Firewood to Electricity….???

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AJMD429
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Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by AJMD429 »

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I think in uncertain times it would be good to be able to recharge low power electronics with solar, heat with wood and passive thermal or similar things, but also be able to at least intermittently have high power AC via generator to do things like power a freeze-dryer. We have regular gas/diesel/propane type generators easily obtainable, but I keep thinking in hard times petroleum fuels might be unobtainium, but firewood or other stuff to heat water is always available.

I’ve seen articles on missionary medicine and third world stuff referring to some commercial wheelbarrow-sized generator units designed to run on steam. I don’t know if they are talking steam-engine (piston, flywheel, and all that which is relatively low-tech) or steam-turbine (which I’d think would be more precision high tech). Either would be great but I’m sure there are parts and maintenance and skill differences. Nonetheless if there are commercial units being donated to third world communities I’m guessing whatever it is can’t be that difficult to use.

Any of you ever see such a setup…?

It seems to me that the perfect companion to solar would be something that turns firewood into electricity in a battery bank you could put through a converter to AC.
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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by Gobblerforge »

I played with thermal electric generation a few years ago with only small return. Getting heat and cold together efficiently is a challenge. Steam is in my mind the way to go but there are so many things that can go wrong, and the dangers are real, that I didn't play with it. I will be watching this thread.
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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by jeepnik »

Currently licensed L A steam engineer since 1980. All sorts of steam powered electrical generating things have been invented. Heck, you can modify a small gas engine to run on steam. The engine usually has an alter that can produce AC power.

The problem is the “safe” generation of sufficient steam in both quality and quantity. Modern boilers are pretty efficient, compared to any primitive system you could cobble together. But even these modern boilers are relatively inefficient.

Your biggest problem, in most locals is having sufficient water available. And remember in order to get the best efficiency from your “system” one started it should not be stopped. This would require 24/7 attendance sufficient fuel and attention to detail. So manpower requirements are significant.
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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by Sixgun »

Some years back I looked into a windmill as we sit in the open with a fair breeze……it would have taken me 20 years to get my money back and by then the turbine and batteries are worn out……

Then we have a stream out back but I can’t get enough drop from 400’….maybe 8’ if I ran a pipe on a 3-5 degree drop…..not enough, and that may freeze or be susceptible to vandalism….

The only thing that makes sense is solar…..stock up on panels like we do with guns and food……it’s cheap and available most of the time but it takes research and know how……..one of those things that will pay off if you put the time and energy into it.

The way I see it IF it all comes down to that we will probably be dead anyway……..we all know Covid was a test run…..who wants to live in a world where everyday it’s a major struggle, seeing your family and pets die off?

I just do the normal…..plenty of non perishable food, guns and ammo, excellent water supply, plenty of wood out back for the stoves, fair amount of solar for lighting and security, generator with 60-100 gallons of gas that I rotate, my health………and then go live and have fun, call people derogatory names, laugh at their junky vehicles, bi+%h about politics amongst like minded people…..and so it goes……—-006
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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by AJMD429 »

.
"...Steam is in my mind the way to go but there are so many things that can go wrong, and the dangers are real, that I didn't play with it. I will be watching this thread.
Click Click Boom
..."

...or maybe 'puff, puff, BOOM... :o

"...I just do the normal…..plenty of non perishable food, guns and ammo, excellent water supply, plenty of wood out back for the stoves, fair amount of solar for lighting and security, generator with 60-100 gallons of gas that I rotate, my health………and then go live and have fun, call people derogatory names, laugh at their junky vehicles, bi+%h about politics amongst like minded people…..and so it goes..."

Kinda where I'm at, too, but I do like 'projects' (more planning than doing though, the older I get... :lol: )
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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by Sixgun »

That’s all I do anymore Doc…..projects…..my wife says I have ADD but once I start a project I don’t stop until it’s done and then I take a 30 minute break and start planning the next one. Me too, I like the planning part. Get it all figure out then go to Home Depot and dump a grand on stupid, but usable quality stuff.

Off the subject if you ever need a tool to hold something firmly while your grinding or cutting away, a vise is OK but a real vise is a wood splitter. I was cutting some 1/4” diamond plate with an angle grinder the other day and I just put a stump on the ground, some 4x4”’s, then the metal plate, then more wood..started the machine and stopped it when it got a good hold. Straighten out or bend some heavy metal?…forget the heating and hammering…….just use the 27 tons the splitter makes. :D

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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by Bronco »

Question about solar!
Recently the news has a clip about a solar farm getting destruction from large hail! I get some good size hail here 1/2" to 3/4", any answer to preventing the possible damage from hail ??
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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by jeepnik »

Bronco wrote: Mon Jul 01, 2024 7:46 pm Question about solar!
Recently the news has a clip about a solar farm getting destruction from large hail! I get some good size hail here 1/2" to 3/4", any answer to preventing the possible damage from hail ??
Cover the panels with 1/2" plywood when hail is a possibility.
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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by beau »

Hello all. Been snooping here for years, just never posted. My son has built a firewood, or any carbon based material, burning gasification. Its powerful enough to run a v8 engine. I will post a video when I figure out how to. I have a friend who is one of the top carbon to gas designers in the world. He's designed them for community power in several 3rd world locations. It is old technology, put on the back burner by power companies, utilities, and oil companies. I will post video soon
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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by KWK »

They used to make cars to run on wood gas. It's not without danger in that you're playing with carbon monoxide.
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Re: Firewood to Electricity….???

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Looking forward to seeing the video, beau.
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