New guy with basic questions

Then to add, if you are recovering heat while engine running then this heat will not be a constant. So you will still need a primary heat source while engine system is off and then add the complexity of controlling multiple systems to work together. If your thinking your going to run a gasifier to run an engine for both power and heat around the clock that is very inefficient and simply impractical. Make only the power you need and store that power in a battery bank. Store your heat in the wood itself and create that heat using better technology such as a good ole woodstove. You can doing your cooking on this as well. KISS.

An engine grade gasifier is good for one thing and that’s running an engine. Its not a good solution for heating or cooking. You can not run a gasifier indoors as hopper back drafting will be an issue and you will lose that 28%. in process heat as it will need to be outside. Not to mention that percent is actually a bit less in heat output as a portion of it is lost in exothermic process.

Yes I have ran liquid cooled heat exchangers and its not worth your efforts to harness this heat unless it is used to maintain a hot water heater, Actually thats not a good solution either as the purpose of your cooler is to extract that heat and cool the gas. A hot water heater is going to retain and return hot water and defeat the purpose of the chiller.

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All true, true MattR.

(in Tones case as he is a well versed refrigerant cycle man, I would expect him to be heat concentrating his gasifier hopper “cooling” heat)

Steve Unruh now the owner of two air-heat sourced Mitsubishi ductless heat pumps. Come true winter any heat input really helps the refrigerant heat concentrating cycling.
Delta-T rules.

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It seem like I’ve touched a nerve?
I’m just trying to use waste from things I would be doing anyway.
I promise, if I ever do build a wood gasifier , it will start life without water cooling, because one should learn to walk before one tries running backwards uphill without spilling ones martini.

Matt has that incredible charcoal making stove that gives off a lot of heat.
The heat is cleverly contained to cook the feedstock, before it is released to heat the shop.
He has even mentioned a build that would capture the heat in water.
I’m sure this isn’t an efficient space heater , since at least half of the energy is left in the resulting char.
But its a very efficient way to make charcoal, with free space heating on the side.
I would probably not have even started my build if I had seen his first.
Seriously , it has the best qualities of both a retort and a TLUD, plus its tame enough to use inside a shop- totally amazing.
I will probably emulate it eventually, but with water heating, because it will have to live outside.
The home insurance, the city and my wife all agree, no home built wood burners in the house!

I will finish my own build, out of stubbornness if nothing else.
It was always going to be a hydronic heater.
I have big basement, and a cheap way to store water.
I envision a hundred gallons to start with, water that will also be an emergency storage for my family.
Storing excess heat from the various wood refining I’m doing anyway is a no brainer.
No real controls, just a thermal mass in the basement, maybe a convection loop in the return air vent.
I suspect my heater will not make dent in my bills, but it should be fun.

I still want to use the heat during the summer, but I have another idea for that.
Selling small batch, artisanal, local, wood fired distilled water is a dream of mine…
Seriously, with a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and some homemade liquid smoke, I think I can really clean up with the hipsters.

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No not at all. Like you all of us here started somewhere and we all had crazy ideas. lol But we built we learned and here we are, you are the new comer and we are the vets. At the end of the day though we all are here learning together. There is an unwritten code in this community and that is we respect all.

We are merely giving explanations, keep in mind we see you as a new builder as your post implies.

““I’m sure this isn’t an efficient space heater , since at least half of the energy is left in the resulting char.””

actually I believe these pellet stoves are quite efficient. I wont really know until I can get proper test equipment and gas analyzers. This may sound contradictory, that char is not waste and I am using a multi stage gasification process so these stoves are converting more CO2 to CO converting more of that energy to heat energy. The produced charcoal is simply reserved energy for electric power generation instead being used for heat energy. In the bigger more developed picture this tech will be very efficient. I will have new tech coming out here soon and will continue on with this development so more to come.

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Please dont ever let anyone on this forum deter you from your experimentation. If you tell me “you cant do that!!” I will litterally die trying to prove you wrong LOL. Take in what you feel is the good advice you are looking for and throw the rest away. Some of what we present are our onw opinions based on our own experimentation and experiences. Some things however are fact. Each one of us are an individual and each of our builds are unique, I doubt there are two identical gasifiers built by any two separate individuals here. If you dont innovate we go no where we just continue on doing the same old thing without improving anything. In this space there is plenty room for innovation and easier ways to do things. Some here live in the world of “if aint broke dont fix it” Others live a world of “What If??”"

Welcome to the community, you belong here :slight_smile:

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Introduction/whys to J.O.'s whole house wood fired heating system:

Then his whole system explained out:

Best to read and view the whole topic.
His system diagram is on comment #33.
S.U.

