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Mikala

Here's an interesting Biomass generator that seems to be doing well. Delivered on a pallet, supposedly sets up easily. If I was living on a farm with plenty of animals and other burnables, I'd be interested in going with this just to get rid of the waste. Maybe Paul can use this on his chicken ranch? With 20 kW output, he could string a LOT of lights! It's a little pricey at $30k

 

http://www.gizmag.com/power-pallet-20-gasifier-biomass-generator/32245/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=431f8de56f-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-431f8de56f-89746070

 

It could be the most important portable power plant you've never heard of. It's called the "Power Pallet" and it is essentially a combined biomass refinery and generator that fits on a single pallet and can kick out up to 20 kilowatts of electricity.

 

I came across the shiny yet unassuming contraption that looks like ... well, like a miniature refinery attached to a miniature power plant, while roaming the back lot at the Bay Area Maker Faire where many of the bizarre or vaguely steampunk Burning Man industrial art creations were also on display.

 

It was an appropriate setting, given that Power Pallet creator Jim Mason is a Berkeley, California-based artist who began developing the portable, flexible power source after the city shut off power to the collective workspace he created for artists working on large scale projects for Burning Man. One of the first concepts he turned to in the quest for an alternative power source was gasification.

 

"Gasification is fascinating in that it's a process of pulling apart fire into its constituent components and being able to control them," Mason told Fast Company recently. "It should be thought of as the operating system of fire."

 

More than a decade later, Mason's company, All Power Labs, now has 35 full-time employees and has just rolled out version five of the Power Pallet after installing hundreds of the units in developing nations and as a research tool at universities, among other places.

 

Basically, the Power Pallet works by burning available biomass, but before the fuel is fully combusted, the resulting flammable gases like hydrogen and carbon monoxide are spirited away to be used instead as fuel in a General Motors engine that works as an electrical generator. Walnut shells are among the best sources of biomass fuel that require the least amount of operation and maintenance supervision with a Power Pallet. Wood chips and coconut shells are next best and corn cobs or palm kernel shells are the most difficult to use.

 

The company estimates that 10 kg (20 lb) of biomass converted to electricity by a Power Pallet is roughly equivalent to the output of burning 4 L (1 gal US) of diesel fuel in a generator, but biomass feedstocks could cost as little as one third the price of diesel per kilowatt hour generated.

 

The ultimate vision forf the Power Pallet is to create a complete, portable and compact power generation solution that can easily be operated by anyone out of the box (or perhaps, off the pallet) without any training. The latest version includes upgrades like automated ash handling, essentially adding an ash disposal chamber that's easy to empty once a day to make sure things don't get clogged up.

 

According to the latest pricing on the company website, a Power Pallet 20 costs about US$30,000 or just under $40,000 for a unit with a grid tie package that allows any electricity shortfall to be met by the mains grid.

Edited by Mikala
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skippy

since when,has carbon monoxide been flammable ? sounds like overselling a dubious product !

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Mikala

since when,has carbon monoxide been flammable ? sounds like overselling a dubious product !

 

Yeah, I looked at that and thought perhaps they meant to type methane. If CO is flammable, our cars and trucks would go a LOT further!

Edited by Mikala
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Headshot

When I was in junior high, my best friend's older sister was with the Peace Corps working in Nepal teaching villagers how to build cheap methane generators to provide fuel for cooking. The villagers in the high mountain villages had traditionally used firewood for cooking, but they had almost totally deforested the mountainsides around their villages. That resulted in a lot of soil erosion and avalanches and landslides wiping out entire villages, and surviving villagers (and neighboring villages) were very motivated to find a new solution to provide fuel for cooking.

 

The people in these villages are herders, so they had access to plenty of animal manure. The design was simple to build and, above all, cheap. Using the methane as a cooking fuel is a much more efficient use of the gas than using it to generate electricity, and then using the electricity to cook food.

 

Here is the basic design they used, but the methane was piped to the cook stoves in individual homes rather than to an electric generator...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiHDQClpZfI

 

BTW...the second part of the project was to erosion-proof (contour plow) and reforest the mountainsides, which they did. Today, sixty years later, the mountainsides around (especially above) those villages are heavily forested, providing the animals with food, holding the soil with root systems, and protecting the villages from avalanches and landslides. Sometimes it really isn't nice to mess with Mother Nature.

Edited by Headshot
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lamoe

Sorry didn't see your post. Did same along with better wind turbine.

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Jsteam

since when,has carbon monoxide been flammable ? sounds like overselling a dubious product !

Carbon monoxide has always been inflammable, it burns in oxygen to produce Carbon Dioxide. In the old days of coal gas before natural gas became common, the major constituent of the gas was Carbon Monoxide, hence the stick your head in the gas stove oven and turn on the gas, the CO killed you! :bomb:

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lamoe

Carbon monoxide has always been inflammable, it burns in oxygen to produce Carbon Dioxide. In the old days of coal gas before natural gas became common, the major constituent of the gas was Carbon Monoxide, hence the stick your head in the gas stove oven and turn on the gas, the CO killed you! :bomb:

I've read that 30% of the gas now  is oxygen and that's enough to breath. It's the loud bang when the refrigerator compressor stated and produced a spark.

 

This is neat.

 

Most modern gas appliances are fitted with an (ODS) oxygen depletion sensor also known as an (ASD) atmosphere sensing device or oxypilot. These monitor the oxygen levels in a rooms atmosphere and shuts off the gas to the burner in the event of the flue becoming blocked or if there is poor ventilation. more

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  • 1 month later...
fred42

Boi mass burner.. To be more descriptive.. Rice husk bio mass cooker designed by a Filipino!!

Edited by fred42
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Mikala

 

 

I would burn baby seals if they were cheap enough and provided enough energy.

 

This is the singular most impressive statement I've read in years. Too bad there's not an abundance of baby seals near Cebu!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Not really a “green” energy solution but

 

But it is. Gasifying coal is not though. 

 

As the use of paper slowly dwindles it becomes more and more relevant. Here in Norway forest now grow unchecked as the paper industry is no more. Soon we will be felling lumber just to prevent overgrowth, this lumber can be chipped up and gasifyed to produce power. A producer gas plant can clean the gas and pipe it in to turbines and to the trucks supplying lumber, u cant get much greener than that. 

Edited by Runian
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