Author Topic: Wood fired steam generator  (Read 2685 times)

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MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2018, 12:15:10 AM »
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?

I hope you don't give up on the site.  It Is not in my nature to waste anything...well...except my time. :)

I don't know if you can recover a picture or not.  I hunted down a picture from Smoggy turnip and it wasn't there when I found it.  It was a picture of a coil winder for a one piece phase of coils...no inner splices between coils.  Here is the link if you can recover them. 

https://www.fieldlines.com/index.php/topic,128233.msg825686.html#msg825686

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2018, 01:05:35 AM »
Hi George,

I don't have this quote thing figured out, but your quote is in bold


"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."

A oil burner putting out 600kw was what I was watching Now if that oil burner was making steam, I have been told that the steam engine is 3% efficient.  That would take that 600kw down to 18kw.  I am sure my math is flawed, but that was what I was getting at.

Here is what I like about the "Energy Bootlegger"  It makes heat, electricity and wood gas. I don't know if I would use the wood gas but It would be fun.  It is a very simple design. I am not sure how it could blow up if it had 5  pressure relief valves,  The boiler is inside a 1/4 steel stove and it could have a blast shield.  If It was fired by rocket stoves, a thermal switch could shut the air and the fire is out almost instantly...the water would take a while to cool but there is probably an answer for that too if I keep digging around.  Super heated steam looks scary...I saw a cotton ball explode into flames when it touched super heated steam.

I don't think the Wisco Kid has more that $500 into his setup

What I don't like about it...well...that I don't have one.  But I don't want to waist a penny on something that might not work, so I will keep reading.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 01:30:55 AM by MAL »

george65

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2018, 01:30:05 AM »

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.

Solar converts DC to AC though and inverter and feeds it back into the house hold circuits and then into the grid if there is any excess.

I do the same only because I have old meters, it winds them backwards.
This means I get a 1:1 ratio of the power I input to the power I take back out.  No, that is not completely legit according to our rules here because they want you to have a meter that measures what you put in and a meter that counts what you use.
They pay you .6c Kwh for what you put in and charge you ( at least)  30 C Kwh for what you use.

My setup would be skirting the rules but like you, I don't give flying F... Duck.  If that's skirting the rules and eliminates me from the claim, so be it.  I'm winning every every day and saving a fortune.

Quote
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.

Same way I will when I get my new generator setup.
There are a couple of ways actually.

Hook up an induction motor to your engine and hook that to the power outlet.  Drive the AC motor a bit more than 10% overspeed. The motor will turn into a generator that is phase locked to the grid and push power back into your home. You will need to be grid connected to do this.  If you have an electronic or smart meter, any power you are not using that goes into the grid will likely be metered as consumption and you will be charged for it.  Thes will happen any way you generate power unless you turn the grid connection off.

Second way  is to drive a generator with your engine and rectify the power back to DC. Hook the output to a solar or grid tie inverter like a power jack.  It will feed power back into the house and excess to the grid.
You can do the exact same thing with solar panels.  If you are making 1.5 KW and you are using 2KW in the house, there will only be 1.5 Kw coming from the grid.

It is completely impractical to have ANY sort of generator running 24/7. Turbine, diesel whatever.
IF you have access to a water supply for 6 Months of the year say, I'd be using hydro power when you could and supplementing it with solar if you  dont get too much snow. Solar works really well in snow due to cool panels and the high reflected brightness.

You won't elimitate your bills but the best option for you is like me, just minimise them as much as you can.

Again, If you think a steam turbine will be practical to run more than a diesel, you have much more still to learn.

Do you know how much power you use on average for a week or a month/ year?  Before you go planing any sort of generation you need to know how much you need to generate in the first place.

george65

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2018, 03:09:35 AM »

How do I supplement power from the grid with a generator with out batteries?

Good question!

It's not hard to do but I'd like to hear how you think you are going to do it with a steam turbine which I believe atm is your very preferred option.

Also, do you know how much power you use a week/ month/ year? If you want to generate it's good to know how much you consume.

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2018, 12:10:45 PM »

How do I supplement power from the grid with a generator with out batteries?

Good question!

It's not hard to do but I'd like to hear how you think you are going to do it with a steam turbine which I believe atm is your very preferred option.

