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The Jorgensen Wood Gasifier Prototype is up and burning.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by deerefanatic, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    Some updates on the JWG.

    First, I got a new fan from Grainger. It's a blower, rated at 559 free CFM. It derates to 330 cfm at .8" wc. I'm restricting it off most the way and achieving combustion temps around 1300. I'm still getting secondary air leaking into the firebox... (As the refractory expands, it pushes the walls of the firebox out, then when it cools, the walls don't come back. I've tried all sorts of sealants and none of them last..... I'm going to line the sides of the firebox with firebrick to cover this up and seal it off..)

    I had to insulate the top of the stove as it was throwing off so much radiant heat that it was overheating the motor on my draft blower.

    The angle iron girdles helped strenghten the stove somewhat.... I have my pressure relief set at 8-10 psi and my operating pressure runs about 6 most the time..... I pressure tested the stove to 10 psi and while the exchanger cover was bowed noticeably, it wasn't starting to creak or make noises....

    That's about all for now.

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  2. Blevesque

    Blevesque Member

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    This thing is awesome! Please keep us updated. What are you using for process controllers?
  3. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    Well, I wish it was awesome! :)

    I am currently working on some problems. First, having the blower on top of the stove is not going to work. It got so hot up there it melted my motor capacitor and supply wiring, and may have damaged my blower motor as well.... So I've moved the blower around to the back of the stove and am ducting the air via 3" ductwork to the top of the stove...... I'm now having a lack of airflow..... so more experimenting is in order for today.....

    For process controllers, I'm using these: http://www.lightobject.com/Dual-Display-PID-Temperature-Controller-P43.aspx I found them on eBay, but then I found the seller's website and see that they're cheaper there... I've bought them both ways, the service is good either way.

    That's about all for now.
  4. Blevesque

    Blevesque Member

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    Thanks for the website. Those are good prices. By moving the fan outback, 3" pipe and an elbow or two you are now looking at static upwards of 1.0". I think the fan you have falls on it's face after .75". Could you run bigger pipe from the fan to the boiler and neck down there.
  5. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    You are absolutely right... I measured the SP with my homemade manometer today and it was indeed close to 1" water column... So I went back to the hardware store and bought 6' of 6" diameter ductwork and 3 elbows.... Blows like before now! :)

    I have some other things that I need to ask that has to do with getting my air settings dialed in, but first I need to upload the videos I took so you all can see what I"m talking about.
  6. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    matt-- can you please point me to the part of their website that has the actual thermocouples or other sensors, and/ or product manual for the controller? I looked but am not finding any of the above. I need something that can go in a 1/2 inch NPT fitting as a sort of "well" (although I could make do with some kind of clamp-on sensor) I'd like to use a PLC/ PID like that to sense the outlet side of my water to air HX, to turn on the air blower, and then someday, after I get the wrinkles ironed out of the rest of the main components of the system, to use a PLC/PID hooked to a VFD driving a 3 phase motor on the air blower, so as to shift max possible BTUs from water to air at lowest feasible fan speed/ electrical consumption.

    Thanks
  7. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Matt-- did you receive and connect your new 70 plate 5x12 HX?

    and if so, is it doing the job?

    I called Flat Plate this PM and spoke with one of their application engineers (Eric) who was very helpful, but who readily agreed that figuring the sizing of these HXs, when accounding for the far wider swing of delta-T with wood + storage, than with fossil hydronics, makes for a very interesting puzzle....

    their software and experience seems to suggest that a 30 plate 5x12 should be OK for 150 mbtu/hr- but your and WoodNotOil's experiences seem to suggest otherwise.

    Their software seemed to suggest that a 50 plate 5x12 should be rockin' for this BTU level, but I'm still stumped by the fact that while I would prefer to spend no more than needed, I most of all don't want to spend $$ in vain on something to small, only to find out that it doesn't work and end up needing to spend even more money on the thing I should've bought in the first place...

