The GEK project turns 2 this June. To celebrate, we’re having a workshop on the anniversary weekend, as well as a sale to make it easier for you to get all the latest equipment. Info on the June workshop is here: http://www.gekgasifier.com/forums/showthread.php?t=348. Info on the sale is below.
When we started this two years ago little did we know how many people were actually ready to get heir hands dirty with DIY gasification equipment. To date we’ve built 180 GEKs, and had the pleasure of sending them to interesting people like yourself all over the world. In return you’ve done many interesting things with them– things which have educated us and refined the design in ways no amount of stealth shop work could ever have achieved. The GEK is now road tested and refined in response to real world use. The map of where GEKs are in the world is here: http://bit.ly/aO8Lfg
These iterative improvements through an open design process has led to a mature biomass power generation system that is now ready for regular daily use. This is not simply a demo video or highly controlled in-house run. Rather, the GEK is now a well characterized system known to [...]
Report from Bear Kaufmann:
A couple weeks ago, Trystan Lea, who runs OpenEnergyMonitor (http://openenergymonitor.org) came by and we worked on testing his system on our in house 10kw Power Pallet.
The OpenEnergyMonitor is “a project to develop and build open source energy monitoring and analysis tools for energy efficiency and distributed renewable microgeneration.” The project is developed around the Arduino, thus will integrate nicely with our Arduino based Gasifier Control Unit. Trystan has some cool code and great explanations of the circuits on the site.
We tested his system on the skid, monitoring 2 legs of current and voltage from the genhead (split phase). The system doesn’t just measure the RMS amperage, voltage, and frequency, but also uses the waveform to compute real power, apparent power, power factor (wikipedia links), as well as cumulative sums and ranges over time.
We adapted the usual Power Monitor code to run on the GEK GCU. When the Power Monitor is running on a dedicated arduino, its takes a ~2 second solid block of time to sample the AC signal and compute the power measurements. With an Arduino dedicated to that task, thats fine, but when we need to also monitor [...]
Gasification PowerExchange Workshop #8: Hands-on Gasifier Assembly and Operation. 10kw “Power Pallet” Endurance Run Dates: June 4th, 5th and 6th Location: ALL Power Labs, 1010 Murray Street. Berkeley, CA
Gasification Lecture and Demo: Friday, June 4th, 7:30-9:30PM Gasifier Assembly and Building, Running and Testing: Saturday and Sunday, June 5 & 6, 11am – 7pm Contact: jim ^at^ allpowerlabs.org Cost: Free if you are a GEK or BEK owner, either through self build or purchase. $100 if you are not, pay here. RSVP to forum thread here: http://www.gekgasifier.com/forums/showthread.php?t=348
The next of our quarterly gasifier workshop weekends is set for June 4th-6th, 2010. This will also be the two year anniversary of shipping the first GEK to a professor in Canada. A few things have happened since then, and to celebrate, this workshop will focus on running all the resulting machinery. This round will a bit less welding and wrench turning, and much more hands-on running of the the completed GEK, BEK and 10kw Power Pallet gasifier genset.
To see what these gatherings are all about, here’s a video from the last winter workshop. See also the new video of start up and run of the 10kw Power Pallet on wood [...]
I spent a long weekend on our website and finally have things a little more caught up with where things actually are on-the-ground around the shop. You can see the results here: http://www.gekgasifier.com/wpgallery. A sample from the new galleries on the Hot TOTTI and the new Kohler engine form of the “Power Pallet” gasifier-genset skid are copied below.
In the new gallery you will find photo sets covering all GEK versions from the beginning at v0.7 to the v3.5 today. It is an interesting history to scroll through and note what has changed and what has stayed the same.
The GEK v3.5 galleries now include photo sets to explain what the GEK looks like with the add-ons of the Auger Feed Drying Bucket and/or the PyroCoil IC Exhaust Gas Heat Exchnager. The combination of these two things makes the Hot TOTTI (Tower of Total Thermal Integration), a point which often confuses newcomers.
There are also separate new sets for the Honda engine version of the gasifier-genset, as well as the new Kohler engine based one. More info on the gasifier-genset skid and other packages above is now findable in the similarly redone GEK Store: http://www.gekgasifier.com/gasification-store/
And Shhhh [...]
