Author Topic: Wood fired steam generator  (Read 2776 times)

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Mary B

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2018, 06:14:32 PM »
Be far better off creating wood gas then running a small engine with a generator. Higher efficiency.

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2018, 06:16:43 PM »
This isn't going to be easy JW, but I'll give it a shot.

When I replied to George and said that I thought he was "being a little tough on the Wisco Kid"  You replied to me and said

"Im talking about the guy in the first post...

He has got the dam thing built into his house."

I don't know what you said about the guy in the first post...not to mention I was the guy that posted the first post...and you were the first one to post after that.   I have come to realize that You were probably talking about the guy that built the "Energy Bootlegger" in the video, but I am not sure what you said about him that prompted the reply to me.  I have reread your post and I don't see anything that you said that could be considered "being a little tough on the Wisco Kid"  The "Wisco Kid" is what the youtuber calls himself.

I hope that helps

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2018, 06:39:27 PM »
Mal just nevermind, thanks for making this topic

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2018, 07:17:18 PM »
Mal if you have to split hairs we could try this topic... http://www.fieldlines.com/index.php/topic,146641.30.html

Im using a piston engine and am getting better than 30%eff I would be more than happy to explain why

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2018, 07:41:51 PM »
Hi George, 

Good chat with ya again.  I did not see the link to the other steam generator...I will go back and look. 

I am having trouble understanding how this is so inefficient.  For starters It should heat the house. Next It should produce some electricity...and if it makes wood gas on top of that...well...It should be at least  4% efficient ;D 

Tree services just dump shredded trees at the mulch plant near by...fuel should be free or even if I had to pay something it should be almost nothing.  Shredded trees burn hot...no cutting and splitting, just feeding the feeder.

 I have a pile of steel, a concrete fruit cellar to put it in and half of the parts for a home made axle machine.  I cant see putting more than a thousand dollars into this thing.  So if all it does is heat my home It is a success.

Correct me where I am wrong, but I thought that Rocket stoves were known for there efficiency.  A well built stove will shoot a torch like flame out the top while burning kindling.  I have not built one so I am probably wrong on that too.

What will work?...I don't care what doesn't work.  I'm looking for something that will work.  When I look at all this wind and solar, I see a total failure.  If it costs more than the power company charges, that's a failure, unless you have no grid to tie into anyway.  If you have to spend 20 yrs of research and development, that's a failure, unless you bring it to the market...and I don't care about that.

I have thought about a diesel generator, but the thought of batteries makes the idea a failure from a cost perspective.  Maintenance and  replacement cost are a deal killer. 

You seam to think steam will work if you use a turbo...ok I will put a turbo on it, low pressure high volume.  now why wont it work?

This wasn't written with attitude, so don't read it that way...just having fun!!!

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2018, 07:50:07 PM »
Quote from: MAL
When I look at all this wind and solar, I see a total failure.

Quote from: MAL
I am having trouble understanding how this is so inefficient.  For starters It should heat the house. Next It should produce some electricity...and if it makes wood gas on top of that...well...It should be at least  4% efficient ;D 

Look closely....
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/carnot.html

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2018, 08:21:28 PM »
Hi JW,

I'm starting to read that now but math with letters can't get through my thick skull.  I will join your thread if you don't mind a lot of dumb questions.  I am on this sight to learn.  My goal is to create cheap power.  I am willing to sacrifice some efficiency to get it up and running.  The fire place that I have now uses about 3 wheel barrows of fire wood per day.  If I could heat and power my home for the same amount of wood, I'm happy.  If that's not possible, then that is why I am here...to find out. 

 There must be someone somewhere that has beat the system.

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2018, 08:36:15 PM »
Be far better off creating wood gas then running a small engine with a generator. Higher efficiency.

Hi Mary, do you make wood gas?  I am trying to picture what that system would need to be complete.  If I was running a generator why would wood gas be better than using a diesel generator on french fry oil?  If I don't have batteries the generator would have to run all the time.   That would be a lot of wood gas.