    PS, I see a really interesting new variant of their product, especially for those of us who may want back-to-back circulators or 4 way ball valves on each side of the plates to maintain countercurrent flow under both charging and discharging modes--

    http://www.flatplate.com/pdf/hydronic/FP_frontback_connects.pdf

    thanks
  8. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I don't see how your referenced plate hx is functionally different than other plate hx's, other than the location of the ports, which can be an advantage depending on the plumbing setup.

    I am using a 5 x 12 x 30 plate, 1" ports, with my Tarm (140,000 btu rating). Generally, so long as return water is under about 130, idling is minimal on the high end and unusual with return water in the 110 range. As return water temp rises above 130, idling becomes more frequent. The idle cycles are short (about 10-15 minutes) before the draft fan and boiler re-starts.

    I just switched out a Taco 007 on the load side for a Grundfos UPS15-58 FRC 3-speed to see if idling would be reduced as the pump speed is increased. Logic tells me it will, as more water flow should take more BTU's. Too early to see whether the difference is significant, although output water temp drops as speed is increased, which I expected.
  9. Blevesque

    Blevesque Member

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  10. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    Ok, several replies.

    First, Trevor:

    The temperature controllers I posted the link to come with a type K thermocouple with 3 ft leads. Works great for a strap-on sensor for a nearby pipe. But, if you need a well type or probe type thermocouple, forget getting it from those guys.... Get it from somebody who makes a good standardized thermocouple like Omega or Dwyer Instrument........

    I know that this particular controller won't work with a VFD like you're looking for... Something more hi-end is in order for that.

    As for my flat-plate:

    Yes, I have it installed. No, I'm not using it yet as I still don't have my tank completely filled with water, nor do I have my motors hooked up and their various control circuitry figured out. But I'm working on it. I do know when I was filling tank the other day, I was taking water coming out of the well at 55F and putting it into the tank at 130F........ That was with 180 degree boiler supply water.... And, that's with co-flow (vs counterflow) in the heat exchanger....... System water leaving the HX and heading back to the boiler was averaging around 145 or so when the output water to the tank was 130-135. So, if one had counter-flow, it would have theoretically been even better. but, in my case, I have to pick my evil, counterflow when charging or counterflow when discharging...... To me, it's more important to have the counterflow when I'm drawing off the tank than when I'm charging it.

    I do like the 70 plate as I'm using a 007 on the boiler side and 15-58 grundfos's on the tank side. Incidentally, I turned one of the grundfos's on the other day and started pumping water off the bottom of the tank, through the HX and up into the top. I had to set it at the lowest speed AND throttle the valve on the HX as even supplying the HX with 115F water, it would deplete heat from the system water faster than the boiler could heat it up... :)
  11. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    Ok, here is an update on what's happening.

    First, I'm getting burns in the 12-1300F range most of the time... Although if I keep vigilent with the stoker, I can keep it in the hi 1300's and even mid 1400's. I'm burning slabwood and it has a bad tendency to bridge up and let the coal bed deplete which kills combustion temps...... I think I have excess air, but lowering the fan control even more sends combustion temps plummeting and produces smoke. I'm going to try and seal up my air leaks and then see what happens.......

    Also, stack temps are pretty high...... Running 1250F pre heat exchanger leaves me with about 650F stack temp.... Running 1450F leaves me with a 720F stack temp. I think I need to make turbulators for the heat exchanger tubes. Plus, the tubes could probably use cleaning as I had a lot of long, idling burns and haven't cleaned the hx tubes yet....... Probably have alot of fly ash in there.