Also, do you know how much power you use a week/ month/ year? If you want to generate it's good to know how much you consume.




I was planning on a grid tie inverter and/or maybe a switch to shut off the grid, but a grid switch would require a better generator setup.  I don't completely understand what I am saying there because I have only read about those things...I have never seen or used them before.

I think I have a smart meter. It is digital.  I would have to test by putting power back into the grid, but there was a lot talk about smart meters a few years ago, so I think it is a smart meter.   

My usage fluctuates greatly.  I have no A/C so summer usage can be very low $100-$150 per month.  I know that you want kwh, but I will get to that in a little bit.  In the winter It can be $150-$250.  The winter is the only time that I use gas and that is where the biggest saving can be made(in the winter).  I do burn wood But my fire place is so inefficient that I run out of wood every year. 

I have way too many trees for solar.  I have always wanted hydro , but after many years of research I have never found anybody that has used hydro on river current speed that is as slow as mine.  I think it can work, but it would have to be huge...and a minimum of $1000 investment...and could only be used for the 9 months when my power bills are low.

I spent $1720 on power last year $1480 was electricity.  Gas was $240(I had a lot of fire wood and a mild winter)  So that is what I have to use as my baseline  That could easily cost $2000 per year in a normal year.   If I spend $1000 on a generator set up, and cut my usage in half, it will be a 1 year pay back, but that's not entirely accurate because I have a $15.99 usage charge for gas and about  $10 Basic charge for electricity every month no matter how much I use.  I think That I need to get it under a 1 year pay back to account for maintenance and the unknown factor, as well as increased usage.  I would like to put in AC.

I know that is no way to design a Generator, but those are my self imposed guidelines.

Now, as for my actual usage...gas usage should be the easiest to get rid of according to last years usage, but that would mean buying electric heaters...and that could be problematic and be an extra expense.

My Electric usage is:

Jan  1404 kwh
Feb  911   kwh
Mar  1039 kwh
Apr  1006 kwh
May  897  kwh
jun   1581 kwh
Jul   1182  kwh
Aug  1150  kwh
Sep  1145  kwh
Oct   904   kwh
Nov  907   kwh
Dec  1416  kwh 

Cutting my usage is not the goal, and it causes household conflict and increased decibel levels from my wife's vocal chords.

I will start calculating a cost estimate for a diesel generator set up.  I will have Questions. I will look for all new components, but that is not likely to be how it is put together.


« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 01:08:21 PM by MAL »

joestue

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2018, 02:23:02 PM »
I have been told that the steam engine is 3% efficient. 

that number is what i recall from the days of steam locomotives, non condensing, open loop, that's the efficiency from the coal to the wheels. any intelligently designed system should be far higher efficiency. but if you're using an automotive turbo charger as a turbine, i would not expect much from it.

and if you count the heat as gain, then your efficiency is 103%.

a friend of mine and i have been talking for years about building a sterling engine wood stove, to drive another sterling engine heat pump to pull heat from outside the building and heat a house. its probably a pipe dream due to the lower power density of sterling engines. would need cylinders the size of a 50 gallon drum..

other heat fluids such as propane, or the supposedly non flammable R-134A, or the somewhat flammable R-152a are all far better alternatives to water for anything less than 300-400F.

and again the simple reason is that the heat needed to evaporate the water is lost. other fluids have far lower latent heat of vaporization.

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2018, 05:22:53 PM »
Hi Joestue,

I think your going to have to be careful, comments about over unity are frowned upon on this site.

 "then your efficiency is 103%"

That's the way I was looking at it...and with a little wood gas production we could get this thing up to 120% efficient...but I guess that would put me on the terrorist watch list. 

Now you are going to get me in trouble.  There is one "Over unity" device that I think would be interesting to talk about...Not that I believe in ou, but this looks like a cheap way to heat water.  Again I don't think it is over unity, I just think they are measuring efficiency like you are with the 103%  comment.

Would this be a good way to heat water or is 103% BS?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_eRGYEjcqM

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2018, 05:33:48 PM »
MAL Im temped to erase your post. He was joking and your instigating.