I look forward to your thoughts

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2018, 08:43:38 PM »

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2018, 08:55:39 PM »
Its called Producer Gas...

http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0512e/T0512e08.htm

This all great information for someone who understands it.  I read the page about the Carnot Cycle twice...I...well...um...aah...I just don't get it.
I graduate highschool with A's and B's by taking more than the allowable number of art and shop classes.

I have read some of this link...and it is more understandable than the other one, but I don't understand how to translate that into practical application.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 09:08:09 PM by MAL »

george65

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2018, 05:26:03 AM »

Mal, don't mean to be rude but you sure this stuff is for you?  You seem to be getting too hung up on numbers and don't seem to have enough practical idea of things.  Not trying to be funny but maybe going to old engine shows where they have steamers and playing with fire and burners a lot more would help.  That's what I do!

There is stuff you can read about and learn from but I think until you sort of get a practical sense of things it's very difficult. Most people have no idea what a KW of energy is in electrical power, Engine power, in liquid fuel or in the heating capacity of water.  I think If I didn't have this basic rough understanding I'd be stuffed too. If I see a wood heater for instance and it says it puts out 30 kw of heat, I got a fair idea how much wood that's going to need and how much heat the thing is going to throw.  I believe having a basic understanding of things like that would be a help.

Most people have no idea of the energy content of liquid fuels and how that energy looks in other forms.  They have no idea the power in a tank of fuel and no idea what a battery would look like to hold the same amount of power. They have no hope in hell of picturing that as a pile of wood. If you pointed them at a pile and said, bring me back 10 kw worth, they would be having the wildest guess imaginable and probably bring back a heap too much. If you said likewise show me 10Kw worth of oil you'd probably  50 Kw worth and if you said bring me  10 Kwh worth of batteries you'd no doubt get a bad shortfall.
I think having a rough idea of energy density like this is a real helpful thing when trying to get your head round this DIY energy stuff.

I have always had an interest in this stuff since a kid and as a much bigger kid I have been able to play a lot more seriously with hands on stuff.  I build oil burners that would over power the boiler in a full size steam train and I have an idea of what a 10 Kw heat output looks like, what 100, 200 and 500kw+ looks like as well. I have a concept of the fuel flow required.
I don't know how to suggest you get a better practical idea, maybe you could start with Boiling 5 L of water over an open fire and see how much wood and times that takes and get a picture of what 5% efficiency looks like and start from there.  Maybe a small petrol generator and play with that and heaters would also help?

Not sure but it seems to me with that you ask and say you can't grasp, you need a lot more big boys hands on play time to get a better idea of the real picture.

As for the turbo working, just an educated guess. I know bugger all about steam but  my ignorance leads me to believe a gas is a gas, I have an idea how much power it takes to pump air  and that the exhaust stage of a turbo would generate power of a worthwhile amount that could be utilised.  Raising the steam to feed that turbo to do say 5KW output, I picture that as a pretty big beast sucking down a lot of fuel.  If you save 5% in efficiency somewhere, it's still going to be a beast to feed. Chips on an auger would be something you'd want so you weren't feeding the thing every 15 Min.  Even a good fire on a steam Loco should be fed about every 30 sec.  For sold fuel, I'd be thinking like the guy in the vid, something I could throw whole tyres and pallets into but even then, I imagine it's still going to need tending every hour at least and you are going to want to have good controls.  Steam engines are not a set and forget type of thing and that I see as a big hurdle in practicality.

How much for instance are those wood chips going to cost? are they dry or would they need drying before you burn them? is supply seasonal or constant, will you be able to get them in 3 years time, how much would you need to get to last how long, what sort of time and handling is involved and so it goes. you'd want to go back to the golden rule of veg oil, secure your supply BEFORE you do anything else.

 I also play with engines, mainly diesels and I have a couple of old Lister style's.  These are a design nearly 100 years old and are still in production.  many people put them to use in co gen applications particularly off gridders.  They use the mechanical energy to make power and to make the exercise worthwhile they use the heat from the coolant and exhaust. 
Many people fuel them on veg oil or sump gunk.  I know of one guy that went to a LOT of trouble to convert one to run off a charcoal burner by converting it to spark ignition and using a carburettor for LPG.  Again this runs in a co gen application.
The big upshot I see with these is you fuel the thing up, start it and walk away till you either switch it off ( remotely) or it runs out of fuel.
No standing round watching and not a lot of time in fuel prep if you set your processor up right.


