Alternative electricity production methods.

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Alternative electricity production methods.

Postby Untameable » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:58 pm

Looking towards an off the grid property and I'm starting to do some research in this area. I have some experience due to an "off the grid" caravan (trailer for US peeps) setup but I'm somewhat of an electricity pig and while a solar panel, AGM batteries and a couple of generators are all well and good for camping I can see that in a permanent setup petrol for the generator would be a significant expense. I would also be less likely to sacrifice my elec. toys in a permanent setup including my very nice but power hungry new computer. My 2200W 4 stroke generator uses about a litre of petrol an hour (approx 3.8 litres per gallon for US peeps. Thanks to 'Live Free or Die' for correction here.) This makes power generation using this quite costly obviously. My smaller 650W 2 stoke genny uses much less fuel but is not really even powerful enough to run my 50 Amp battery charger. So I'm looking for alternative means to produce power when its night or the sun is not shining and a large solar array is not coping with the load.

I'm wondering if any of our "off the grid" members have any experience with ISES gasifiers or wood fired steam turbines?
One of the primary concerns I've seen on videos on ISES gasifiers is that they burn out within a couple of years unless you use stainless steel in the hottest sections (furnace). So I'm contemplating building one out of a couple of old top loader washers I have in the shed using the thick stainless steel wash drum for the furnace area. This would be a round furnace rather than the square one seen in the ISES gasifier video. I wouldn't really wish to build a new gasifier every couple of years. I would think that the round shape would actually be more efficient due to more even burning apart from the inefficient use of space. (Round drum in a square chassis) I'm not really worried about the inefficient use of space aspect to be honest. I was also thinking the motors from the same washers could be used as generators in a wood fired steam turbine. However I have found little info on this on the web which makes me wonder on the legalities of this issue as it would be a pretty simple setup when one looks at the relative simplicity of a coal power plant (similar principle.)

Anyone who has any experience with either setup please share your experience for us all to share. For those who are unfamiliar with an ISES gasifier this youtube video covers the principle. At this stage I'm not even sure that it's genuine but if it is, it looks interesting but a much more inefficient means of generating electricity although the added benefits of adding a water heater and fuel generation is interesting. It really looks like it would be really modest amounts of fuel generated too IMO so I'm liking the idea of wood fired steam turbine more at the moment. For a small home setup I'm doubting one would need river access for cooling and that a large water holding tank would cover it.


Anyhow here is the vids on ISES gasifier.



and



Also interested in any other methods people are using. Thanks for sharing.
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Last edited by Untameable on Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
hasmat wrote:The delusions that so many have is incredible. Some men, but nearly all women.
Watching them touch the hot stove, over and over, is like watching a retard finger paint with their own shit.

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Re: Alternative electricity production methods.

Postby Live Free or Die » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:09 pm

Isn't it 3.78 Liters in a Gallon?
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Re: Alternative electricity production methods.

Postby Untameable » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:18 pm

Live Free or Die wrote:Isn't it 3.78 Liters in a Gallon?


Quite possibly mate lol. Not so much research put into US friendly conversions. Maybe I need to check that and correct the OP :lol: Either way it's as dear or dearer than mains power supply with petrol at $1.60 AU per litre. Using either of these methods would be free apart from chainsaw running costs on a property offering a good supply of wood used in a sensible renewable fashion. Also one less thing you're relying on outside society for (petrol) and one of the biggest expenses in modern homes (electricity).
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hasmat wrote:The delusions that so many have is incredible. Some men, but nearly all women.
Watching them touch the hot stove, over and over, is like watching a retard finger paint with their own shit.

The question is not whether fish needs bicycles. The correct question is how fast will this bicycle I throw in the ocean rust?
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Re: Alternative electricity production methods.

Postby EddieS » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:58 pm

I use nickel iron (Edison) batteries with my solar. While they are more expensive they work out cheaper in the long run imo. I'm not an electrical engineer, but it seems to me they have more usable capacity than lead acid also. They can be drained to almost empty safely and without affecting life. They last for many decades. Basically a lifetime. Apart from electrolyte topups they are low maintenance. They can be charged and discharged at a wide range of rates. Drawbacks are they self discharge over a few days. Losing half of their capacity in 48 hours. Which on solar is not an issue really. I'm very glad I invested in them.
I don't have any experience with the methods you mention. They look very interesting. I might investigate as a backup as I have a near endless amount of fire wood available. Combined with the hydro set up I am looking into I will have plenty of power.
Thanks for this.
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Re: Alternative electricity production methods.

Postby Untameable » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:14 am

Thanks for the tip EddieS on nickel iron batteries I'll have to look into that one. I'm not an electric engineer either but I've heard that cranking batts (reg. car batt) can only use 30% without damage. SLAB batt (Sealed Lead Acid Battery) can use 50% and AGM batts (Advanced Glass Matting from memory) can use 70-80% without damage. They however are also pricey. Mine were about $330 a pop for 110Ah and that was a pretty good price. Not sure how that competes with the nickel iron but AGM's are only good for around a decade, so nickel iron is sounding promising for the long haul. AGM's do hold a charge well though. I wouldn't be too fussed in a property setup with this though. It does come in handy with a camping rig however.

I would be interested in details on your hydro setup also when you build it.
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hasmat wrote:The delusions that so many have is incredible. Some men, but nearly all women.
Watching them touch the hot stove, over and over, is like watching a retard finger paint with their own shit.

The question is not whether fish needs bicycles. The correct question is how fast will this bicycle I throw in the ocean rust?
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