Warren Weisman

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since May 03, 2012
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Recent posts by Warren Weisman

Workload going to make this the last one for 2012 at least. Attend if you would like to learn the "magic."

2-day intensive biogas workshop with a working biogas digester. SAT & SUN JUNE 30-JULY 1

Participants will enjoy hands-on experience with a 600-gallon biogas digester. This is not a demonstration model, but a working digester that converts organic waste from approximately 25 people at Maitreya Ecovillage in Eugene, Oregon into clean-burning biogas for year round cooking fuel and high-quality fertilizer and soil amendment for gardening.

Home Power • Permaculture • Peak Oil • Gardeners • Farmers • Renewable Energy Contractors
Entrepreneurs • Public Officials • Wastewater Professionals • Educators • Students

Workshop will include everything needed to successfully build and operate a biogas digester, a basic introduction to the microbiology taking place during the anaerobic digestion process with an emphasis on troubleshooting problems.
Participants are GUARANTEED to come away with the skills needed to consistently produce flammable biogas wherever they are, day or night, rain or shine!

Workshop cost: $225

Includes: Copy of Warren Weisman’s full-color “Energy from Organic Waste: Vol. 1. Introduction to Biogas” booklet; complete building plans, material list and step-by-step instructions for building a heated, 600 gallon home biogas digester; organic, vegetarian meals provided.

Space is limited to maximize your educational experience! Reserve today!

Payments can be made by following the WePay link on the website…

https://sites.google.com/site/eugenebiogasworkshop/home

Or by clicking here…

https://www.wepay.com/events/2-day-biogas-workshop-with-a-working-biogas-digester-1

Workshop instructor Warren Weisman owner of HESTIA Home Biogas is an internationally-recognized expert on biogas and anaerobic digestion with over 20 years experience as a builder, heavy equipment mechanic and power plant operator. He has written articles for Renewable Energy World, Post-Carbon Institute Energy Bulletin and Permaculture Magazine.

Email: w.weisman@hestiahomebiogas.com or call +1 (541)337-5690 for more information

6 years ago
I tinkered around building a couple Stirling engines. There's no danger of becoming a mainstream prime mover anytime soon. I might use it in an emergency for a simple to build engine while you were building something more permanent---but you could just as soon do that with a Tesla turbine which is the simplest method of converting heat to mechanical energy I am aware of. The problem lies in the piston rings. It's hard to find a material or a system like a diaphragm that will hold compression without causing excessive friction in the cylinder. The one they used in the Mars rover was something like half million bucks just for the engine.

Plus, just like a boiler a Stirling requires a heating up period to reaching operating temperatures, during which time you're wasting fuel without getting any work. Where an ICE delivers power immediately.
6 years ago
Marcos, I didn't mean to criticize gasification, I think it's terrific for stationary use. But watch those Victory Gasworks videos where he runs the big 20 kW generator and then welds with it and almost kills the engine. It just doesn't have the power for low-end torque under a load. It would do the same climbing hills in a vehicle.
6 years ago
Big difference between running a vehicle and running a vehicle efficiently. You can run a diesel on windshield wiper fluid. That doesn't make it the best fuel choice. You can only fit x volume of gas or liquid in a cylinder at one time. At 135 BTU/cu.ft. wood gas compared to 1,000 BTU/cu.ft. for natural gas or 140,000 BTU for a gallon of diesel, wood gas efficiency is non-existent. Your fuel would take up all your cargo space.
6 years ago
Keep in mind heating is a necessity and vehicle fuel is a luxury. Using gasifiers for vehicle fuel all of the heat is lost. Same as it is for petroleum of course, only energy in post-carbon future will need to be maximized better so we don't end up cutting down all our forests for energy (a la Haiti). Considering what a superfluous luxury automobiles are and how simple it is to make electric vehicles, it might make more sense to use a combined heat and power gasifier to make electricity at the same time it was heating your home and recharge an electric vehicle or NEV for local commuting.

Wood gas runs very poorly in larger, high compression engines that might be used in farm trucks to get produce to market. In which case home-brewed ethanol or biodiesel or even using the syngas from your gasifier through a Fischer-Tropsch catalyst to make some F-T diesel.