I love all this DIY stuff BUT, I'm not out to save the world with it and I'm not blind to it's limitations. I also live in an upmarket house in an upmarket estate. I say that not to appear snot nosed but to relay the thing I have learned is you have to be in a place that allows you to set up all this stuff that looks like the world has collapsed and won't detract your property values or get complaints from neighbours.
My last place looked like a junkyard and I'm not going to do that here.  Some places it just does not fit with the property or the layout there of. Make sure before you get too carried away you are not going to create problems for yourself down the line.

There is a LOT I'd like to do here but don't want to detract from the appearance of the place so I'll have to wait till maybe one day I can get myself a bit of land out in the sticks, ideally with a flowing creek so I can go Micro hydro and build a container shack. Then I can try all my hair brained ideas and make a shitfight and no one will care.  :0)
I am lazy though so I'm likely to stick to Micro hydro, solar and veg fuelled generators for my power. A slow combustion stove with a wetback and a big internal tank or thermal mass for heat storage and a long internal Chimney, maybe even under an earth bench  with the fire being fed from outside air would be nice for heating though. I'll put an oil burner in it case I get too lazy to cut the wood or for real fast fire up and heating the place.

As for solar being a failure, spose depends on how you look at it. For me, it's a gold mine.
As a junk collector I picked up a couple of grid tie inverters years ago with the idea of one day going the sunny way.  End of year before last I picked up some used panels, threw them on the roof and learned a LOT about them. Did a setup with a couple of car batteries, some cheap controllers and a 24v inverter I got for a song. Started powering the outside old fridge with them. Then because I like the rare and occasional cup of coffee about 12 times a day, I started powering an urn off the panel/ battery setup. Used a cheap little PWM controller to keep the thing just under the boil. set it at about 50-75W constant once it boiled.  When I came out cup in hand, I'd turn up the controller and have boiling water in 15-30 sec. Could have put a digital thermostat on it as well but the PWM worked well enough.

Taught me a lot about controllers, effects of shading, electrical output and water heating and loads more.

When I came here I put the panels on the back lawn and hooked them to an inverter and started backfeeding into the house circuits and spinning the power meters backwards when I made excess. got another 5Kw of panels and hooked them up and advanced my learning and knowledge through endless stuffing around and fixing problems with different things. All a learning process.

I have those panels on the shed roof now and I looked at my meters today and so far with running the ac more often than not since the last bill about 9 weeks ago, I have used $30 worth of power on one phase, about $1 worth atm on another and about 90, including hot water on the other.
To put that in perspective, The first 2 weeks we were here, most of the time, the bill would have calculated out to about $1200 per quarter.  that's completely in line with what most people here have although my brother in law up the road is paying about $1500 on his place but he does have a pool.

I have made so far this year, IE, just over a week, about 170 Kwh.  at my power prices, that's $56 bux worth of power.
The first power bill we had here I hooked the panels up at the half way mark on the billing cycle and our bill was spot on what I calculated, $600.  I paid *00 for the second lot of panels, 200 for the first lot and maybe $100 on cable, breakers, connectors and other stuff.
In other words, I'm already in front on that setup. Sure I had the inverters but I have since picked up 2 more for nothing that work and another 2 that don't but looking on YT there are several vids on how to fix them and they will cost me $50 apiece.

In 6 months max, I will have recovered my investment.  I want to get another 5 KW at least of panels so I can reduce the bill even more.
Even mrs is telling me not to haggle price on the panels, just go buy them because we'll get the money back soon enough and be ahead from then on.

Now I'm not trying to shove them down everyone throat. They were limited use at the old place because of sun orientation and the direction of the house.  People live where the weather isn't suitable and other things. Just making the point that for ME, they are about as far from a failure as one could get. they have been a very therapeutic interest for me that's helped take my mind of demons that haunt me badly, They have MADE us money, they have been a great hobby I have had a lot of fun stuffing around with the things.

