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Electricity Generation with RMH -  RSS feed

 
Posts: 75
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Has anyone heard of the POWER of the rocket stove being used to move electrons

I have almost limitless wood on my rural property but some hurdles acquiring electricity. Surely that amazing heat generation ability of the Rocket can power a generator

Steam comes to mind .... are there any homestead sized steam generators I expect we'll eventually have 6 - 10 people living on the property in a micro community. Tending a Rocket for 2 or 3 hours a day seems possible.

Does anybody have any ideas??

Background

While I have power at the boundary getting High Voltage to the home sites will cost $40,000.

North Coast NSW Australia is a hot so we place a high value on shade ... shade is a mortal enemy to solar.

Wind is not really an option as it is not a strong/reliable wind area and again we value our shade trees which will be sad for wind energy.

Hydro .. nup ... we have a wetland (soakage) as water source .... but no fall.

Be great to hear your suggestions

Garry
 
Posts: 56
Location: Hungary
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Steam is a possibility, but it dangerous for most people.

Even if you know what you are doing, there is a chance your children or dog or whatnot mess things up without your knowledge, and there goes the house! Or even worse.
So better not seal water in anything that may get hot.

Maybe you should take a look at TEG stuff. (it stands for thermo electric generator) It works like solar cells, but it uses heat differential instead of light. (it is also kinda expensive)

Or stirling engines. One can build one from junk, but it is a lot of time and work. And even then, it makes only a little power.

PV is still pretty much your best option nowadays.
 
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most definitely if you would like to build a steam powered generator, it must be kept in a building away from the house to keep everything safe. Even in iceland where 26% of their energy comes from geothermic heat, households do not get their electricity from it making me really not think too deeply on the issue. To get work from steam, it has to be contain lots of energy and this can be very dangerous.

By far the cheapest easiest energy generation would be solar, it is a proven and safe means. Solar also does not contribute to the green house gasses as burning wood does. The earth would like to reabsorb that carbon from the wood, please think about solar.
 
laura sharpe
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ok i am guilty if you would like a small steam powered engine, they make them for boats

http://www.tinypower.com/store.php?crn=54&action=show&show_products_mode=cat_click

this guy has nice explanation

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/goebel43.html

Steam power unlike other generators is not something yu turn on and come back and turn off, you must nurse it while it is on, not too hot, not too cold, not too much pressure, not too little but it is doable. Think old fashioned trains, engineer totally fixated on that system.
 
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I was also curious about thermoelectric generation. Biolite has a tiny camp stove which uses it to power USB devices I wonder how much energy a RMH could make.
http://www.biolitestove.com/campstove/camp-overview/features/
 
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According to what you laid out, wood gasification is the way for you to go. Use the producer gas to run a gasoline generator to charge a home battery bank.
Wood gasification to run a gasoline engine is safer than running a boiler for a steam engine, assuming you are not an expert with steam engines.

Proper gasification should be a smokeless process. Also, hot water heating should be done with the gasifier as well to make the system more efficient.

Look up wood gasification to start learning.
 
Bill Bianchi
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Um, watch for a post about a rocket stove multi-fuel gasifier. This is a project I'm working on with a partner. We intend to use the heat of a rocket stove to accomplish gasification of any feed stock that is gasifyable, not just wood. The recommended fuel for this will be bio-briquettes, though other materials should work.
Stay tuned.
 
Garry Hoddinott
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THANKS BILL

Ah yes .... gassification! I do have a little knowledge of it but had failed to join the dots to electricity generation. Gassifiers are usually used to power engines that create WORK, but work is very often rotary motion ... and rotary motion is what you need to make electricity.

Great suggestion ... I shall investigate a little more. PS How do I follow your project?

Garry
 
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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TEG is fairly costly and then you'll have the problem of the heat differential - you need heat on one side and cold on the other to generate current. Do you get cold much where you are? Generating cold will also cost you.

There's loads of stuff on YouTube about gasification. You may also want to check out FEMAs plans for a gasifier and the Gasifier Experimenters Kit for getting started quickly. All I've seen about gasifiers has required moderate/advanced metalworking skills and equipment which could be a bit of a hurdle.