JW

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2018, 05:47:44 PM »
I am just impressed that the thing heats water.  I can't imagine how it works,if it works.  A different video shows it installed at a fire station running several shower heads at the same time...but if you need to erase it than thats your call.

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #69 on: January 10, 2018, 05:51:50 PM »
Im just going to put you on read only for 7 days

JW

electrondady1

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #70 on: January 10, 2018, 10:40:55 PM »
i would like one of these things  https://youtu.be/85OmZU3dZpA
 the sound makes me want to say all aboard.

Mal, this source of wood chips you talked about being  near by  is an asset you should exploit .
i have a stove in my shop and it's great, but conventional fire wood is a lot of work.
if you could come up with an auger system to feed it steady you could control  the heat
 and you would need  that control  for a steam system . setting it up in that concrete root seller sounds ideal.



 
 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 12:25:27 AM by electrondady1 »

XeonPony

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2018, 05:35:19 AM »

A oil burner putting out 600kw was what I was watching Now if that oil burner was making steam, I have been told that the steam engine is 3% efficient.  That would take that 600kw down to 18kw.  I am sure my math is flawed, but that was what I was getting at.


https://www.turbinesinfo.com/steam-turbine-efficiency/

http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/features/steam-generator-efficiency.html

belief is a piss poor substitute for knowledge, ie GOOGLE IT Average efficiency of a commercial turbine is between 55 to 80% for steam, but that is turbine, over all system can be lower if not employing heat recovery, and higher if doing so, efficiency is system and situation dependent.

I liked to annoy an engineer by saying I had a 98% efficient generator, the part I left out was my heat recovery from both the block and exhaust! the remaining 2% was needed to drive the draft and ensure the exhaust didn't hang around and the foam needed to insulate the pipes would been impractical!

I think you need to do a ton more reading in  this stuff befor you'll even know what to ask.

Quote
The average steam system thermal cycle efficiency is 56.3%, which means that 43.7% of the energy that is consumed in the boilers is wasted or lost. Every operation will have a few acceptable losses, but a high percentage of losses can be prevented or eliminated.

efficiency is energy out divided by energy in. But this is a more complex thing when we add in recovery systems.

A heat pump is 300 % more efficient then a electric heater, but an electric heater is 100% efficient at converting electrical energy into heat. Dwell on that for 7 days and see if you can figure it out (Google!).

EDIT:

All so Solar panels and wind and such are not to save money by magic but rather to be independent from the grid. I have lived off grid for well over 10 years now! Have computers coffe pots and such.

A generator is part of that mix but with properly sized solar array generator seldom runs!, the steam turbine system I'm looking at is a waste disposal method (Increases the efficiency of my turbine system as I am converting my waste into energy in form of heat and electricity)

If you want to use less power start off with gaining in efficiency! LED's, better insulation, timer on hot water tank, new fridge with quality insulation! So on.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 05:53:46 AM by XeonPony »
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

XeonPony

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #72 on: January 11, 2018, 06:01:51 AM »
I have been told that the steam engine is 3% efficient. 

that number is what i recall from the days of steam locomotives, non condensing, open loop, that's the efficiency from the coal to the wheels. any intelligently designed system should be far higher efficiency. but if you're using an automotive turbo charger as a turbine, i would not expect much from it.

and if you count the heat as gain, then your efficiency is 103%.

a friend of mine and i have been talking for years about building a sterling engine wood stove, to drive another sterling engine heat pump to pull heat from outside the building and heat a house. its probably a pipe dream due to the lower power density of sterling engines. would need cylinders the size of a 50 gallon drum..

other heat fluids such as propane, or the supposedly non flammable R-134A, or the somewhat flammable R-152a are all far better alternatives to water for anything less than 300-400F.

and again the simple reason is that the heat needed to evaporate the water is lost. other fluids have far lower latent heat of vaporization.

That's why you recover the heat from the water by re-condensing it and sending it back to the boiler! more residual heat in the water = less energy to reboil + all rejected heat goes to warming house!

