A new member Jim LaPlant posted this a question over on the Premium side about using a large Cadillac vehicle sized WK woodgasifier to woodgas fuel supply a 4400 watt generator, his two cylinder bandsaw mill and a house hydronic heater.
Valid inquiry. Had it myself. Tried this some myself. I wanted to dump out my experiences, observations and equipment base information sources about attempting this.
First it is important to come to the firm understanding that a gasifer/producer does NOT supply fuel gas.
The gases flows MUST be pushed-forced out, or dragged-forced out through a flow restriction packed char bed and downstream of the reactor/producer on a filtering/cooling system.
Goona’ take physical power to do this. Normally we let the IC engine hard capable sucking do this flow making. This is really one of the prime reasons for engine power derating of shaft out power versus gasoline/propane/natural gas before even considering the lower woodgas fuel BTU’s, and different combustion pressure rise characteristics.
THIS IS THE UNACCOUNTED FOR ENGINE POWER “LOSS”.
Woodstove, fireplace, open air woodfire your heated rising combustion gases are your flow pump. The fuel woods are laid/set loose and flow past capable. (Or; too tight and then real smoky!)
Want to multiple variable loaded engine and heat flare burner supply then you DO have to convert to a fuel gas SUPPLING system.
Ha! They do make off the shelf equipment to do just this.
Combustion Power Venters
Always best to hippy, skipping past the university geek, and never used woo-woo patent stuff go directly to the actual in-use equipment informations.
Here is a site link way above small engine use needs that will familiarize you with the pressures/vacuum’s, material selection, staged booster types and power type inputs AND POWER NEEDS to handle the real world sucking, pumping and pressurizing of dirty nasties gasses:
Read completely through thier six Blowers & Gas Booster sections to get your info overview.
They will tell you when and where they will use 304SS, 316SS, Hastalloy, Inconel, coatings or just simple make thicker sacrifice materials and why.
This is for the guys on the Premium side now active materials testing for corrosive acetic, hot, wet, woodgas and tar vapors.
Now to a more practical affordable pushing/pulling flow making flow blower sources then search out the manufacturers names and products of:
Tjenlund; Nordyne; and Eclipse
What I’ve actually used has been Amtek Nautilair
If this link works you will see a picture of a guy looks just like me kicked back in front of a wood stove reading just like I do.
On these brands pay attention to power needs in amperges, voltages, and combustion gasses/temperature materials capabilities. You want to avoid the cheaper made in China boosters with plastic blower wheels if used on the HOT gasifier suction side. Even a blower on the air-in side can have gasifer heat driven self-pressurized woodgas backed flow exposure. Corrosion. Worse. On the next blower powering up if has exposed motor electric contact brushes then an ignition lite off KA-Booom WILL happan to you! You really want combustion rated equipment.
For variable supply woodgas delivering you will want to both blow and suck the gasifier with cut in and out powered boosters or variable speed controled the flow boosters.
Even the cheapest of these at $150 to a single Amtek Nautilair at ~$500 USD is going to be More than the combined SEVEN ganged up ~$20. each plactic bilge blowers Wayne Kieth now uses to blow and suck up his vehicle system to good using heat. Note: he ONLY uses these for cold gasifier heating up - NOT engine fuelgas supply power boosting.
System fuel gas SUPPLING now independent of the engine sucking you will have to flow blower power-up blow/suck contiously.
Only the Amtek has the 20,000 hour bearing rating with an internal variable speed brushless design. Real LOW wattage to operate at ~178 watts. But as a small single only then able to flow supply one small engine and one small flare.
Why you can see pictured multiple series, and parallel ganged up small blowers. This is for either a higher pressure draw or a greater flow rate capabilties. Three of these would be ~ONE horsepower equivalent to power. So your little IC engine sucking a woodgas system is having to use at least one shaft produced horsepower to do the system flow sucking. Vehicles this can be 10 and higher hoursepower to system fuel making/pulling in sucking.
You can see it get stacked up expensive in costs and input power needed to play the pressure fuel gas suppling game.
So much cheaper, and simpler, to just make a couple of different sized gasifiers for different ranges of engines needs and just then let the individual engine do the proportional flow making.
Making and supply “producer gas” for heating combustion was never easy, or power input free either.
Search up pictures of the the “Seattle Gasworks Park” and see the big powered blowers needed to producer make and to home pressure deliver the fuel gas.
Early on they steam engine powered these suction/pressurizing flow blowers. Later hydro-electric motor powered them. Other places powered their gasplant blowers with produced gas fueled engines or diesel fueled engines.
I’ve made my biggest woodgas Ka-Booms playing with split system woodgas making and woodgas pressure delivering.
Had my biggest carbon monoxide headaches, disorientation and dizziness pressurizing gasifier hearths, downstreams and to engine/flare woodgas suppling.
Every leak then no matter now small then not safe air-in sucking, but carbon monoxide out blowing sneeky. Producer gas WAS the suicide gas. Propane and supplied/delivered natural gas artificially mandated doped to be make you puke gases before asphyxiating.
Woodgas has no such safety build in.
#1 reason that I cannot recommend pressure suppling it in any way. An engine suction system is the hands down proven safest.
#2 reason I cannot recommend pressure supplying it is then common DYI simplicity is lost.
I think that the only way to really woodgas produce and SUPPLY flow to multiple variable loaded engines AND heat combustion burners is going to requires some electronics feed back controlling of the blowers and split gas out supply feeds.
DYI electronics controlling designing, fabricating and then later diagnose troubleshooting and repairing is a very small percent of the DYI woodgas user base.
So you fellows go ahead and kick this back and forth around all you desire. I’ll say nothing more here. Edit no one out.
Did teach me to move past intake pulsating single cylinder engines to multiple cylinder engines with their steadier, more even intake suction.