Search results for FEMA gasifier plans: Google search results
Gasifier Experimenters Kit: www.gekgasifier.com

There's also some Combined Heat and Power projects out there that combine biochar production (and therefore woodgas) with Stirling like this one in Denmark. With CHP and gasifiers, the critical thing seems to be cleaning the gas so as not to fill the generator in tar and other gunk.

Let us know what happens and good luck!
 
Garry Hoddinott
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Great post David.

I read that 5kg of dry wood generates about 1 liter of liquid / gas fuel. I could live with that. I have access to 300 acres of woodland that must produce enough natural "pruning s" each year to run a generator for 2 hours a day to supplement some solar pv which I can position 15 m from the house (in full sun) without losing too much voltage.

I'm thinking excess heat may be productively used for fruit drying / or food baking in those 2 hours

Matching gas production to genset needs might require some experimentation. And your comment about the importance of srubbing he output to remove tars is well heeded.

Do you know how the Keith gassifier differs from the FEMA concept?

Thanks for your post.. Clearly my original rocket stove steam powered thoughts have proven misplaced. I guess it's the ability of internal combustion engines to derive lots of mechanical energy from heat energy that makes this an elegant solution
 
David Bennett
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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Thanks Garry

I wasn't familiar with the Keith Gasifier until you mentioned it. Looks like a guy with a lot of experience to learn from.

A YouTube channel (that I found this morning) along the same lines is Mr Teslonian. He's got loads going on and he seems to share it all. I started watching this long film while on the underground to work.

A learning journey is also described here (mdpub.com) where the guy goes from tar-stained failure to clean-burning success. With pictures and explanations of why things happened. He also talks about fuel - pellets are ideal as they burn consistently fast and hot.

There was another method I read about a while ago where they preheated the air taken in. They claimed a much higher efficiency but it was mostly just theory. That does however coincide with one insight the guy at mdpub.com had - he added air feed tubes through the barrel to preheat the intake air.

With regards to elegance, steam does have a cool charm but is just too fiddly and dangerous for a layman like me to play with. Stirling engines are elegant to my mind but sadly fiddly and with fairly low output.
 
Bill Bianchi
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Garry, I'll post about it on these forums, nothing hidden. If successful, I want as many people as possible to also use it.

A rocket stove can attain 1600 F inside. Tar molecules in producer gas require 1400 F to crack into short chain, clean fuel, which wood gasifiers accomplish by drafting the gas through hot coals.. I intend to use the heat in the rocket stove to make whatever fuel is in the chamber offgas, then pipe that tar gas to a reduction chamber inside the rocket stove, then pipe the clean producer gas out for cooling & use.

Before citing pyrolysis and other processes that occur in wood gasifiers, you should know that a trash inceneration company is using the exact process I just laid out for the purpose of fueling the gas burners below the inceneration chamber. All I'm proposing is we take and use the producer gas for our use, instead of using it to cook trash. We can use wood or bio-briquettes to fuel the rocket stove. The chamber heated by the rocket stove should accept nearly any fuel source that is organic or patrolium based, since we're no longer requiring the gasification material to also act as the heat source, the way wood gasifiers do.

This should drastically simplify both the building and operation of a gasifier. It should also allow us to gasify a much wider range of fuels than wood alone.
 
Garry Hoddinott
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Bill I'd love to say I understood all that .... I'll re-read several times and try to get my head around it.

I do like the informed base of your comments and your willingness to embrace innovation. There might be some legs in my first wonderment about ROCKETS and electricity after all.

Cheers and thanks for lobbing your good thoughts my way
 
Bill Bianchi
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I laid out my project in a thread titled 'Rocket Stove Gasifier.'.

Basically, a wood gasifier uses the wood chunks to provide enough heat to both release (offgas) producer gas and to "clean" that gas by cracking the tar molecules. It's all about heat. The wood gasifier is designed to do this with wood, based on the way wood burns. Too much oxygen and the wood chunks will burst into flame and burn up all the wood gas you're trying to collect. Too little oxygen and the wood chunks will not get hot enough to crack the tar molecules, which leaves the producer gas with too much tar in it. That tar in the gas condenses in the motor and gums everything up if not removed or cracked before it gets to the engine.