About 15 years ago I got into the veg oil thing. Run my vehicles for nothing since and lhad fun learning about that too. as conceited as it sounds, I knew all there was worth knowing probably 10 years ago and just do what works and is simple and easy and it's a practical thing now not a hobby. A few years back I got into making oil burners. have a little YT channel on that which has funded my arsing around with it and again, know all I have any interest in knowing about that now and been looking for a new post to piss on. The solar has filled that gap.
I'm already getting towards the tapering end of the learning curve with that too and once I get the rest of the panels I want and re wire some things, that will be another hair brained thing that saves me money in a practical way.  Probably won't give me the enjoyment and notoriety of running round in a car that smells of fish and chips that that was a side effect not an intention.

Maybe I'll play with the solar a bit more and get some more batteries but I can't see that giving the returns financially but it will be fun and lets face it, I can afford to spend a bit on a hobby with what I save on fuel and power.

Running a car on veg oil is some hands on work and trime but I have streamlined it as much as I want.  I spend little time on it now and could spend a hell of a lot less but I hold off on full automation because the manual input gives me exercise. To me it's stupid to avoid all the manual labour you can and then go to a gym because you need the exercise you are avoiding in the first place.

I have also cut tons of wood for my father and it's a lot of work and to me, that's a key to all this diy heating/ power generation etc.
It's got to be sustainable from the point of your effort and motivation.
I'm a lazy cuss. I rather spend time setting something up to avoid work later on than to me have to face something like going out in the cold to stoke a fire or a boiler or what ever and chopping wood or frigging around on an inefficient process.
that's me, thing is, are YOU going to be happy to be putting in all this work running a steamer in 5 years time or will the novelty wear off and you won't be stuffed?

That's EXACTLY what happened to all the green washed save the planet types with Veg oil and bio. It was all fun and games at the start but then the reality set in that it's work and not as easy as filling up at the pump and people left the save the world cause they championed in droves maybe a year after they were singing it from the rafters. Me, I do exactly the amount of effort I am comfortable with. As said I could do less and maybe one day I will but for now, I can do this well into the foreseeable future.

I think that's what you should ask yourself, am I going to be enjoying this in 5 years time or will I be over it?
If it's the latter, then maybe a cogen diesel or panels might be a better way to go for you?

In any case, I suggest getting out there and building some mental pictures could help.


XeonPony

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2018, 06:01:45 AM »
Super heating gains efficiency by recovering what would been waste heat going out the stack.

To make an efficient boiler takes allot of design time hunting down waste streams and recovering them, high pressure low pressure both take same energy, it just matters how the piping is, low pressure is allot less demanding then high pressure and turbos work on volume more then pressure.

So high volume low pressure = easier to make safely, trade off is all my pipes need to be large diameter and well insulated, added bonus is lower velocity of steam in the pipes so easier to manage acoustics.

Large part of my energy recovery will be condensing the steam by heating the house and dmhw, then preheating the return water via final exhaust out put gasses.

My boiler will be powered by incinerating my garbage streams, so it will be more of a batch system then continuous cycle, but not often I'd need to run such a system.

Steam has high thermal inertia, ie it takes a long time to start up, and a long time to cool down, that is why we call coal, nuclear, base load plants, they do not like to throttle up or down quickly or easily, they like to run at a steady state point with as little variance as possible.

EDIT:

Look up steam boiler explosion, they kill and cook, do not at all screw with this if you do not have it down pat as it WILL kill you and those around it, if it fails catastrophically.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 06:12:17 AM by XeonPony »
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Harold in CR

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2018, 08:06:05 AM »
MAL, what you are looking to do is use wood to make steam (loss of efficiency), to make electricity, by means of a dangerous system, (boiler). Make wood gas and burn the gases directly.

 Mary has provided you with the best small scale solution. I want to do the same thing, but, where I live basic building materials are not easy to come by.

 Here is one of the easier gasifier systems to understand and copy, IF you are capable of welding. It will depend on how much electricity you actually need, to figure what size gasifier to build.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhMycZdQKxA Watch this, it has several parts.

