Yoav and I just returned from a trip to Indonesia to help with the set up and operational instruction for 2 Power Pallets there.
They are being integrated into a pilot stage “Village Hub” project. This pilot is located next to a palm sugar factory run by the Masarang Foundation (http://www.masarang.nl/). The factory uses waste geothermal heat from a 35 MW geothermal plant to dry and prepare palm sugar. This sugar is prepared from the sap of the Arenga Palm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arenga_pinnata), a species studied by Willie Smits who studied forestry in the Netherlands (and gave a great TED talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest.html). The sap is collected by bruising the fruiting branches, which release the sap, up to 100 liters per tree per day. It can be processed into sugar and ethanol. The Arenga palm can grow on poor soils, allowing deforested areas to be reforested, acting as a nurse tree to re-introduce more diverse species (see Willie’s TED talk above).
The Village Hub concept is to create smaller scale plants that can operate with zero external inputs and zero waste. These would collect sap from a collection of local farmers allowing economic opportunities to stay and protect reforested areas. The Hub would [...]
Gasification PowerExchange Workshop #6: GEK Building and 10kw Genset Configuration
Gasification Lecture and Demo: Friday, October 23, 7:30-9:30PM Building and Testing: Saturday and Sundday, October 24-25, 11am – 7pm Location: ALL Power Labs, 1010 Murray Street. Berkeley, CA Contact: jim ^at^ allpowerlabs.org Cost: FREEMore Info: http://www.gekgasifier.com
ALL Power Labs is starting a quarterly series of free gasifier workshop weekends to help bring more people to successful operation of small scale gasifiers. These workshops are open to GEK user/owners, as well as anyone with any other type of gasifier- or just a budding interest in the whole thing. If you have a GEK and want personal instruction in how to run it, or you want to build a GEK with oversight from the mothership, this workshop will be a great opportunity to do either.
The workshop begins with an evening talk and discussion on the science of gasification and a survey of its design and production history. Both beginning and expert reactor assemblies will be presented, with pointers to further reading and current issues and opportunities in the field. Everyone will get a packet with lots of explanatory graphics and core data charts relating to gasification. As you know, we’ve [...]
Hello everyone, here’s the latest news from All Power Labs on our work with gasification and biochar. We got some great news coverage, better assembly and first fire instructions, more user reports, and as always more research and testing data. It’s all part of our ongoing mission to put the information and tools in your hands, so you can make it yourself, or make it run even better.
Hope you enjoy, and as always feel free to get in touch with any questions, feedback, or user reports, and of course it’s always good to check in on what’s happening in our forums: http://gekgasifier.com/forums/
-All Power Labs.
1- Farm Show magazine reports on the GEK, calls us “a leader in turning wood and other biomass into fuel” and “a leader in putting syngas to work.”
If you’re not familiar with Farm Show magazine, you should be. A sort of how-to bible among people in the agricultural community, it’s an advertising-free monthly covering the latest inventions and innovations that are of interest to farmers, which is why hearing they wanted to write about us was so exciting.
To see a full size image of the story you can read, click [...]
I’m trying to figure out how to better explain the basics of gasification. This is hard, as many of you know. So I’m trying to relate it to things that are generally known about combustion, then complicating matters from there. I’m trying to figure out the layers to take the newbie through- from most simple, to, well, does it ever end . . . ?
Here’s where I’m at currently: http://www.gekgasifier.com/gasification-basics/how-it-works/
How does this work for people? Anyone have suggestions for making it better?
As most of the mysteries of the universe are somewhere contained in the wider problem/opportunity of gasification, I can’t start at its many ends. But where’s the beginning before the freefall into the bottomless rabbit hole looking glass of biomass thermal conversion?
We’re discussing this explanation of gasification over in the forum here: http://www.gekgasifier.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162 . Give us your input.
Happy partial combusting to you on this Labor Day weekend.
Put a gasifier in your Baja beach cabana. Or in your back-to-school backpack. Yes, it’s the first ever (and maybe annual) APL “End of Summer / Back to School 10% Off Sale” on all things Biomass Thermal Conversion.
The rules are simple. Buy anything between now and the end of August and take 10% off our already too low purchase prices (shipping stays the same). This can be just a cyclone kit, or an assembled Level IV GEK, or a full Tower of Total Thermal Integration solution. Or, just a GCU. Well, it can be the new “Biochar Experimenter’s Kit” too. It just has to be a new order, not one already in progress, or currently waiting in the production and shipping queue.