134a is used as a fire suppressing agent but will decompose chemically at 400c range into nasty substances.
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

Flavio93Zena

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #73 on: January 11, 2018, 09:42:34 AM »
I don't know about the content as I'm not an expert about this stuff (although I genuinely find it really interesting). I would, however, kindly ask everyone to post about website-related issues in the proper board https://www.fieldlines.com/index.php/board,17.0.html (as it's always been for many years from what I can see, you should know the drill right? :) ) so 1) I can see them 2) JW doesn't have to forward them one by one to me 3) it keeps the discussion clean 4) please use the report to moderator function *exclusively* when you need to, for moderation purposes.
Sorry for the off-topic, but I felt like I had to clear that one up.

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #74 on: January 11, 2018, 10:44:55 AM »
I have released MAL from read only

Harold in CR

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #75 on: January 11, 2018, 11:32:57 AM »
JW, did you watch that video mal posted recently ? It's quite interesting and the people in it show some very interesting measurements.

JW

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #76 on: January 11, 2018, 11:39:06 AM »
No I haven't show me. I try to be nice letting him off easy.

SparWeb

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #77 on: January 11, 2018, 01:02:34 PM »
That's just another overunity video.  I regret watching it.

Quote from: 'MAL'
not one person has claimed to be able to beat the grid price

Actually, that claim is being made, in some places with high grid electricity costs, but it's not true everywhere.  It's a challenge trying to beat mass-produced anything with one-off small-scale efforts.  I sense your frustration with the efforts to make RE more cost-effective, but you may be missing the point.

If I were to take the estimated cost of trenching, laying cable, hookup fees, etc. from the power company to get power from my house to my new barn, and compare it to the cost of my own tower, wind turbine, and trenching the cables myself, then I'm ahead by several thousand dollars.  Is that economic?  It was for me.

This site is not about beating big business.  It's about energy independence, and an engaging hobby, craftsmanship, and embracing technology old and new to accomplish a goal.  Some of that stuff is economically driven, but much of it isn't.

If I wasn't building wind turbines, I'd be away fishing.  In a 5,000 dollar boat.  Burning 200$ of gas per weekend.  With a 300$ rod.  To catch a fish I could by for 20 bucks at the grocery store.  You tell me whose hobby is economic.  ;)
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

jenkinswt

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #78 on: January 11, 2018, 05:43:06 PM »
Sparweb, I like the way you put that! I feel the same when people try to compare my off grid setup to the grid. Most of these people have a new car on payments every few years but they never say now what's my ROI on this vehicle. I feel a great satisfaction producing my power and don't break it down in a per kWh thing. It helps that my wife has been patient and understanding. We've came along ways since our first system.

Were on our third day now of overcast cloudy weather and the wind generator is really shining right now. The weird thing is we are using more power now than we did in the past on the grid because we slowly keep expanding. I like the independence of it all. I've thought of other forms of power than sun/wind but haven't taken the plunge. I've looked strongly at wood gas generation and even steam but I would almost rather just get more batteries & panels than babysit a system every time its running.

Mal, I wouldn't toss solar power out the window so easily. If you shop around I've seen very cheap new panels. I don't know the first thing about grid tie but its probably the cheapest way to go. I didn't feel like making a grid tie system and have gone the other way but I've found good deals on batteries along the way.

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #79 on: January 11, 2018, 07:41:03 PM »
Thanks JW, I won't let you down, I just wish that I had read the posting guidelines earlier.

Hi electrondady1,

Do you use wood chips in a normal wood stove?  I have an hooded glass fireplace with a small home made heat exchanger.  I am not sure how wood chips would work in that, but I think they would burn way to fast for my existing setup.  As it is I burn any thing that will fit.  The larger the log the longer it last.  I usually need to get the flame about 4 or 5 foot tall to get decent heat...it can be dangerous if I am not careful.   

Hi SparWeb,
 
I might have been throwing a cost effective challenge out to see what kind of response I would get.  I agree that catching the wind would be a great hobby.  I personally avoid spending money at all cost's for personal reasons mentioned earlier.  That's my hobby.

Hi Harold, All I can say is that it must be friction.

Hi XeonPony,

Most of what you are describing about your Ideal steam turbine is in the original video in the first post in this thread.  The Wisco Kid has a closed system, he condenses, he captures heat and on top of that he makes wood gas.  You have offered some good suggestions on top of what he was doing, but you are basically describing his system.