 I import electric car batteries to use for my motorcycle builds and house system, which is minimal right now. (too many projects) They are not expensive if you search around and sell off part of one to offset your own collection. They can last 20 years or so, depending on how you use/maintain them. They produce NO corrosive fumes and are pretty well safe if you buy good OEM batteries. Forget chinese crap.

Bruce S

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2018, 08:32:44 AM »
Sorry late to the party  :).
If I may add just a little to what XeonPony recently posted, and I think JW was trying to get part of his message across too.
I watched most of the first Vid ( I skipped past the guitar part, I'm just NOT into watching guys in underdrawers )
Anyway back the the original ViD.
It is actually good that his system is inefficient with the steam producing and only getting up to 150PSI. This allows him to warm his house, and build up what steam engineers would call a low pressure system.

Not too long ago, here in our little town of St. Louis, MO we had a boiler system explode, it sent the boiler sailing 512+ feet into another building which made for a very very bad day for 3 people. This system cared for by real steam engineers, so someone messing with steam does either need an inefficient system or go get very well educated in the whole steam systems.
So this guys system leaking heat, water droplets and steam, is good in many ways.
 
The Tesla/Pelton wheel hybrid does in fact look a whole lot like one of Tesla's very early water pumping models which was rated at 110HP
I haven't watched any of the other links, but I would be curious to see the inside of his build/take on this "hybrid" unit.
It's kinda cool seeing him open the lever that starts the "wheel" turning.
Tesla's use what is known as laminar flow to achieve movement. the pelton wheel uses water impact to move the wheel, both IMO (for the members this usually means In My Opinon) have their places.

IF you look closely to the first wheel , when he turns the valve, you can see steam coming out the back, this is a good indication that it's built / plumped similar to a Tesla turbine.

Cheers
Bruce S   
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MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2018, 08:43:29 AM »
Hi George,

Can you give me your a link to your youtube channel.  I suddenly like the idea of using an oil burner to heat the water.  I love burning wood, but the fire place that I use now is probable about .25% "efficient". I literally have to use a bonfire to heat my home, and if the fire goes out it gets cold in the house  fast...and the house is well insulate with new windows and doors (that's what I do, I work on houses)

I don't have a good site for solar,(lots of trees) and I cant see how they can ever pay for themselves after you pay for batteries and charge controllers. If I did use solar I would want to make my own panels.  DIY is a must...low cost is a must... because the entire reason for power generation is to eliminate the taxation from the transaction of paying the bill.  I don't think I can make a solar panel...well, I could make a passive solar panel, but they are even less "efficient".

I have had about a 30 year dream of putting a hydro generator in, but Ice is the biggest reason I am looking for something that can run year round 24/7

I am not looking to spend a lot of money on experimentation.  My kind of experimentation is by building in adjust ability to every aspect of the machine for fine tuning after it is working so that nothing is wasted.   

By the way, my reading comprehension skills are very low.  I sometimes have to read things 3 times before I can understand what I have read.  I don't know if it is dyslexia or what, but I can read and pronounce words, but the sentence doesn't always form in a understandable group of words...Please shorten your posts.  I learn much more by seeing rather than reading.


MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2018, 10:58:49 AM »
Hi Harold,  That is a great resource for wood gas production.  I am not done watching it yet, but I hope it addresses the waist heat...I want to use that to heat my home.  Heating is my biggest energy challenge. 

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2018, 11:48:15 AM »
Hi Bruce,

 I cant tell from your post if you are familiar with a Pelton/Tesla hybrid or if you are just referencing to the one in the video. 

I am considering grabbing a case of beer and going on a road trip.  I think a case of beer or maybe two will answer a lot of questions.

I looked up the town he mentioned.  He's not too far from Chris Olsen's farm.

I would never dream of using very high pressures...and as of now I have only just discovered this as a possible option.  So there is much research to be done before I consider experimenting with steam.  I guess I will have to look up super heated steam to see how complex it is. 

To Everybody that has responded so far, thanks ...I don't want to invent or reinvent anything...just keep learning until I am ready to pull the trigger on something.