So if you have been hovering around a decision for a bit, the next 4 days are a good time to bring your deliberations to fruition. Go to the usual GEK purchase page (http://www.gekgasifier.com/purchase/), assemble your combination of needs and desires, and take 10% off the tally when you get to the paypal screen.
While you are considering this possibility, here is a very interesting image of a running GEK taken with a thermal imaging camera at [...]
Hi everyone, It’s been another exciting, breakthrough week at All Power Labs and we wanted to make sure you’ve heard the latest:
1-APL unveils new, low cost “BEK” or Biochar Experimenter’s Kit” at International Biochar Conference in Boulder, CO. Jim Mason and Jay Hasty are in Boulder, showing off the TOTTI architecture, and more importantly unveiling APL’s new, low cost design for a Biochar Experimenters Kit, aka the BEK, naturally.
The BEK is completely compatible with the standard GEK cowling. It supports multiple pyrolysis modes in direct combustion, indirectly heated retorts, and hot gas recycle through bed architectures. Temperature, residence time, pyrolysis modes are fully controllable for characterized Biochar making.
The entire unit with everything shown below will be available to ship in October for $4395. We’re now accepting orders ( several were placed at the show ), and a deposit of 50% will hold your place in the queue.
Here’s a draft image, much more soon on our site and forums. This image and all content on it protected by Creative Commons/Copy Left.
2- New video: GEK Channel episode #5: Gasification Control Unit
Chemist-in-residence Jay Hasty and computer genius Geo Hormsy show off their state of [...]
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 [...]
The GEK went to university….University of Minnesota at Morris to be exact. UMM was awarded a grant of $174,258 by the Renewable Energy Marketplace – Alliance for Talent Development (MNREM) initiative to develop new curriculum in biomass gasification technology. Jim Barbour at the university partnered with ALL Power Labs to use the GEK as the platform for learning in this three-week intensive course. The Class, Renewable Energy with Biomass Gasification, taught principles of biomass gasification with a focus on chemical, biological and economic considerations of biomass energy production. All students benefited through a curriculum of hands-on training in chemistry and biomass with classroom and lab activities.
APL’s Jim Mason went out as a guest lecturer for the last few days of class. The class had an amazing lab set up. Great data was gathered and more people were indoctrinated into the cult of the black goo. Look at their set-up.
Gasification – It’s a gas!
Jess and your GEK making crew
The ALL Power Labs crew is decompressing from talking enthusiastically for two days straight about small-scale-DIY-open-source-energy. We took our GEK v3.o with new Auger and GCU to Maker Faire 2009. For added flaire we made a special Art Deco Hopper for the new auger, check it out.
With all of the added improvements GEK v3.0 made incredibly clean gas all weekend long. In an average day at ALL Power Labs we spend a lot of time playing and tinkering with Biomass gasification and the one thing missing from this weekend was the liqiud smoke smell. The gas was so clean we had little to no “black goo”. The clean gas did not do much to support the “cult of the black goo”. With such clean gas coming out of the v3.0 the cult of the black goo might now be a misnomer, maybe it should be…cult of biomass…or cult of syngas…or cult of low tar….none of these quite have the same ring. But maybe I am looking at it the wrong way, cults often praise something that is invisible or unknowable, maybe that is what we are looking at here with v3.0 the black goo [...]
ALL Power Labs recently had a visitor from Germany who got the point of why a “Personal Energy Device” might helpfully be made to look like a robot rocketship. His name is Joerg Pfeiffer, and was travelling across the US for Spiegel Online doing stories about energy and the economy. As he is German, and in the US, he of course rented a giant RV and spent most of his time in the desert doing stories about Americans doing weird things. At the end of his journey, he did a story about us.
Joerg’s video does the best job to date of explaining the larger context of the GEK. He was less interested in the tech and more interested in the social experiment as a parallel to the early desktop PC kits, the hacker culture that arose around them, and the importance of Bay Area culture to the whole thing. This is of course the larger context and agenda of the GEK and its creators at ALL Power Labs.
Not to ruin the suspense, but the point of the GEK is to make an Altair 8800 of energy. A personal scale power device that opens the door to a [...]