Sweet... wood fired electrons...

TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
http://stonepathpower.com/woodgen_info.htm

Got this off a performance truck board I also hang out at. 2.5KWH off a wood fired boiler, designed for residential use. No need for a backup generator anymore. Unfortunately, they aren't quite ready for sale yet, but should be sometime this year according to their website. Something like this would definitely make up for those low/no sun winter days

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    Looks nice, but no prices, no shipping date.
    Apparently, you load the firebox full of wood, and the computer manages the draft, you just reload it the next day ? Also, you need a source of cold water, to cool the steam, to continue producing power, could be problematic in the dry late summer times.

    I'd like to have seen some fuel/power curves, if low load demand, will it throttle way back, or does it have to keep the turbine spinning at 10K RPMS .
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    I doubt this will ever see the light of day for commerical sales. Steam power is one of the most dangerous ways to produce electricity. I like this disclamer at the VERY end of the info page
    Special Operating Licenses

    The WOODGEN25's boiler has a heating area less than 10 square feet and is exempt in some states and provinces from requiring an operating license, contact the factory for details.

    Even if I lived in the woods, and had an unlimted supply of firewood, I would use PV or even Wind long before I even thought of having a steam boiler anywhere near a residence. As Mike pointed out, it requires and unlimted supply of cold water.
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    I dunno, I think one would make a fine backup instead of using a generator. If you think about it, anything can be dangerous, especially if the danger is not respected and the maintenance is not performed. I'd have no problems at all with a steam generator next to the power generation shed, especially if it meant my fuel was free (I don't consider my own effort to be a cost, if it's something I want to do).
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,921 admin
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    Don't ignore Solar Guppy's warning. A century ago, exploding boilers were a major killer in the US (and probably around the world).

    If you have a fast enough Internet connection, take a look at YouTube for "Mythbuster Exploding Water Heater"... A 30 gallon electric water heater exploded around 300 PSI just like dynamite. When 300+ feet in the air and took down a 2x4 and plywood building like it was not even there.

    Also, you can go to the Discover Channel Mythbusters website and near the top hit "Raw Videos", search for "Exploding Water Heater" and they show the effect of blowing up a 50 gallon water--300+ psi, 10 feet away, instant death from the shock wave (let alone the scalding water)...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    I don't ignore the warning, I'm very aware of the danger of such a system. But, the science behind them and the metals used are much better than they were in the late 1800s. Besides, danger lurks everywhere. Solar panels can deliver a killing shock when the sun is on them, batteries can explode, ect. It's just a matter of learning how to properly operate the equipment and making sure the correct safety gear and procedures are in place.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    Please explain what "science" and "metals" are better in this proposed system than the 1800's boilers.

    If this guy can get the boiler UL approved, then maybe there is some merit to it.

    From my keyboard, its nothing more than some welder fabricating a metal box and trying to keep it small enough to skirt century's long safety regulations. Its one thing to tinker for yourself without regard for human life, quite another to sell it to others as something you load and forget once a day.

    To compare a high pressure wood fired boiler to PV or battery as equal in safety concerns is flat out ridiculos
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...
    Please explain what "science" and "metals" are better in this proposed system than the 1800's boilers.

    Surely the folks that work metal and build boilers haven't just been sitting on their butts for 100 years using the same technology? I am neither a metallurgist or a boiler tech, so I can't go spitting out history lessons on either subject.

    Look folks, I'm not trying to sell these things to anyone, and am feeling put upon by some of the comments. If you don't see a use for it, fine. I do, and if they start selling these units when I get a place up I plan to look them over. Yes, steam vessels can explode, so can batteries. If the unit looks to be unsafe, then of course I'll give it a pass. If this subject is this offensive to people I invite the board moderators to delete the whole thread and I won't bring it up again. I just thought it was a pretty cool little device that would increase a person's capability, since it could be used to both heat water and produce electricity from a single fire.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,921 admin
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    Telco,

    I did not intend to take offense at your posting here... I was more concerned about the system and their relatively cavalier attitude towards high pressure steam boilers by the maker...

    Also, there are a wide variety of people who read this board and, many times, we discuss issues and systems where there is a real risk of disaster if something goes wrong or somebody, without knowledge, makes a goof.

    It is difficult to gauge anyone's experience via the Internet and, speaking for myself, want to make sure that nobody gets injured or killed because of wrong or misinterpreted information posted here...

    As a guy who loves mechanical systems, I would be all over that boiler/turbine looking at how it was put together, how it works, and how well it works. (I have been hanging around my daughters' swimming pool maintenance room because it has not been working correctly lately--very interesting to see how the boiler/heating system works--or doesn't--but I don't touch a thing--I know my limits).

    I am very happy that you posted this here--but this probably will not be a solution for very many people here because of various reasons (assuming that this ever makes it out the door).