Bruce S

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2018, 01:35:56 PM »
MAL;
Take ChrisO with you, he's got one heck of a grasp on these things.
I'd love to read his take on this.

I was only referencing what he showed. Sometimes work gets really really busy , which keeps me from being able to add my comments.

The beer reference is one I use when trying to wrap my head around a few things too  ;)
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george65

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2018, 01:43:13 PM »

Look up steam boiler explosion, they kill and cook, do not at all screw with this if you do not have it down pat as it WILL kill you and those around it, if it fails catastrophically.

And here we have the reason Steam is NOT something I have played with.

I know my limitations both in engineering ability and mental focus.  This is something for people smarter and more capable than I.
 Diesel generator won't blow my head off neither will a burner despite what the ignorant safety zealots on YT say.
Steam is for those with a real knowledge of a whole lot of things I am ignorant to and will happily remain that way.

It goes with the other self imposed taboo I have, Petrol. It's just not something you muck around with. Fine for running engines but for lighting fires or using as a fuel for anything else, I just don't go there.

I do some silly things but I'm not suicidal enough to play with steam or petrol.

george65

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2018, 02:30:29 PM »

Heres a vid of some relevance on using a burner on a gas water heater instead of the gas burner. worked really well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pP6jTUEJBU

There is a couple of different vid of that along with a load of others on different burner types and applications.

Here's the index:
https://www.youtube.com/user/glumpy10/videos


This is an early set-up of the Lister.  It provides power and hot water
Working on getting that up and going again atm and will also set up the new twin 12hp with a 6Kw gen head soon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBC2re80yF4

For me, much more efficient, practical, safe, and far less setup and maintence than steam.  I can get Veg oil by the drum so fuel is not a problem ether. I am going to run the 6Kw genny through some rectifiers to give DC then back though my solar inverter to supply power to the house and back feed the meters. Might also hook up my 3 phase motor directly but probably want to get a bigger one so I can use all the available engine power.

Mary B

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2018, 04:01:31 PM »
If you have tree scraps to burn(tree mulch) then converting it to wood gas would be fairly easy and there are many easy to build designs out there. I know a guy who is running his pickup on it! He has the generator in the bed and he burns scrap wood from the city tree debris site.


Be far better off creating wood gas then running a small engine with a generator. Higher efficiency.

Hi Mary, do you make wood gas?  I am trying to picture what that system would need to be complete.  If I was running a generator why would wood gas be better than using a diesel generator on french fry oil?  If I don't have batteries the generator would have to run all the time.   That would be a lot of wood gas.

I look forward to your thoughts

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2018, 08:56:14 PM »
Hi George,

I didn't realize that you were in the unwanted  hair removal business. 

What is the reality of a diesel generator. 

I need to find used french fry oil...should be doable

I need to filter the oil...There should be a good youtube video on the subject 

 Will the generator need modifications to work?

I am not interested in batteries so the connections will be a learning experience no matter what I do. 

With no batteries the generator will have to run 24/7/365  I don't see how that works. I don't think My meter will run backwards,  They do not do net metering here.  I don't think a fueled generator is practical with out batteries unless there is something that I am not seeing.

A Pelton wheel is designed to run all the time

If I decide to do steam I have an underground bomb shelter to put it in.

In one of your videos you mentioned that one liter per minute is a 600kw flame.  Does that convert to electricity?  I suppose one would have to know the efficiency and losses of all the components along the way to the breaker box, but is there a ballpark figure?  That just sounds like It could take a lot of oil...and an electric fan for the forced air.  I could be wrong but oil looks costly even if it is free.


JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #52 on: January 09, 2018, 09:08:12 PM »
Re: Wood fired steam generator
Reply #35 on: January 08, 2018, 07:50:07 PM

Quote from: MAL
When I look at all this wind and solar, I see a total failure.

This really is something best not to be said here.

JW

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2018, 10:08:21 PM »
Re: Wood fired steam generator
Reply #35 on: January 08, 2018, 07:50:07 PM

Quote from: MAL
When I look at all this wind and solar, I see a total failure.

This really is something best not to be said here.