The rocket stove can provide the heat necessary to both release the producer gas from whatever feedstock is in the chamber and to "clean" it up (crack the tar molecules) before the gas is piped to the generator. Since the rocket stove provides the necessary heat independent of whatever material is in the gasification chambers, the burn rate of that material doesn't really matter anymore. Put paper, weeds, grass clippings, dog poop, food, dead bodies, or even plastic into that chamber, get the rocket stove up to heat, and start your generator.

It's just an extremely simplified gasifier that will accept a wide range of gasifyable material and generate clean producer gas. All powered by a rocket stove, or any furnace capable of temperatures of 1400 F or greater.

This community's members are do-it-yourselfers who can help develop this basic idea right alongside me, if they wish. I would love to be able to share results and innovations with others who are working on the same thing. Working together, we could really make this happen much quicker than just one person working on it.
And of course, this is open source. After its complete, I'd love to see blueprints, a parts list of off-the-shelf components, and assembly instructions posted for free all over the web.
 
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By far the most efficient use of the heat produced by a RMH is by a stirling engine. I am really surprised no one has mentioned it yet in this thread. A RMH stirling engine generator would be efficient and sustainable. If you have metal working experience you can build one yourself if not you can probably find a hobby metal worker to do it for you for a reasonable fee. You can even use an old car alternator to generate the electricity.
 
Bill Bianchi
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Hi, James. The problem with Stirling motors, so far, is a serious lack of horse power. There are a few powerful Stirlings out there, but the ones I've found are darn expensive.

I have an idea that I hope will add some umph to a Stirling. In time, we plan to try filling a pipe, capped on the bottom end, with metal filings from a machine shop. The pipe will run down our rocket stove. The other end of the pipe, with a bend added to the top, will be welded onto the cylinder of a small Stirling. We'll measure the Stirling's HP before we modify it. Then, we'll weld the pipe to the end of the Stirling's cylinder. We'll put the pipe down the rocket stove's flue, light the stove, and see if the extra volume of heated air within the pipe adds to the HP.

My theory is that the metal filings will allow heat outside the pipe to convect to the inside of the pipe. The hot filings should increase the hot surface area inside the pipe, heating a greater volume of air. It's that greater volume of expanding air that we hope will drive the piston with greater force than before the Stirling was converted.
Will this work? I don't know. Unless someone actually tries it, we'll never know. If it works, we'll design a much longer pipe to fit inside the flue, then let'er rip. Of course, this will also be an open source project.
If you want to beat us to the punch, go for it. Please let us know how you fare if you do.

On yet another note, I read about a new type of engine. This engine injects hot oil into the cylinder. After the hot oil is injected into the cylinder, an injection of water mist is shot into the oil. The water mist immediately flashes to steam, creating an explosive pressure in the cylinder, which drives the piston.
The oil & water are then pushed out of the cylinder and into a separator. (meanwhile, another oil/water injections takes place again) The oil & water are separated, then sent back to their respective reservoirs so they can repeat their work inside the cylinder again.
The oil was heated in a parabolic trough by the inventors of this engine. Yes, they have a small working model. A rocket stove can just as easily be used to heat the oil.
This is another project that can be done by anyone who understands internal combustion engines, so feel free to jump all over this one. Please let us all know of your results should you get to this one before we do.

If you're following my posts, you'll notice that I'm working very hard to come up with affordable alternative energy applications we can all use to provide our own power at the home user level. If any of you read about one of our future or current projects and believe you have the knowledge and/or ability to give it a try, please go for it. Report back on your results, please, whether or not it works.
Folks, it should be obvious by now that no company or corporation is going to fix all our energy issues for us. They're going to rape us all every chance they get, to put it bluntly.
Don't believe me? Where is that inexpensive solar paint that will turn the roof and exterior of a building into an energy collector? Been more than 5 years since they announced it. What about these new super efficient solar panels they keep reporting about? It's been years since they announced they had them almost ready. Where are they? What about that solar incinerator that gasifiers municipal waste and generates power from the heat and resulting producer gas? Why aren't those being built all over the desert? How about using the constant motion in the ocean to generate power? Too technologically advanced for us to do at this time? Why aren't these hydro-platforms all up and down the coast already? Did anyone stop to think about how many solar panels could have been bought and installed on homes with the so-called bail out money our government handed to the banksters without any oversight?
See what I mean?
If we want to fix our problems, we're going to have to work together and be ready to share whatever answers or products we come up with freely and with as many other people as we can find.
The day is fast approaching when the cost of energy will be too high a percentage of our paychecks to afford. We had better have a plan B in place by then or we're going to suffer the consequences.
 
