Here’s the latest news from All Power Labs and our ongoing work in gasification. We’re happy to announce the sale of our 100th unit, and even happier to unveil our latest design innovation, the “Tower Of Total Thermal Integration”, (aka: the “Hot TOTTI”) and point you in the direction of some of our testing data of late.
GEK turns 100
Actually, make that 107. We’ve just sold the 107th GEK, a pretty incredible number considering we started just over a year ago trying to help give people tools for open source power hacking. Here’s a map of the world showing they’ve ended up: http://tr.im/uwKI And for those who are curious, #100 is heading to the USDA Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plants Research Center. Very interesting folks down there, check ‘em out here: http://tr.im/uNSN
This brings to 12 the number of research facilities or universities which have ordered the GEK to pursue their research in gasification. The others include: Lamberton College (Ontario); University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Ashton University (UK), Maharashtra Institute of Technology (India); University of California, Merced; University of Minnesota, Morris; Louisiana State University; Mississippi State University; Morrissville State (New York); and the University of Rome (Italy).
We’re now working to build a platform specifically for research facilities, so results are sharable and comparable between sites, and published research is augmented through a common test bed. Best of all, we’re keeping the equipment inexpensive, so those outside the University can work on top of the same test bed. This commonality of test bed, and growing network of serious users, promises many good things to come for gasification and pyrolysis.
Our work was recently used as the basis for a project by the Denver Zoo, to power their new Asian Tropics exhibit, using elephant dung for fuel. You can see a video of that project, showing our GEK and auger, by clicking the link below:
Introducing the TOTTI: the Tower Of Total Thermal Integration
As you likely know, there are a few general pathways for solving the known problems of gasification. One school of thought focuses on filtration–add enough of it, and you’ll eventually get cleaner gas. We’re focusing on another approach– fix the problem in the reactor itself, with improved hearth configurations and thermal recycling systems, and avoid having to build a long train of compensatory vessels. Here’s our latest effort in this regard:
Larger photos here:
From Jim Mason:
“The waste heat in output syngas and IC engine exhaust has tremendous potential for augmenting the various “thermally challenged” processes in a gasifier. By well recycling and reusing these “waste heats”, we can remove the majority, if not the totality, of all the “thermal drags” on the combustion zone in the gasifier. The result is higher combustion and cracking temperatures for improved tar conversion, increased tolerance for high moisture fuels, and increased total gasifier efficiency.
The GEK Tower of Total Thermal Integration (TOTTI) demonstrates a powerful new method to achieve this full thermal integration of waste heats in a gasifier and IC engine system, and do so in a compact and easy-to-build form factor. Full thermal integrations are common on large-scale gasification equipment What is new here is a method and apparatus to achieve the same at the small and mid scale. The usual attempt at this solution is to throw the entire kitchen sink at the problem– building a long train of filters, exchangers and cooler components, all tied together with a mess of plumbing and condensate management. And the result is always a complex and expensive system only a government bureaucrat could love (or afford).
ALL Power Labs now demonstrates the same can be achieved through an economical combination of counter-flow vessels, directly mounted to each other, without a large elaboration of redistribution plumbing or auxillary vessels. All waste heat is reused and returned to appropriate temp processes. Cool things are made hot and hot things are made cool, in sync and in order– thus there is no need for the usual radiator/cooler/condenser at the end to hide your “thermal sins”.
The GEK Tower of Total Thermal Integration is the culmination of all our air pre-heating, heated auger and PyroCoil work of late. It is our best solution, and likely final answer, for establishing the correct total system thermal relationships, while also attending to the rest of the 3-D thermal-chemical-mechanical-gravimetric puzzle that is gasifier design.”
More design data and images available here:
In Lab Testing Results:
Our own Bear Kaufman and chemist-in-residence Jay Hasty have been doing some very impressive testing on GEKs using various fuels. Here’s an image from one just this week, you really should stop by here and check them all out. Their goal: figure out what fuel runs best at what configuration, then share that with everyone else. Details here: http://gekgasifier.pbworks.com/Walnut-Shell-Run-072709
We also wanted to let you know about a new video series we’re starting, called Channel GEK. Basically it will be short You Tube videos exploring how the GEK works, various gasifier designs and applications, how to assemble and run a GEK, common problems, that sort of thing. If you have something you’d like to see us cover, please do write firstname.lastname@example.org The purpose of these videos is to explore, critique, debunk, and demystify the biomass thermal conversion arts, so do let us know what you’re interested in learning about, and we’ll do our best to get it online.
That’s it for this week, thanks for your continued interest and support.
-All Power Labs