How much biomass will I need?
Our gasifiers consume around 0.75kg of dry wood per kWh of electricity generated. So to generate 90kW of electricity all the time (say 8000 hours/year based on 90% up time) you will need 12 tonnes/week of wood chips with 15% moisture.
power - at start-up a source of 3 phase electricity (grid or small
genset) is needed for the electricial control and data systems and
the start-up blower
Water Supply - the system uses a small amount of clean water
Not a problem. Our modules can be bought in multples and run side by side. This has the added advantage of minimising the amount of time whne there is zero production due to down time (maintenance, etc.)
What is inside biomass that makes it capable of becoming a fuel?
When biomass is heated in a low oxygen environment the plant matter releases oils, gases, charcoal, ash and water vapor. We use the heat of the charcoal to refine the gases, oils and water vapor into a hydrogen rich fuel gas, similar to natural gas. It is hot enough inside to split water vapor.
Can I store the gas?
Technically yes, it has been done. A biogas storage membrane is the best option, but storing large volumes of gas can be both dangerous and unnecessary. Using batteries and hot water storage is safer and more convenient.
Can I pump the gas into my house?
No, but you can cook with it outside. Indoor gases are required to have an odor added to them for safety. Part of the gas contains carbon monoxide which burns very cleanly, but can kill you quickly in an enclosed space.
How long will it run?
The Hotwatt will run unattended for 2-3 hours on a fill. The density of the feedstock and the engine load determine true rate of use. A morning batch and an evening batch is a very efficient way to get all of the heat and power an average home will need in a day while using a tiny bit of wood.
Can I power a diesel?
You can run up to 80% wood gas and operate an un-modified diesel. To run 100% woodgas you must add spark ignition.
What is the difference between clean gas and dirty gas?
Clean gas has been broken down to a molecular level. It’s just hydrogen and burnable carbon gases. Dirty gas has residual burned oils that didn’t get fully broken down. Virtually every competing gasifier you are likely to see will suffer from this problem. You can burn the oily gas, but the burned oils, called tar, will stick on valves and cause them to stop functioning when used in engines. It is very important that you understand this. There are many people on the internet making wild claims about their machines and really they are tar machines. Hope you don’t have to find out the hard way.
What is the maintenance process?
Empty the ash bin twice a week. Empty the water condensate after 8 hours use. Change the dry filter system after 8 hours use. Total maintenance time is less than 4 minutes per day.
How do I hook it up to an engine?
If you purchase a complete turn-key system with engine, we take care of it. If you are powering your own engine you will need some sort of throttle control. This would be a governor in a genset or the gas pedal in a vehicle. Next you need an air mixer to get the right ratio. This can be accomplished with simple valving available at your local hardware store to start. See the owners area for tutorials.
Can I purchase extra parts?
Yes. Many people want extra parts so they can outlast an EMP event or they fear the availability of supplies.
What is your warranty?
We offer a 20 year lifetime warranty on major parts that we build and we offer a 1 year 5,000 hour warranty on electronics (motors, switches, controllers, plc’s, etc) and consumables (seals, gaskets, choke plates, etc.)
Can I use it outside?
Our non automated units are capable of full time outside operation. Gensets should have an enclosure. Automated units can take some rain, but aren’t meant to be left outside indefinitely. A small cloth canopy from Costco would be the minimum to keep the elements off.
How is tech support handled?
We have an owners site with videos and tutorials. We provide a few hours of complimentary phone and email support. If you need more attention we have a mentoring program.