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Gasification Boiler to Raise Steam

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by acpx854, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. acpx854

    acpx854 New Member

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    Hi, I'm wondering if anyone is aware of a gasification boiler that could raise steam. We're starting a microbrewery and are hoping to use wood to generate steam for the kettle, looking for approximately 300kg/hour of low pressure (~15 psi) steam.

    My apologies if this isn't the correct place for this question. Thanks.

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  2. pdf27

    pdf27 Member

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    I'd suggest sending a private message to renewablejohn - IIRC he uses thermal oil to transfer heat from a boiler to a steam evaporator, which is then used to drive some steam engines. I half remember him saying something about getting permission from a boiler manufacturer to replace the water with oil and this not being a problem, plus the steam evaporator stage being cheaper/safer/easier to get legal approval for or something of that ilk.

    15 PSI gauge pressure is ~1.03 bar so no need for steam tables - that's essentially atmospheric pressure. 300 kg/hour is ~0.1 kg/sec, and the latent heat of evaporation of water is ~2260 kJ/kg so you're looking at a ~250kW boiler. A quick google suggests prices (in the UK - US will probably be cheaper) of ~$60,000 and the supplier says "Ideal for organisations who have staff to process and fuel the boiler. "

    A cord contains ~20GJ of energy, which at 0.25 MJ/second will last you 80,000 seconds - just under 24 hours. I'd strongly suggest checking out where you can get huge quantities of wood cheaply, and particularly looking at a source of lots of wood chips. They're well suited to industrial boilers (can be loaded with a mechanical digger, and fed into the boiler with an auger) and are usually a lot cheaper than pellets.
  3. acpx854

    acpx854 New Member

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    Thanks for the info pdf27, I will PM renewablejohn. We live on a large farm in Ontario, so getting large quantities of wood won't be a problem (just the labour to cut it...). Also, the demand for steam will only be for a few hours per day, so that will cut down on the amount of wood required.

    Does anyone else have a recommendation for a boiler of this size that I could investigate for this purpose (using thermal oil to run an evaporator)? The Garn WHS-3200 meets the size requirements, but I'm not sure if the storage unit would take the temperatures required to raise steam.
  4. Chris Hoskin

    Chris Hoskin TarmSalesGuy

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    does Wood Gun offer a steam boiler?
  5. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

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    I believe they do.
  6. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    Wood fires are very difficult to control heat for kettles and stills.
    That is why we stayed away from them.
    It has a certain romance to it, but you are requiring controlled temps for the process.

    You are going into the business to make $$

    If you want romance, buy a cheap book and get some candles!;)
  7. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    If you only require steam for a "few hours a day" I'd be hard pressed to believe wood will have a favorable ROI over other sources of heat. I'd personally look at electric if the demand was low. My two cents only...
  8. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    Unfortunately electric is not sensitive enough for many adjustments of temps in a micro brewery/ distillery set up.
    I hate to say it but, to get the infinate heat control you need propane or oil fired steam:(
  9. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Thats interesting, I'd think electric would be the most "tuneable". But again I don't know nuthen about no stillary.....

    TS
  10. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    No electric SUCKS! Electric elements have far to lag in the system.
    All you need to think of is professional commercial kitchens. They use Propane or natural gas because it is faster to heat up and you have much more control over the heat. The response is almost instant.
    The same is true when working with steam to cook products.
  11. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Ok, I guess I was thinking of the electric just making the steam. I do cook with LP here, and it is almost unheared of in these parts to have a gas range.

    TS
  12. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    The microbreweries I've seen that use steam typically control the temp of each kettle by valving/controlling the flow of steam at the kettle, not at the boiler. So I'm not sure if the infinite adjustability of gas/propane would matter in this case. Also, if you're planning to run more than one brew pot you're never going to be able to satisfy all of your loads with a single adjustment at the boiler, right? Just my thoughts.

    I am a homebrewer but definitely not with steam. I will be starting my all-grain setup very soon and it will be using electric elements instead of gas/propane for the efficiency and ease of control (not necessarily response, however).
  13. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    Yes the the fine tuning of the heat once the kettle or still is up to temp does indeed come from the the valveing right at the kettle /still. We and many others have found that the electric system just didn't give the umph of heat to get things up to temp, then the ability to sustain the control during the process.
    For us response is control, and perhaps I should have said it in that way.
    If we need that extra bit of heat our oil system is able to bring it right away , where the electric lag could not.

    Maybe there are systems out there that can do it but, I can tell you of people who have lost their shirts, and nearly their busniess after going the romantic Wood method.
    There is also two local mircos that had to switch from electric do to problems.

    And remember it is still cheaper to buy your drinks at a store than start a business to make them!!

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