie6T_Btm8Xs

Thanks Mr. D

It would have been a good weekend to have a few electric heaters about for testing :slight_smile:

Thanks Don.
Wayne, once you start the generator, would you be able to start the truck and let it idle to keep the heat up in the gasifier?

Tim, changing out the choke plate, and then changing it back to drive the truck is too much work. Gary Gilmore is running this generator on a Simple-Fire. http://www.harborfreight.com/engines-generators/gas-engine-generators/8750-peak7000-running-watts-13-hp-420cc-generator-epa-iii-68530.html
He told me he got his for only $500, and it is easy to convert to wood gas. (It also starts easy.) As Wayne said, you could collect the slipped char from the WK truck gasifier, screen it through some 1/8" hardware cloth, and store it in a drum. Also, your avatar shows a wood burning fireplace, and a cylinder with some small air holes (to let the smoke and tar out) could go in there and create some additional charcoal. There are plans for the Simple-Fire on this site, under “Resources”, and Gary is a member. Ray

" Wayne, once you start the generator, would you be able to start the truck and let it idle to keep the heat up in the gasifier? "

You would need an automated air / fuel ratio mixing valve . If the truck and generator are running at the same time and the generator goes into a load the governor opens the throttle drawing more gas. When this happens the truck will not get as much gas but the air mix will increase , This should cause a lean mix and most likely kill the truck .

I think just flaring gas with a suction blower would work better than running an additional motor .

I echo Ray in his above post .


Thanks for the further explanation. Let me know if I am on the right track now.

So it seems it would be best or ideal to build a smaller Gary Gilmore style gasifier for permanent use with the generator. But until I build one or I just had the truck gasifier, I could possibly flare off or blow out extra gas (waste some) to keep the reactor temps up (to burn the tar).

I also found this discussion by Danny where he ran his large gasifier and blew out extra gas while running his log splitter. http://driveonwood.com/forum/1067
Would this work the same way for a WK design?

Yes Tim ,

I think you could follow Dan’s lead on the venting .

I want to count your fingesr Mr Wayne after seeing you cut wood on the table saw.

Hello brother Tom.

That was just the camera angle.

I have learned the hard way to try to keep the fingers .

Several years back the wife and I went out walking just about dark . Run up on pretty good size coon and I wanted to empress the new wife how quick I could catch it. . Looking at the scars and if my memory severs me correctly it took about 10 minutes to get it turned loose !!