I have read past postings on using wood-fired gasification units for generating electricity. The one drawback was that it might not be economically feasible. I am in Ontario and with the pending combining of G.S.T. with the provincial tax, I believe I will be paying more for fuel. Gasoline is not exempt from road tax if used off road, however diesel is. Presently gasoline is approximately $4.00 per US gallon.
A 3.1 litre engine and transmission was given to me, and I have one generator, single phase, and a 3 phase 30K generator. The engine has cruise control. I would like to build a gasification unit to fuel the generator/engine setup. I have an airtight woodstove which I would add air for burning. What size unit would I need to place the wood in, to produce enough fuel?
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
About 20 years ago, Virginia Tech forestry department had a gasification unit that powered a diesel that ran a generator. I do not have the publications, but maybe you can contact someone there.
The gasifier I plan on making for the foundry will produce a gas that will not be very hot, so piping is not an issue. If you look at the various solutions, you will see that some filtering is done to the gas before it is consumed by an engine.
Heat is the number one energy requirement for residential or small farms, so you may be better off using wood or a biomass fuel to meet your heating needs. Lights are not expensive compared to the energy necessary to make the hot water or the heating we all use.
But reading your post again, I see you want to run a generator. So look at the solution posted on the web - drawing and plans are there for each load size or HP of engine. The designs are pretty easy to make.
All gasifiers are pretty design specific to their feedstock. And though I too am hoping to build one, I would buy one in a second if I could find a design that I believed in and could afford. The G.E.K. designs are all made from mild steel and small. The key to a good gas unit for engine operation is to build one that makes clean, tar free gas (the fuel gasses are hydrogen and carbon monoxide). Tars are cracked at temps > 800C so a good unit might run as hot as 1200C. That is too hot for mild steel. Startup and acceleration seem a little slow for real practical work vehicle applications to me, so I'm working on the generator application. One of the problems is, after you work out all the engineering for the gasifier, you need to automate it or babysit it. It is all possible, but a great deal of figuring and testing. It has been done and the folks who have done it want a pretty penny for their work. One unit I found that looks good, it took me a week to get a price out of him. For a manual unit that will operate a 20Kw generator 24/7 you are looking at $20,000; $50,000 with the automation. That is a great deal of incentive to work it out.