    Best Regards,
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    NP, sorry bout that, guess I was feeling a little :cry:sensitive yesterday and I wussed out. :blush:

    On a more serious note, I really wasn't recommending everyone run out and buy these things, obviously one would want to look it over first, and see if it was built to take what would be thrown at it. I just thought neat, an all-in-one backup system that can heat water and run the heater and fridge off a stick of wood instead of gasoline, diesel, propane, ect.

    There are things that can make this safer, such as installing it inside of a concrete bunker and spraying Rhino Liner on the interior walls. The Air Force found rhino liner sprayed on the outside of bunkers to be effective against mortars, so should be effective against a small boiler explosion. Another feature, not available at the start of the last century, would be a computer controlled safety system capable of everything from warning of a problem to a complete automated shutdown. It would just have to be able to open a steam vent, close a flue and close off air supply to shut it down, not a lot needed so it shouldn't be too complicated. Since it's already being designed as a load it and forget it system, this should already be built into the system.
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    I also posted this to a boiler centric website I also post to, and a fellow from England posted this little gem which uses a pellet stove with a Sterling engine to make 7.5 to 14.9KWH in a much smaller unit. Not sure how much in pellets it takes to make this kind of power per day, and of course those of us in the US would need a 120V/60HZ inverter, but it looks like this addresses the concerns of a steam boiler's pressure levels. Only bad things about this is, it does use wood pellets instead of regular wood, and appears to use a natural gas flame to fire the pellets. But, if someone could come up with a way to run one of these off a regular log burning wood stove...

    Edit, just found a pellet mill that claims to make pellets out of anything burnable. Sometimes I feel like a gold miner...
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 639 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    Honestly if someone made some small device you could just set on a woodstove to make 250-500w I think they would sell like hotcakes. In my mind I think, "How hard could it be?", but it is probably pretty darn hard.

    A long time ago I saw plans for some simple steam generator that blew the steam past a generator to generate electricity. The neat part was if it ran out of water, it just stopped and since it released the steam as it went it didn't have that potential steam explosion. If I remember correctly it made the home pretty humid and only made like 50w.
    3kw solar PV, 4 LiFePO4 100a, xw 6048, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Tesla 3, Leaf, Volt, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...
    Telco wrote: »
    am feeling put upon by some of the comments. If you don't see a use for it, fine.

    and why wouldnt you? maybe as your opinions were called ridiculous when you were just trying to inform people of something? some people in this thread have a habit of throwing out flippant opinionated remarks on subjects that they know nothing about, so ignore it.

    ive been reading alot about solar electric plants in the news that use not the usual PV but concentrated mirrors to...... makes steam, essentially powering the same kind of generator that coal fired (steam) power plants use now. i guess its a lot more economical than standard electric pv . i also undestand the concept is not new but seems to mbe making a comeback for its economical advantages over standed pv.

    http://tomkonrad.wordpress.com/2006/12/07/they-do-it-with-mirrors-concentrating-solar-power/

    i have seen that boiler exploding on mythbusters that was intense.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...
    BB. wrote: »
    A 30 gallon electric water heater exploded around 300 PSI just like dynamite. When 300+ feet in the air and took down a 2x4 and plywood building like it was not even there.

    Wow ! That made me so hot, watching that video
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...
    Telco wrote: »
    I also posted this to a boiler centric website I also post to, and a fellow from England posted this little gem which uses a pellet stove with a Sterling engine to make 7.5 to 14.9KWH in a much smaller unit.

    That little "sunmachine" is still going to need a source of "cold" to keep the sterling engine running. Should actually be called a tree machine, unless they actually get it working off a parabolic dish.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    All interesting stuff,I agree, I would love love an affordable CHP generation plant that would be the perfect fill for the colder winter months, and I agree is doesnt need to produce a great deal of power to make a difference we have our wood burner on 24/7 when its really cold and 300 -500 watts of power would be great.

    Bringing articles like the to the floor make the Forum such a good read, hats off to you Telco,8)

    Somebody soon one day come up with an absolute gem it maybe tomorrow :D

    What ever it is it will have to be non solar powered solution. I say his because I doubt anything will replace the simplicity and longevity of the PV Panel, and around $2000 for 500 watts its going to be hard to beat a no fuel cost ,minimal maintainance, tested technology . Trouble with them is they don,t come with a start stop switch .or work in the dark:cry:
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    No problem, thanks.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Sweet... wood fired electrons...

    Its wild that you post this Telco, i was just thinking of a steam-powered generator. It makes sense because the hot water could be used to heat the house too...

    Only i was thinking of using solar-thermal panels to make the steam; sort of an alternative to using a thermopile.

    I recently built some thermal panels, the pump didnt start one day and it got hot enough to VIOLENTLY boil my 50% antifeeze mix (Hmmm... got me thinking).

    Your post makes me think of using wood-burning as a kind of backup for when the sun doesnt shine
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