Posts: 135
Location: Springdale, WA USA - Cold Mediterranean Climate
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You might consider the coffee peculator option. Use steam to push water up to an upper level and then harvest the dropping water. Steam is not trapped that way as the pressure releases freely.
 
Balint Bartuszek
Posts: 56
Location: Hungary
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@ James Colbert
I did mention it. But it is !_really not_! a simple undertaking to build a power producing stirling engine. Most definitely not with a car alternator!

@ Bill Bianchi
I would not thinker much with a working stirling if i were you. They are kinda expensive and are really peculiar to the exact volumes and ratios and even the wall thicknesses of the cylinders can have large effect on output.

On a forum that is devoted to stirling engines we try to piece together a engine that can be home built, reliable and produce some power. The guys came up with some promising ideas, but so far we have nothing. Some experienced builders from the forums built some good engines, but they are in the couple 10 watts range. Nice stuff but not practical for electricity.
 
Bill Bianchi
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Balint, keep trying to come up with a usable, DIY Stirling. If you all are successful, you may change people's lives for the better in another part of the world.

One thing I've wondered about those little heat motors; couldn't you put a stationary magnet in the piston's path and a magnet in opposition on the piston rod, so the magnetic repulsion acts as your stop, then add coils to your stationary magnet to generate electricity? Shoving a magnet at another magnet in opposition warps both magnetic fields. The coils will make electricity from those moving magnetic fields.
I've seen a few low power Stirlings with high rpm's. If the coils transduce each time the piston moves forward & warps the stationary magnet's field, then rpm's become more important than HP for generating electricity, in theory.
Anyway, I noticed that something has to stop the piston's forward movement so it can go back into the cylinder, be it a rubber stopper the piston rod bounces off of or a flywheel. Why not try generating electricity from that? Something to think about, at any rate.
 
Balint Bartuszek
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Location: Hungary
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Bill

I agree that building the engine with linear alternator on the piston is beneficial. After all iff the energy is pulled diretly from the piston, thebearings and other parts recieve less force, thus limit friction losses. This also makes for a longer life, and probably more reliable engine.

Incidentally we experimenting with a build that is really suit this design. It has free piston operating principle, can be sealed and in the current small engines it works with membranes. (or bellows for that matter) Has no bearings, or flywheel, it is timed by pneumatics and mass. The work piston needs to be heavy, so including a permanent magnet in the piston is no problem.

For the other things you mentioned:
-Rpm is important for the efficiency of the generator, or if someone uses a of the shelf generator. Hp is usually the most important factor, since it sets the limit of maximum electricity output, no matter the rpm.
-Using magnets as return springs have been used for modells. And this looks real nice. But problematic for higher power engines, a repelling magnet makes a lot of force that is other than the axis of motion. Meaning more friction loss on the guides. Most strong magnets dont like high temperatures, so they cant be used in the hot parts of the engine. But the observation is right.

If you are interested, you can check out the demonstration model that a forum mate built. It is mostly transparent, so we can better understand the workings.
slow motion, while the engine is running
running in real time
You can find out more about the design if you watch some of the other videos he made.
 
Bill Bianchi
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Very cool video. I'll confess I don't understand what is moving the top piston downward. I'll have to look into it further. When the two come together is where it seems like an opportunity to generate electricity lies. Stick a magnet on the end of the piston rod and arrange stationary coils around the end of the stroke, maybe.

In any case, you all are doing good work over there.

It's great to finally find a place where others who are actively working toward alternative energy reside. Something really good will come from all this, I think.
 