    I've got the tank filled now. 1150 gallons. Got the top of it up around 165 and the bottom to 147 when I shut down the stove. Guess we'll see what happens overnight. :)

    Either way, I can't complain. I burned the burner all day heating the house, DHW and heating the 52F well water to 135F before hitting the tank (about 400 gallons worth, the tank already had 650 gallons from a different day) then finished heating the tank up...... I used about one small loader bucket of wood all day long....
  12. Blevesque

    Blevesque Member

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    Thanks for the update Matt. Now hurry up and get the bugs out so I can build one of these. Ha Ha J/K
  13. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    Still running off the tank as of right now. I have some errands to run this AM then I'll fire the boiler to heat things up! :)
  14. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    Some observations on the boiler:

    After giving the heat exchanger a cleaning the Saturday, my efficiency has improved. I am now seeing 800 degree drops in temp. When burning full boar Saturday, I achieved a pre-heat exchanger temp of 1480. My stack temp was 660. I have 2" firetubes with no turbulators except for some pieces of small chain in 6 of the tubes. I'm going to try and make twisted metal turbulators and see what they do for me.

    A thought on my pre-heat exchanger temps. First, I think my secondary chamber is too large. The center where the nozzle is located glows bright orange. I will have no physical flame from the wood, but a big rolling orangey-blue haze in the middle that flows forward, then splits and runs down the passageway on each side of the chamber toward the rear where the heat exchanger is. Now, part of the heat exchanger extends down into the secondary chamber. The flames like to flow along the top of the secondary chamber, where they collide with the jacket of the heat exchanger, have to deflect down under it, before passing the combustion temp probe and heading up the firetubes. I think this may be causing my low pre-heat exchanger temps as those flames and hot gasses striking the jacket of the hx probably cool off a bit.

    My average pre-hx temps run around 1200-1350F and if I keep the coal bed stirred up and small wood in the firebox, will go as high as 1480 (the highest I have observed.) My stack temps use to be around 750F, but since cleaning the firetubes, has dropped significantly. I think some good turbulators will bring it down some more.

    Here is a picture of the side of the stove. The dark metal object on the right is the heat exchanger. As you can see, it covers a good portion of the rear of the secondary chamber: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1371020&l=1843f&id=733618614

    Here is a photo inside the gasification chamber. The chamber is about 12" tall inside. You can see in the back the heat exchanger extending down into the chamber where the gases have to go down before they can go up the tubes. I think this is peeling off a lot of my combustion temps: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1371021&l=be3d3&id=733618614
  15. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    bet that 2x4 doesn't last long when you get a good burn going. ha ha. I was wondering if you could make a ceramic shield for in front of the hx so it would deflect the burn so it wouln't cool it off as much?
    leaddog
  16. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    It didn't! :) LOL!

    I probably could make a shield, but my thoughts are, being that the burn is over by that point in the game, why cover that up only to make the firetubes have to absorb more?

    What I need to do is get another probe and stick it through the door area and see what the actual nozzle temps are. Should be up around 2100-2300
  17. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    another observation. I need to introduce my primary air differently. Right now, primary air is introduced via a slot in the top of the firebox, all the way to the front centered over the door. I've been noticing that my coal bed and wood get eroded away in the front of the firebox, which then leaves part of my nozzle exposed and causes combustion temps to drop. I'm thinking on building a shield over the air inlet that directs the air across the top of the firebox and evenly distributes it along the lenght of the firebox to keep this from happening....... Right now I just keep on top of things with the poker every hour or so.......
  18. Hobartian

    Hobartian Member

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    Whilst it has been nearly two years since the last post I am hoping to find out more about 'The Jorgensen Wood Gasifier' as I would like to build a similar boiler.

    I have priced commercially made units but they are way beyond my means and consequently building a down draft boiler is very appealing.

    I need the boiler to supply hot water for a hydronic heating system I have installed in my home. I have built a refrigerated heat pump which I am using to heat hot water for the kitchen and bathrooms but it does not have enough capacity to supply hot water for the radiators in the hydronic system.

    I also tried putting a large stainless steel coil in a wood heater but that was in-effective as the coils cooled the fire and again not enough heat was being transferred to the water for the hydronic system to be effective.

    The Jorgensen Wood Gasifier using the principal of a down draft gasifier should be highly efficient.

    There were some links previously supplied showing pictures of the unit but those links are now in-operative.