JW

You are totally misrepresenting what I said.  The accurate quote is below.

" When I look at all this wind and solar, I see a total failure.  If it costs more than the power company charges, that's a failure, unless you have no grid to tie into anyway." 

I have read every single post on this forum that was written by Chris Olsen 3 times.  It could be said that he was the most successful person on this forum at capturing the wind.   I almost felt like someone had driven a stake through my heart when fabricator posted that Chris had taken down all of his wind turbines.  I also read the post where Chris ran the numbers on his system and compared it to grid power.  I realize Chris did more than just what he personally needed for power, but I have not read about anybody able to beat the price of grid power unless they had hydro or were skirting the rules...and its not just Chris's posts that I read...I have read all of DanB'S post 3 times...and what I mean by that is every time they replied to or started a thread I read the entire thread 3 times. I have done similar things with Fluxes posts...and Ozules posts...and Hugh Piggots posts...and Spar Web...and many more.  I have probably spent a 1000 hours or more reading on this site and clicking on links(if they still work)...and watching videos...and not one person has claimed to be able to beat the grid price.


That is how I would define failure...everybody is entitled to disagree with me, but that is how I define failure at this game.

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2018, 10:23:40 PM »
I will give you that, dollars wise there's no way to beat your local power company. The broken links is a major problem for us, If you really have read 1000 hours then you should have some insight as to how to correct things.

I interacted with Chris on a few posts he was really smart but he would not tell me the secret to catching Walleye.   

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2018, 10:32:30 PM »
JW,

I am not very good on computers, I don't even know what you mean by "correct things"  I have tried pasting the links in the search bar, but that was the only thing that I could think of, and that didn't work.

george65

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2018, 10:35:36 PM »
Hi George,

I didn't realise that you were in the unwanted  hair removal business. 

It's not the unwanted hair removal that's the problem. It's the hair You WANT that gets removed that causes the issues!  :0)

Quote

What is the reality of a diesel generator. 
I need to find used french fry oil...should be doable

I need to filter the oil...There should be a good youtube video on the subject 

 Will the generator need modifications to work?

I am not interested in batteries so the connections will be a learning experience no matter what I do. 

Yes, Finding oil is essential like finding woodchips in your previous example would be.
yes, you have to filter it. I have a couple of vids on it and with the right setup there is minimal hands on time.
Generator ( engine ) wouldn't need any real mods if you are somewhere where it does not snow. If it does you'd want to mix a bit of petrol in with the oil.

I'd say buying and installing a generator and filtering oil would be a hell of a lot less steep a learning curve than designing, building and setting up a boiler and steam engine and generator head.

Quote
With no batteries the generator will have to run 24/7/365  I don't see how that works. I don't think My meter will run backwards,  They do not do net metering here.  I don't think a fueled generator is practical with out batteries unless there is something that I am not seeing.

Now here is the real crux of things, exactly what is it you want to do? Go off grid completely?
If that's the case, I think you are looking at it the complete  wrong way. If you want to supplement your grid power, then a generator on veg or a steamer is perfect. If you think running any engine 24/7 is practical, steamer or otherwise, I think you need to do more reading and get the practical insights I was talking about.

Quote
A Pelton wheel is designed to run all the time

I'm thinking with comments like that, with respect, you have an awful lot to learn about this. ALL of this.
I know beans about steam but I know you are dreaming if you think you are going to set something DIY up, get it going and have the thing running unattended 24/7.  That is neither safe nor practical and you are going to need to spend a LOT of time on it.
A boiler that was to run unattended would need a lot of sophisticated automation to work  like that and if you think you are going to set something up  for a couple of grand that will do it, I think you are going to be in for a severe wake up call.

Quote
If I decide to do steam I have an underground bomb shelter to put it in.