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Just a silly idea, take a turbo charger from a truck/lorry remove the compressor side or not. fasten the exhaust side to the top of a long J tube of a rocket.
Attach a generator/alternator to the shaft, use wood chips or pellets, govern the voltage/rpm with a wast gate of some sort and you now have a wood powered jet turbine generator?
Relatively simple and safe

David
 
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Location: Zone 6b
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cat solar trees
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In my opinion, "a couple 10W" is worth doing, as much of the heat generated by a RMH is superfluous, and a low-tech stirling ought to be pretty reliable and low-maintenance. The secret to being self-sufficient isn't one magic bullet solution, but a combination of strategies to minimize waste and maximize efficiency. Pick up bits of power here, scraps of useful refuse there, pretty soon a good portion of your needs are essentially free.
 
Garry Hoddinott
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Bill mentioned using the rocket stove as heat source for gassifier. A question occurs to me. Can you'd pass the rocket heat directly to the gassifier contents .... you'd be sending heat up into the gassifier chamber but that would surely limit draft of air thru the system. How are you thinking to get the heat of the rocket to work in the gassifier?? I'm sure you have a notion ... but I can't think thru that one.

On another line ... have you ... any of the great YOU's that think in these terms, seen the GEK gassifier generator? http://www.gekgasifier.com/ $19k for a complete 10kw system.

I am comparing options against a $40k electrical grid connection fee (High Voltage lines on poles 350m plus transformer) here in Australia
 
Bill Bianchi
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Hi, Garry.
One way to go about this is to use the rocket stove to make charcoal, then use the charcoal in a simple charcoal gasifier, which produces fairly clean gas for a motor.
The dirty producer gas from the charcoal making process can be piped back into the rocket stove to provide a portion of the heat needed to make the charcoal, reducing the amount of material needed to feed the rocket stove. The rocket stove should burn that dirty producer gas cleanly, reducing air pollution.
If the waste heat from charcoal making is used to heat water and the home, the system would be more efficient. This can be done in a few different ways.

The resulting charcoal can be used later in a charcoal gasifier to run a generator. Personally, I'd use a small generator to charge a home battery bank, not run the house directly. I want to run at a fixed low speed, if possible.

For fuel/charcoal, I'm looking at bio-briquettes made from municipal and agricultural waste, though scrap wood is certainly an option.

Anyway, that's one way to go about it. We're trying to clean and use that dirty producer gas from the charcoal making to run a generator, but we don't know if we can accomplish that. The charcoal gasification option is our fallback method if we fail in that effort.

Basically, we're working with the active portion of what we hope will be a larger system with a lot of passive generation as well.
 
pollinator
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Garry Hoddinott wrote:Has anyone heard of the POWER of the Rocket Stove being used to move electrons

I have almost limitless wood on my rural property but some hurdles acquiring electricity. Surely that amazing heat generation ability of the Rocket can power a generator

Steam comes to mind .... are there any homestead sized steam generators I expect we'll eventually have 6 - 10 people living on the property in a micro community. Tending a Rocket for 2 or 3 hours a day seems possible.

Does anybody have any ideas??

While I have power at the boundary getting High Voltage to the home sites will cost $40,000.

Garry



There are many possible configurations, but if you have (1) a lot of wood, and (2) you need AC electricity at fairly high rates such as several thousand watts or more, then a good wood gas engine system seems ideal. The best commercial systems available are those sold by www.allpowerlabs.com. You mentioned it before (the GEK gasifier). I know a lot about it, so ask questions if you're curious.

A configuration that makes some sense in the setting you've described (several households sharing a common power plant) is to run the system during a set time period each day and at a fairly high rate that is optimal for efficiency. This time period should be when the homes are using the most electricity, and this time can be used to operate high power loads. A battery system can be maintained as well, and this battery can be charged during this time to provide power for modest loads when the engine system is not operating. Also, the heat from the system should be harvested and stored in the form of heated water that can be used in heating applications (water heating and space heating).

 
Hey, check out my mega multi devastator cannon. It's wicked. It makes this tiny ad look weak:
What makes you excited about rocket ovens?
https://permies.com/t/90100/excited-rocket-ovens
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