    Please Matt, can you kindly supply me as much information as possible so I can build one of these units here in Tasmania Australia.
  19. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't know if Matt is active in the forum right now. I believe he had an overheat problem that caused some damage to the boiler. Materials are a challenge in gasifier construction. I hope he sees this and provides more information, since I don't remember the details.
  20. kabbott

    kabbott Member

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    Here is a link to a thread I started about building a boiler.... http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/40766/
    Read that thread, there is some info on nozzle and firetube size. Also a link to a thread about refractory.
    I think deerefanatic ran into some problems with the design of this one.

    Here are some pictures of nofossil's brothers boiler, lots of ideas here to. http://server.cedarlakedesign.com/pictures/buzz/Nofossil/

    Good luck with the project it is a lot of work and I have decided not to build one as I am so busy now at my day job I don't have the time
    and will just buy one.
  21. Hobartian

    Hobartian Member

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    Thanks for your prompt and informative replies.

    From the links supplied I found this posting by Matt dated 30 August 2009 in a discussion about building a 'Gasser':-



    (I’ll tell you from DIRECT experience, you WILL spend more money, and you probably WONT get a working unit out of this endeavor… Not trying to damper you or be negative, but that’s what happened to me…..

    BUT, if you’re going to take this on, here are some pointers.

    #1; YOU MUST water jacket the whole stove like EKO does…. I tried to get away not doing this to save money…. The stove warped… BAD and was ruined.

    #2; Air control is tricky…. Don’t try and get creative with this.. EKO has a GOOD setup and do yourself a favor and do it as they did.

    #3; If you don’t have a GOOD BIG welder (180amp or larger MIG welder with shielding gas, obviously a 220v unit) and the skills to use it properly, DONT weld this yourself…. You’ll be chasing leaks forever…....
    Signature

    -Matt Jorgense)


    It certainly gives me a lot to think about.

    It was never my intention to build a steel case. My thoughts were to build the boiler out of brick and refractory cement and line the whole thing with firebrick in a manner that individual bricks could easily be replaced. I would need to use steel to make the doors and door frames but the inside of the doors would be covered in firebrick as well.

    This thinking comes from my observations of the way Russian masonry heaters are made and apparently they have a very long life if constructed properly.

    I don't want to give up quite yet as I have invested so much in my hydronic heating system which I would like to see being supplied with water at about 75 degrees C.
  22. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Google

    Seton Boiler Plans

    and I think you may find a direction that's of interest

    good luck
  23. allan

    allan Member

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    I built my own "Garn like" boiler. I know several others on this site were building their own boilers. It does cost more then you think and take longer. I built a 3000 gallon hydronic heater that works very well. I have about $7,500 into my system. Steel prices were high when I built mine and I used tested pipe which was fairly high. I would look around for a boiler that was used. They do come up from time to time. I have seen a number that are used but never installed. Check this forum's "for Sale" forum and see if anything is there.
  24. Hobartian

    Hobartian Member

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    I have received suggestions that I look at the Garn boiler or possibly purchase a used boiler.

    The Garn boiler looks very simple but is not a gasifier. Never-the-less it may be effective. I don't know. I would like to hear from anyone who has first hand experience. One thing the manufacturer talks about is that the water coils are self cleaning. Does the heat burn off any deposits of creosote that may form on the coils when the fire is reaching temperature?

    In regard to buying a used boiler.

    I live in Tasmania Australia and consequently the cost of freight from USA or Canada to Australia for a heavy boiler would be prohibitive.

    Another option is a Russian style masonry boiler as described on the Stovemaster web site which can viewed on the following link:

    http://www.stovemaster.com/html_en/wood-burning_boilers.html

    I would be interested to hear from anyone who has seen one of these designs working. The construction looks relatively simple and affordable.
  25. Hobartian

    Hobartian Member

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    This is another link to the building of a russian style masonry boiler with lot's of informative pictures.

    http://heatkit.com/html/lopezs.htm

    Has anyone seen one of these in operation?

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