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 [...]
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.
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 [...]