I love gasifiers, I think homes of the future will use them for combined heat and power but there is no technology that does not need to be used wisely in order to allow the natural resources used to fuel them at a rate that is greater than what is used.
6 years ago
I prefer what works best. The useful output for gasifiers is in the 5-10kW combined heat and electric range, since above that piston generators start to get too noisy for an urban environment---or a rural one, for that matter---and of course steam turbines begin to get more economical. It is of course cheaper to make a power boiler than it is a gasifier, it just requires a level of skill and experience most people don't have and is better suited for a neighborhood or village-scale CHP installation.
6 years ago
Cost is never a good indicator of quality. Most people would prefer to purchase things that work instead of trying to "save money" with a half-assed backyard DIY project that never gets finished. The best home gasifier design I am aware of is the GEK

http://gekgasifier.com/

Which can be purchased as plans, a kit or a fully assembled skid mounted "power pallet" with---I think---a Kubota or GM piston generator.
6 years ago
Ray, yes, the Chinese make some very attractive biogas lamps.

Presently we do not offer any type of biogas BBQ, however, any kind of LPG barbecue will burn biogas or you could salvage burners off an old natural gas stove. You could do the same for LPG yard lamps. We are very much tooling up for manufacturing our own cooktops, but in the meantime we offer two burner cooktop imported from Puxin one of China's largest biogas appliance suppliers.

Biogas cooktop

6 years ago
Ray, good luck with your project and I hope you'll post pictures and links for others to follow as biogas is simply amazing. The biogas digester will need to be used regularly to avoid excessive gas build-up. Our home digesters at Hestia have an inflatable top and when gas becomes excessive will begin to push the water up out the inlet and it will spill over out the hatch. Causing quite a mess, however, if left unattended it would eventually push enough water out to where the gas "burped" out the inlet and escaped. Without some such method of pressure relief, biogas can build up to very unsafe pressures.

What we are developing and you could do with your yard lights is to have a pressure switch in them that activated the light when the gas reached a certain pressure and burn it off with one of the lights. We are developing a decorative Victorian gas lamp to do this exact same thing and give people a cool light in the backyard on warm summer evenings when gas production is high.

So you are aware high-methane (60-70%) biogas if burned efficiently is not visible in daylight. This is a problem we have with our cooktops. It is best utilized indoors where you can see it as a pale blue flame and then of course can see it at night as a very beautiful blue flame.
6 years ago
2-day intensive biogas workshop with a working biogas digester.

Participants will enjoy hands-on experience with a 600-gallon biogas digester. This is not a demonstration model, but a working digester that converts organic waste from approximately 25 people at Maitreya Ecovillage in Eugene, Oregon into clean-burning biogas for year round cooking fuel and high-quality fertilizer and soil amendment for gardening.

Home Power • Permaculture • Peak Oil • Gardeners • Farmers • Renewable Energy Contractors
Entrepreneurs • Public Officials • Wastewater Professionals • Educators • Students

Workshop will include everything needed to successfully build and operate a biogas digester, a basic introduction to the microbiology taking place during the anaerobic digestion process with an emphasis on troubleshooting problems.
Participants are GUARANTEED to come away with the skills needed to consistently produce flammable biogas wherever they are, day or night, rain or shine!

Workshop cost: $225

Includes: Copy of Warren Weisman’s full-color “Energy from Organic Waste: Vol. 1. Introduction to Biogas” booklet; complete building plans, material list and step-by-step instructions for building a heated, 600 gallon home biogas digester; organic, vegetarian meals provided.

Space is limited to maximize your educational experience! Reserve today!

Payments can be made by following the WePay link on the website…

https://sites.google.com/site/eugenebiogasworkshop/home

Or by clicking here…

https://www.wepay.com/events/2-day-biogas-workshop...with-a-working-biogas-digester

Workshop instructor Warren Weisman owner of HESTIA Home Biogas is an internationally-recognized expert on biogas and anaerobic digestion with over 20 years experience as a builder, heavy equipment mechanic and power plant operator. He has written articles for Renewable Energy World, Post-Carbon Institute Energy Bulletin and Permaculture Magazine.

Email: w.weisman@hestiahomebiogas.com or call +1 (541)337-5690 for more information
6 years ago