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Yup, be yourself. But don’t let your stubbornness kill your fun. Most of us on here have a bunch of unfinished projects. Most creative people do. I heard somewhere that only about 5% of J. R. R. Tolkien’s writings were ever published. Not surprising to me at all.
Rindert

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This heat recovery thing…it’s not crazy. At some point though, one has to examine the point of diminishing returns. I reached such a point yesterday while I was doing maintenance on my six kilowatt yanmar air cool diesel engine. I had bought a fuel filter for it 2 years ago and never put it in. I was replacing that, changing the oil, and cleaning the oil filter. I was doing this while siphoning methanol out of a barrel in order to make methoxide for another batch of biodiesel. In the last 2 days I have filtered and stored over 100 gallons of biodiesel/offroadiesel/fueloil/light distillates. This is 100 gallons of fuel that can be run in the little yanmar. The boys came out to the shop to see what I was doing, and I started the yanmar for them. I brought this home from iraq, and they have seen it all their lives but never really looked at it now that they’re teenagers they showed some interest in it. I let it run for a while, and then I put my hand on the exhaust manifold. It wasn’t even warm enough to burn me or make me uncomfortable. It made me realize trying to capture waste heat from this little engine was ridiculous. We could let this thing burn as much fuel as it wanted to and it was so efficient it would never make it worth all the effort to build the infrastructure to capture the exhaust heat. Seeing as the fuel is less than $0.10 a gallon, it made no sense to do anything but generate electricity with this and just let it go all day long.

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Thats not what I was implying.

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It’s fortunate that I wasn’t addressing your implications then :wink:.

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Right on Bruce, Yeah this month I have shut the shop down and been in design mode all month. Been working final revisions for the gasifiers. a new power generator and number of new kilns. Everyday this month Ive had to tell myself, hold on Matt keep it simple dummy. keep things easier on yourself.

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I wonder if you could further that systems efficiency by adding a flywheel and a planetary gear set providing a 6 or 8 to 1 speed up between the motor and flywheel?? I believe it would be pretty simple to add?!?

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Matt,
I hope you are continuing your efforts, building the machine that provides inside heating and charcoal as a by product. Is the charcoal close to engine grade?
This twofer stuff is how I like to roll.

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Thanks for your interest in the old generator. I think something other than the venerable 10SI alternator might be the first step in improving efficiency. It gets hot, and frequently burns up it’s diodes. The trouble is, I have a barrel of them. It takes less than an hour to switch out a bridge, and put it back working…so I have been muddling along that way. I really should do a version 2.1

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The kiln that runs chunks to lump charcoal yes. However the pellets I have not had enough run time to tell if it will be viable. I have had good success but there were a few times where there was some tar in earlier development. So I’m cautious yet. I will also be experimenting with a chip fueled stove technology and I hope to have beta units on market by end of fall along with my own proto here for my primary heat. Cant say if it will work or not yet as they only exist in concept and a CAD model.

CNC machine is broke waiting on a stepper motor drive so shop will be shut down until it arrives estimated in two weeks. Im hoping to have the first chip stove built by end of October in time for the cold weather to set in here in Mich. :frowning:

I bought a front end loader full bucket of chips; cost me $50 bucks I couldn’t give them the money fast enough. These chips are clean meaty hardwood chips. The nice thing is they are right behind the shop, They just drove the front end loader over here and dumped them here. There are literally mountains of chips back there.

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Looking at your pulleys it looks like you may need to speed that alternator up a bit and put a larger pulley on the engine. But then again it depends on what your bank is pulling out of it. I use a 5 inch pulley on the engine with the stock pulley on the alternator and run probably around 2500 RPM . I think I have the 12SI but not certain. But my battery bank may not be pulling as much as yours. I have not had an issue with the lipos Im using.

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Hello Bruce, diesel, unlike a petrol engine, has an inappropriately lower exhaust temperature and emits most of its heat through the cooling of the head and cylinder, but still with an engine like yours, at least 70% of the energy is lost in heat.

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Exactly the things that keep me going. It is very inefficient to produce electricity from diesel or gas , let alone woodgas (another quarter is lost there). It is a good idea to capture the ‘lost’ heat and put it in a place you can use it again. A buffer is excellent for that. For me, still fighting the basics, and only thinkering about the final solution. Start with the basics and go from there. In our situation solarpower is very important and provides the major piece of pie. But when solar is not enough, we also need heat, so 1 + 1 = 3.

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Matt,
Is your BMS programmable? Can you limit the amps if you choose?
That’s the big horrible problem with the 10/12SI. They cannot help themselves, they give way more amps then the diodes can handle.
BTW, the voltage sensing circuit works at 7 kHz, so spinning them faster doesn’t matter. The rotor field can stay on at slower rpm and still make full power in the stator. That was the original purpose for the alternator to replace a generator.
My generator version 2.0 has double shives and a 1:1 pulley ratio. I have to turn the field off manually, when the bank is down really far, so it doesn’t stall the diesel. Then cycle it manually til it stops pulling so heavy.
Sorry, I rambled on and on…

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Yeah we sort of hijacked his thread. Good info you gave and good to know as I plan to work a lot more with alternators in the future. The BMS I have is programable but not for current limiting. Could you pulse the field circuit rapidly? If so I could code an Arduino with a pot to fully that alternators output. It would use a big Mosfet to pulse the field wire. Maybe create a new thread for that.

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