I think there is a general misunderstanding about what efficiency is,  If you are just using the power out/power in as your definition then you are missing the most important part of the equation.

  efficiency = (output / input) 100 / ICOI + ACOO (initial cost of  investment + annual cost of opporation ) 

You cannot leave the cost of the initial investment out of the equation.  Cost is always the overriding portion of the equation.   Lets say that I bought a new fridge that used half of the electricity of my old one, but it cost twice as much, but will last half as long as the old one. You can't just say that the new fridge is 50% more efficient, because that is not true...if you have to build two fridges to do the job that the old one did, then you have to count the cost and raw materials invested to see the actual efficiency.   You don't expect to pay more for an efficiency apartment.  ...or lets take this example...Lets say that someone invented a way to power your home with nuclear power...all your power need from something the size of a grain of sand...nuclear is 90% efficient...sounds great...sign me up...Just step right over here and pay your permits...your uranium is in the next line and don't forget about your own personal nuclear reactor....How much do I owe?   That will be $153,599.99.  Sounds great...it's 90% efficient.

Ozules once said "who cares about efficiency when the wind is free"  How else can you explain why George would burn $20 worth of oil to melt $15 worth of aluminum...BECAUSE THE OIL IS FREE!   ...and I think It was Flux that said if everything was 100% efficient, nothing would work.  Don't ask me to explain that, but it made sense at the time.  The point is mechanical inefficiencies can be made up somewhere else.

Enough talk about efficiency...but I have a feeling It's not over yet.











MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #80 on: January 11, 2018, 08:22:10 PM »
Hi jenkinswt,

No new cars here I have a 1996 Mustang,  1996 Acura, 2001 pickup and my wife has the new car 2003 Explorer

If I pay more than I am paying now I will loose more independence, not to mention part of my soul. If I installed solar I would have to cut down an 80 foot Sycamore tree And a couple of my neighbors Oak trees...I live in somewhat of a ravine with trees to the east and many large trees to the south and the west is my usable front lawn.  I have watched the sun track across my roof, there is only one corner that gets any sun on the north side of my house.

I used to install solar panels in the 80s...passive solar.  They did not work very well unless there was unobstructed sun with Snow on the ground or if we painted the roof white in front of the panel .  So I do have a clue what conditions they need to work...I don't have it.

I have no issue with your reasons for generating your own power...my reasons are different.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 08:32:46 PM by MAL »

XeonPony

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #81 on: January 12, 2018, 05:17:41 AM »
no cost is no where in the equation, energy efficiency is the only overriding  part of the equation, this is where you have it wrong, you just haven't learned this yet.

you want to spend less money daily in life you need to pony up the initial higher investment and in power engineering I can tell you I have NEVER seen cost in any of the calculations or blue prints.

efficiency is the measure of actual work don for a given unit mass of energy conversion, this is a critical metric in ANY engineering systems.

Cost can be vastly effected by material choices, again engineering finding a cheaper material that is compatible with the process and process fluids vs steel and so on.

I get the feeling you are using a very simplistic level of thinking to a mind crushing complex system, even your fridge analogy is flawed (I am trained in HVAC)

So again I bring you back to when you understand that a heat pump is 300* more efficient then a electric heater, that is 100% efficient at converting flowing electrons to heat, you'll under stand where you are making an error in thinking.

read up on carnot cycle.

a high efficiency fridge does the job of 10 older fridges using less power and will last longer due to less unnecessary  loading on the compressor, less out side heat gain! do not confuse this with cheap domestic fridges that are build to be bottom level price (you get what you pay for)

So your very starting premise is faulty, you don't want to spend money? Great buy a trailer hyper insulate it find a spot out in the woods. You want less utility bills? Great, hyper insulate the house, get more efficient with energy conversion and usage, then look into augmenting your power.

No whether it is steam or an engine asynchronous motors can easily be made into generators, and they will synch to the grid by default to a degree, but do that you'll be an off grider if they find you. Oops we're back to the money thing again!

there is a million and one ways to do some thing, but which of those is unique to the situation. You need a firm grasp of your power usage first and foremost, from there site analysis, solar won't work on the roof what about another spot, no, then if not wind? if no then your two most viable and practical options are off the table and any combustion systems that will be in constant operation gets into huge amounts of cash!.

