OK … here’s my thinking at this point … and please understand
that I haven’t taken a single step yet towards implementing
anything, but have given my approach careful thought.
I’m interested in converting a gas tractor, with a John Deere
1520 in mind - 3 cylinder 165 cu/in (2.7 liters) gas engine.
My rationale for converting a tractor (opposed to a truck):
- everything is “right there”, easy access, straightforward rig’n.
- it will be a project that will be put to work - a working
tractor, certainly for processing firewood, and maybe for
mowing (sickle bar).
- when something goes wrong, it won’t be far from the shop
- no “on road” issues with the build
- best I can tell, the only spot for the gasifier is off the front,
which will really obscure visibility, and extend the length of the
tractor, and in many ways be a PIA as far as being in the way.
- probably are other cons, but haven’t yet thought of them.
Some personal background … have worked on equipment most of my life,
not professionally, but from a git R done homestead perspective. Have a
decent garage/shop set up for welding/etc., am a “passable” welder.
Very familiar with wood and its behavior - have heated
with wood-only since the late 70’s, currently
heating two houses - put up my own firewood (12-14 cords a year),
currently using a tractor for woods work, splitting, and moving pallets
of firewood, etc. We’ve got 70 acres along the central/southern
tier of NY, in what used to be dairy farm country, but now is
mostly beef country since no one can afford to keep a dairy herd
at current milk prices.
Spent the majority of my working life as a carpenter, have a small
bandsaw mill and a solar kiln setup - am likely closing in on having
sawed and dried 10K bd/ft of lumber at this point, and have spent
many years coming up to speed on understanding the moisture content
of wood at all stages.
Given the tractor I’ve mentioned, it strikes me that the engine is at
small end (engine displacement) of the WK design, but still in the range
where the WK design could be used. If this isn’t the case, I’d
appreciate hearing from others now - my thinking is that I’ll have a
better chance at success if I follow the tried and proven WK design
rather then tweaking things because engine displacement is too
small for a “by the book” WK design.
I also have this mental picture of the build where I’d start putting
together the reactor, cooling, and filtering in a process where I
could potentially flare and test things before actually tying
to the tractor - part of me even is wondering if there isn’t a
way to set things up so the gasifier fix’ns could be put on and
taken off the tractor with minimal connecters being effected,
making it way easier to work on for needed repairs or tweaks.
Anyway, above is my first shot at trying to get my idea(s)/thinking
across to those who can help tell me what might be good ideas, and
maybe more importantly, what might be bad ideas.
Comments appreciated - from looking around on these forums, there
are some mighty smart people contributing here.