The workshop weekend was a rousing success- the highlight of which was likely the Ken Boak and Darryl led effort to convert a Lister diesel to spark ignition for 100% woodgas operation. This settled the long running debate as to whether a spark plug in the precombustion chamber of a Lister will actually light a wood gas fuel/air charge. The answer is yes. It also answered the related question of whether the pull rate of a standard 6/1 Lister is high enough to keep the gasifier hot and above tar making temps. The answer is also yes.
This is great news for Listerheads. It renders obsolete the previous dual fuel scenarios for listers, which had repeatedly proven touchy to control and dissatisfying conceptually, as some liquid fuel was still required.
Hopefully Ken and the rest of the crew will put info and a kit together soon to enable others to do the same. In the interim, Ken’s forum “press release” and video is copied below.
Video of spark converted lister on 100% wood gas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXX2GBHoeuo
There are many more videos of this on ken’s main youtube page. see here: http://www.youtube.com/user/kenboak#p/u
The forum thread on the Lister conversion is [...]
We currently have 50 people reserved for the 60 spaces we can support for the workshop weekend at ALL Power Labs. Thus if you want to make quick last minute plans, we still have a bit of space. If you have rsvp’ed and will not actually be joining us, do tell. Most of the rsvp’s are listed in the forum here: http://www.gekgasifier.com/forums/showthread.php?t=299 .
We are excited to once again have people coming from all over the place. As far as the UK, Philippines, Mexico and Italy. Even Alabama, if you can imagine that! It is a great mix of DIYers, Academics, Entrepreneurs and off-gridders. The weekend promises to be highly informative as well as highly entertaining once again.
We’ve put together 5 parallel projects or tracks for the weekend. It is difficult for 60 people to stand around the same thing at the same time, so we’re going to have 5 separate things going on simultaneously all weekend, between which you can wander, ponder and participate. You do not need to choose between these. Everyone can participate in all of them.
Here’s the projects, with the person(s) who will lead them:
1. 10kw Gasifier-Genset building, configuration and automation [...]
we currently have about 30 of the 60 available spaces filled for the workshop weekend feb 19-21. there tends to be a deluge right at the end, so if you want to join us, you should try to rsvp soon. info on the workshop is copied below. rsvp’s need to go to the GEK forum here: http://www.gekgasifier.com/forums/showthread.php?t=299
the weekend should be good fun. we have a great collection of people of many impressive talents joining us– many of which are flying in from the far hinterlands. so far the distance award is a toss up between the phillipines and ireland. or at least it is a toss up until i go look at a map and figure out which is further from berkeley. most of the attendees so far are listed in the forum thread (minus the luddites among us).
one new thing we’ll have at the workshop is the new GCU control box integration the locals have been refining for the genset skid. this centralizes the control of mixture, grate shaking, auger drive, and temp/pressure measurements. all inputs have now been acquired and the output functions have been put on individual tethers. very interesting new modes of control and [...]
Gasification PowerExchange Workshop #7: Next Gen GEK 10kw gasifier genset skid and BEK biochar running.
Gasification Lecture and Demo: Friday, February 19, 7:30-9:30PM Building, Running and Testing: Saturday and Sunday, February 20 & 21, 11am – 7pm Location: ALL Power Labs, 1010 Murray Street. Berkeley, CA Contact: jim ^at^ allpowerlabs.org Cost: Free if you are a GEK or BEK owner, either through self build or purchase. $100 if you are not. RSVP to forum thread here: http://gekgasifier.com/forums/showthread.php?t=299
The next of our quarterly gasifier workshop weekends is set for Februrary 19-21. The purpose of this ongoing series of workshops is to help bring more people to successful operation of small scale gasifiers. The event is open to GEK user/owners, as well as anyone with any other type of gasifier- or just a budding interest in the whole thing. So come join us while we progressively make small-scale gasification a reasonable proposition, accessible to regular mortals, and adequately advanced for honest everyday use.
The February workshop will introduce and demo the 3rd generation of our 10kw gasifier genset skid. We now have the final answer for how we’ll deliver a fully integrated gasifier genset unit, and this workshop will be the [...]