Just my simple manual controlled turbo system will be 2k if not more, but I'm expecting serious juice from it, 400w is dismal failure, that's a toy not a energy maker and that piping is a mess, he's a good fabricator but he's no system builder! I like the racing term: Speed costs, how fast ya want to go?

Point blank your thinking back wards. Energy costs, how much you want to burn! Start by getting efficient, even a timer on the hot water tank if electric will save you tons, LED lights,  so on.

Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #82 on: January 12, 2018, 05:19:49 AM »
 Hi XeonPony,

Can you elaborate on some of the techniques that you use to "capture all the heat"  I could use some ideas to make my hooded fire place more "efficient" so it's not so dangerous.

XeonPony

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #83 on: January 12, 2018, 05:33:33 AM »
Hi jenkinswt,

No new cars here I have a 1996 Mustang,  1996 Acura, 2001 pickup and my wife has the new car 2003 Explorer

If I pay more than I am paying now I will loose more independence, not to mention part of my soul. If I installed solar I would have to cut down an 80 foot Sycamore tree And a couple of my neighbors Oak trees...I live in somewhat of a ravine with trees to the east and many large trees to the south and the west is my usable front lawn.  I have watched the sun track across my roof, there is only one corner that gets any sun on the north side of my house.

I used to install solar panels in the 80s...passive solar.  They did not work very well unless there was unobstructed sun with Snow on the ground or if we painted the roof white in front of the panel .  So I do have a clue what conditions they need to work...I don't have it.

I have no issue with your reasons for generating your own power...my reasons are different.

I spent 5grand or so 13 years ago, I kicked the utilities out  to the curb via boot to ass a month later, then a month after that I lived all over Canada and up in the mountains till 3 years ago where I'm now stationary for the time being. Moral of the story? you don't get crap with out spending the cash, if you want it you spend it, for me being energy independent was worth every cent!

Now I don't like tossing money out either, I wanted those electrons to earn every cent I spent on them, so took the time to maximize efficiency at every step! and due to that the thing I designed 13 years ago for a 14f trailer is now powering a house 12 years later! this very moment I am typing on a computer in a lit room from that system.

Again the moral of the story: You pay for it no matter what, you either need to learn to engineer and do all of it your self or pay some one who has don it, then you either choose long lived materials (High up front cost very low life cycle cost) or cheap materials (Cheap up front but will suck you dry in the bad way over the life time of the unit) But no matter what you pay! Pay in time and labor and cash, you get to chose the %'s of which, and that's where your options end.

To summarize: You don't like high bills (No one does), so you want to reduce them. Opt 1: Get more efficient (Lowest amount of capitol expenditure with long term savings)

Opt 2: Power augmentation, higher capitol investment with potential permits required, regulation issues come into play and serious engineering has to be don if mechanical systems are to be used, high life cycle costs, large volumes of labor.
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

XeonPony

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #84 on: January 12, 2018, 05:37:50 AM »
Hi XeonPony,

Can you elaborate on some of the techniques that you use to "capture all the heat"  I could use some ideas to make my hooded fire place more "efficient" so it's not so dangerous.

open flame? you can collect a fair bit from the flue gas with a water loop and spread it around the house better, but you need to lose intentionally a portion to drive the draft, if closed flame then the option for forced draft is there, can be driven by the heat of the stove with pelts.

A quality air tight will automatically increase your over all heat recovery and making the inside portion of the chimney longer to allow more heat capture, or they have air to flue gas exchangers you can put in as well that have fans (Very good units)

I like water though, then in floor heating is an option and that is just wonderful!





Revers his flow pattern if using a pumped system, if using thermo siphon then use his labeled flow pattern


chimney air heat exchanger  < Google image search and you will see so many different ways your brain will hurt (I know mine does when I mentally shuffle through all the ways I have seen it don!)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 05:48:32 AM by XeonPony »
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

XeonPony

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #85 on: January 12, 2018, 05:51:41 AM »
A friend build a forced down draft burner system, he used an old R22 ac coil A Frame style to collect the heat, it worked so good it made steam the first goo of it! he had to dial down the burn rate.

