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 [...]
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 [...]
John Kinstler's work at Salone del Moblie 2009
Amongst the hundred GEKs sold during our first year a highlight has to be the one we sold to John Kinstler and the Art Institute of Chicago. He took our GEK to a very unexpected place, Milan for Salone del Mobile 2009. John’s project was developed within the 2000 W Living studio at the Art Institute of Chicago.
2000 W Living refers to the average amount of power consumed by the average person living in a non-Western, not wealthy country. The average amount of power consumed by the average American in the US is nearer to 12,000 W. The goal of this studio was to explore ways of challenging we Westerners to reduce our power consumption.
His project conceives a world that can re-invent itself in the face of unprecedented challenges. Using the base form of the GEK to build from he shows the importance of harvesting new sources of locally generated energy in radically re-designed cities. Of course those radically re-degined cities will be in need of radically re-designed appliances, ie. Biomass Energy Appliances.
John is helping us all see what a future with Biomass energy will look like. [...]
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 [...]
Here in Berkeley, at ALL Power Labs, in our Oasis of small scale gasification, the team has had our noses to the gridstone manufacturing and testing GEK version 3.0.
The new version’s highlights are: A new injector venturi system that replaces our fan/blower system and a new one-nozzle air inlet collar.
There are many other updates, like a new cyclone design which allows for easier clean out. But the best upgrade of all; our new Rocket Legs!
And if version 3.0 weren’t enough to get you excited, we have also been developing an auger drying/preheating system, which can be used with any GEK version and is available now, just take a look at our purchase page for details, or as always, contact us, we’d love to answer your questions: gek [at] allpowerlabs [dot] org.
More Great v3.0 images coming soon.
Cheers, The GEK crew
v3.0 MAJOR NEW FEATURES
1. New Ejector/Venturi based gas pumping, mixture and flare. – No more axial blower or long flex tube to flare – Flare hard mounts on unit in one of the three points described below – Variable Air/Syngas mixing for tunable mixture to the flare or attached engine.
2. Three modes of [...]