I don't think a bomb shelter is designed to put Bombs IN it and that is essentially what you'd be doing with your idea of a constantly running DIY steamer left unattended. You'd get away with it for a while but one day, all the planets will line up the wrong way and it would not be good. You also seem to want to abide by rules and regulations.  if you want to do that with a steam engine of any type, good luck. First you'll need a ( Firemans?) certificate. Your boiler will have to be certified regularly.  Your equipment will have to be tested. You'll need permission from your local city authourity and maybe the fire dept.  Don't like your chances of getting any of it if you are in a residential area.
Would be a complex and long term ordeal to get it anywhere and I have severe doubts if you'd ever be allowed to put it in a basement rather than an out building a minimum distance away of a conforming construction.  Not going to be cheap, practical or worth while.

Quote
In one of your videos you mentioned that one liter per minute is a 600kw flame.  Does that convert to electricity?  I suppose one would have to know the efficiency and losses of all the components along the way to the breaker box, but is there a ballpark figure?  That just sounds like It could take a lot of oil...and an electric fan for the forced air.  I could be wrong but oil looks costly even if it is free.

A generator burning 1 litre a minute of oil would set the wires running to the powerpole from your house alight. The average home would probably peak out max draw at around 20 kw and for a lot of the time you'd probably be pulling 3-5 less air, electric cooking and water heating which are all intermittent loads.

The Lister in the vid would do 3kw output and burn about 1 Litre of oil an HOUR.  You may get up to 5KW of heat, depending how well the exchangers were set up.

But this is all getting ahead of yourself, a lot. First what is it you want to do?  Have total power independence , ie, Off grid or stay on grid and offset your power bill?.  If you want to be self sufficient but not have batteries, you are most likely going to have to make some distinct lifestyle adjustments or spend a lot more than it's worth on automation be it for steam or anything else.
Begs the question though, why do you want power when you are sleeping?

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2018, 10:44:18 PM »
MAL I can handle anything computer wise, that's not what im talking about. We need to figure out how to make new posts that cover relevant info. Show me a broken post and we can rebuild it or make a new one. When it comes down to it I have wasted thousands of dollars on this site.

So where does that leave us. The site is not cost efficient so should give up on it like you propose? 

george65

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2018, 10:44:43 PM »
...and not one person has claimed to be able to beat the grid price.

Without a clear definition, I am beating grid price with my solar setup.
The cost of what I have so far was recovered in the savings on 2 Bills.  I am paying about 1/4 of what I did before on electric bills and now the initial savings have covered the investement, that's beating grid price to me.

If you are talking about stand alone power, then I would say it's difficult but not impossible to do.  For most people though, You can't make 100% of your power cheaper than you can buy it from the grid.....

Which brings me back to the question, why do you want to setup and run a steamer/ pelton turbine given this is the case you acknowledge?

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #59 on: January 09, 2018, 11:37:37 PM »

[/quote]

Without a clear definition, I am beating grid price with my solar setup.
The cost of what I have so far was recovered in the savings on 2 Bills.  I am paying about 1/4 of what I did before on electric bills and now the initial savings have covered the investement, that's beating grid price to me.

If you are talking about stand alone power, then I would say it's difficult but not impossible to do.  For most people though, You can't make 100% of your power cheaper than you can buy it from the grid.....

Which brings me back to the question, why do you want to setup and run a steamer/ pelton turbine given this is the case you acknowledge?
[/quote]
I messed up the quote function trying to get rid of the double quote so I don't get in trouble again, my post starts below
If I remember correctly, you do something like convert the grid to DC and back again.  If that is skirting the rules than you would be exempted from my statement.

I am not going to go on a long political rant.  My reason for wanting to create power is because the government is committing mortal sin with my tax dollars according to my belief system.  So I need to reduce my taxable transactions so that I am not funding it.

I am not at all about following the rules unless the consequences are too severe.

I don't think that I can go completely off grid...I wood love to, but It is not practical.

Just because I haven't mentioned maintenance and refueling doesn't mean that I think any system is plug and play or set it and forget it.  I am more than willing to use my labor to save money even when it doesn't make sense to do so.

 I do believe that it is possible to beat the grid, But it has to be done like Junkyard Wars  (It's a tv show, I don't have cable so I don't get it, but it is a cool show if it is still on)

How do I supplement power from the grid with a generator with out batteries?  When the generator is down I will be using a lot of unnecessary grid power because a motor is just not designed to run all the time.