So talk to the local refrigeration companies and ask for old coils as ones that leak gas won't be worth repairing for them, but odds are they won't leak water! and they are fluid to gas exchangers essentially, good ready made and some times cheap to free!

https://www.survivalmonkey.com/threads/fire-place-heat-exchanger.60950/

Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #86 on: January 12, 2018, 06:50:47 AM »
XeonPony,

Cost is always the number 1 factor for everybody.  If your RE start up cost was $100,000 you wouldn't do it unless there was no grid.

I have heard of a heat pump, but I am confused as to why they call it pump.  before I can answer your riddle, I need to understand efficiency, and when fuel is free/cheap efficiency is not my top concern.

I have read the Carnot cycle several times...it's written in a different language.

I have seldom seen any new appliance last longer than the old one, but they always cost more...are you an appliance salesman as well as a repairman?

My home is paid for Why would I buy a trailer.   My home is very well insulated, In the 80s after Reagan shut down the Passive solar scammers, I weatherized houses for low income familys for about a decade...I still work on houses.  My home is small and is mostly underground, and as I stated before, my windows and doors are new. I have a new tank less water heater.  I have been installing LED lights.  I may add another layer of insulation when I replace the roof, but it is well insulated...or I would not be able to heat it with a fire place that is in my estimation about .25% "efficient".    So now that I have done all that I am ready to start "augmenting my power".

My lot is not big enough for a wind tower. The only place that it might be far enough from the house would be on my sandy beach (that I would loose if I bought a trailer in the woods.) and that floods most every year, not to mention it would obstruct my neighbors view of the river.  I have already thought about these things and for the most part they are not cost effective.  I have read so much on this site there is nothing that you are saying that I haven't read 30 times...I get it...I am trying to do something different...for different reasons...I am very backwards and I am ok with that.

 I would probably be ok with spending $2000 if I could get rid of the unknown factor...meaning if it would work, and I could flip the grid switch to off when I wanted to.  So that is what I am doing now, learning so I can eliminate the unknown factor or as much of it as I can.

If you are interested in sharing you Ideas...that's why I started this thread...If your not...no hard feelings...I have enjoyed chatting with you.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 07:07:22 AM by MAL »

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #87 on: January 12, 2018, 08:45:13 AM »
No I don't sell any thing, I just know what I'm talking about. It is called a heat pump as it pumps heat, so does your fridge, only difference is where it is pumping the heat "from" and "to" and the quantity, A fridge, heat pump, and air conditioner all run off the same principle, and mechanics.

I'm giving you cold hard un sugared reality, I tend to be direct and blunt, so when I say if you think your going to get what you want with out spending the money for it your wasting your time and looking into the wrong area to boot.

For what you want to do you need to spend the money on high efficiency gear, but from what you say you been doing that, so lets optimize what you have to get it even more so!

You have a fire place great, so lets squeeze as many btu's out of it as we practically can.

Largest waste stream is the flue gas, it contains the bulk of your heat, using natural draft we have to keep a bit in there, it isn't lost heat as it is doing work, in this case driving the draft.

Now you need to chose your recovery method. flue over air, flue gas over water from there we can use thermal mass, with flue over water this can be a modified hwt. flue over air can be rocks.

Efficiency matters, just because it seems free doesn't mean it is! It costs time and energy to gather it, more inefficient some thing is the more fuel it consumes for a given out put. do you want to spend all day feeding a fire ?

Or do you want to spend a bit of the day collecting wood, feeding the fire and the rest of the day relaxing? efficiency determines which of those cases you'll be doing.

Air tight blows a open fire out of the map! In terms of efficiency, so more of the wood that is burned is converted to use full sensible heating of the air, using flue gas heat recovery drives it up more, Thermal mass then gives you a even larger bang for the buck of unit mass burned by spreading out the heat time curve.

If you think cost is a factor you're in the wrong place I'm afraid, again there is no such thing as cheap and good, you pay in time or money, usually both. what you want is the best ROI (Return of investment) so in that sense my system is stupid cheap! cost a painful amount up front but has worked flawless for 13 years and I have put nothing additional into it.

