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Woodgas ==> Heat + Electricity

 
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Hello folks,

This is a VERY good and informative site. Thanks to those that manage this effort.

I like the Rocket/Mass Heater, partly because the heat riser/ barrel system naturually prevents convective flow when heat is not being added to the system.

So... Has anyone explored the possibility of running a stationary woodgas engine to produce elecitricty, and then piping the engine exhaust gas through a Mass Heater? And, would it make sence to locate the fuel feed / firebox outside the basement wall of a house? I'm thinking this might keep debris out of the house, and improve overall indoor air quality by preventing 'smoke back' from ever occuring inside.

I may be in the wrong forum here. May the gods of site management err on the side of mercy and forgiveness.

Rindert
 
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Posts: 583
Location: Southwest U.S.
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Rindert Wesseling wrote:Hello folks,

This is a VERY good and informative site. Thanks to those that manage this effort.

I like the Rocket/Mass Heater, partly because the heat riser/ barrel system naturually prevents convective flow when heat is not being added to the system.

So... Has anyone explored the possibility of running a stationary woodgas engine to produce elecitricty, and then piping the engine exhaust gas through a Mass Heater? And, would it make sence to locate the fuel feed / firebox outside the basement wall of a house? I'm thinking this might keep debris out of the house, and improve overall indoor air quality by preventing 'smoke back' from ever occuring inside.

I may be in the wrong forum here. May the gods of site management err on the side of mercy and forgiveness.

Rindert



Hi Rindert. I see no reason why a thermal mass similar to that used in a rocket mass heater could not be heated by engine exhaust. However, I suspect that heating water can be more practical and versatile. For example, a thermosiphon can be used to transfer heat to a large insulated water storage tank that can be used for both space heating and water heating. Another use for the heat in engine exhaust is drying the wood fuel, and a lot of heat can be recovered elsewhere in the system. About locating the fuel hopper of a rocket mass heater outside... I've considered the same, and I've seen a couple of systems that do this (on videos). In principle, there is no reason why this can't be done.

 
Rindert Wesseling
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Hi Marcos,

I like your idea of a gen set / thermal syphon. I might actually do that when I get a system up and running that is reliable enough to really depend on.

But as it is right now I have an old lawn mower engine and an electric motor that I have rigged to act as an alternator. If I know me I'll eventually get something that I can start up in the fall and shut down in the spring, without an interruption in power. But in the meantime I thought I'd keep the flexibility to burn wood directly for heat. Therefore the rocket / mass heater doubling as heat sink for the engine.
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