So if you have an open fire place get an air tight insert, of if you have an air tight, look into those exchanges, I have made them out of old 40lbs propane bottles and black iron pipe! For both flue gas over air, and for flue gas over water.

More you can do your self the cheaper it is money wise other then the scrounging or purchasing of the metals and the welding/brazing. I brazed mine with phosphor bronze rod.

Once we get the flue gas heat recovery figured out, we can then move on to thermal mass storage.

I'm not trying to insult or offend you, I just want to ensure you have a realistic understanding of whats ahead and to ensure you get best bang for your buck. From what you've described your options are tight for the most practical and highest return type options.

EDIT:

All so look into: Heat Recovery Ventilators, as they all so help reduce heat loss, and thus reduce the amount you need to burn. (We're upping the efficiency of the heating system by recovering waste heat in exhuast air of the house, or even the combustion air supply to the stove allowing for hotter fire)

Each part adds to the whole system efficiency, which then = less wood for the same level of comfort heat in the end
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 09:01:24 AM by XeonPony »
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

MAL

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #88 on: January 12, 2018, 09:35:25 AM »
Thanks XeonPony, 

First I should will try to describe my fire place...its basically a one of a kind custom built design, but it should be rebuilt soon.

It's has an oval stone fire pit with normal bi fold doors on both sides of the oval, the rest is surrounded by glass with a hood that nearly reaches the 10' ceiling...not much room above the hood.  I have very seriously considered putting copper coils in the hood for water, but I have hesitated because If It springs a leak it could shatter the glass.  I have seen that glass shatter several times...It is very impressive...and kinda scary.  I already have tubing in the floor for floor heat, but Its on hold until I decide how to address that.

But my thoughts were not accurately get expressed in that question.  Was this quote a joke or do actually capture the heat?

 " I liked to annoy an engineer by saying I had a 98% efficient generator, the part I left out was my heat recovery from both the block and exhaust! the remaining 2% was needed to drive the draft and ensure the exhaust didn't hang around and the foam needed to insulate the pipes would been impractical!"

My thought is pertaining to the tremendous amount of heat from a small fire if you could capture all the heat without getting gassed or smoked out.  Kinda like a rocket mass or a friend of mine has stone fire place that is almost 30' to the top.  He can light one fire let it burn down and seal the top of his chimney to trap all the heat in the stone.  I have been thinking about how a person could maybe have a small trash fire and contain all the heat...and still be able to breath. For starters you would need outside air and a large sealed container for the smoke and gasses, but I could see how that could be problematic...I'm just thinking out loud wondering and if this has been done on a small scale.   


XeonPony

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Re: Wood fired steam generator
« Reply #89 on: January 12, 2018, 09:48:45 AM »
Not a joke, We employed several heat reclaim systems, The exhaust went through a thermal mass to heat the gen shed when off (2 45g barrels filled with rocks) then a 3rd 45g barrel filled with pea gravel and water, the exhaust went through a 2 inch coiled pipe submerged in this, and all water going to the tankles heater in the shower house was fed through a copper coil in same barrel.

The engine coolant went to a V47-D temp controlled by pass valve, then that goes through a pipe run to all the crew trailers, each one had an old fashioned hydronic radiator, if the return water got too hot (No demand for heat in the trailers, and insufficient heat loss from the loop) the by pass valve would open to the radiator at the engine more)

So when that generator was running we got the power from the alternator, and we got the heat from the exhaust and engine block, so net conversion of fuel to energy was well up to if not near 90+% with out that it would be the usual 40% (Diesel)

That diverter valve is 300 dollars, but cost of diesel and gen maintenance paid for its self a 100 times over every day given we didn't need to bother gathering wood for the times it was running, and got more useful work from our fuel.

the barrel thermal mass system took a week to get it figured out, welding cutting, filling, placing, pipe bending, but again paid for its self first month, less propane used to heat  gen shed and piping hot showers for the crew with less propane burned again due to the higher water temp coming into the unit.

High up front cost to make the system high efficiency = much lower operating cost of the system for the life of it, that thermal diverter valve gave very little trouble (We looked at it after a year then forgot it was there again!)

The heat storage barrels the exhaust flowed through the rocks so those two had to be gas tight when finished, the water preheat one was pipes so it just had to be water tight.
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!