General Gasifier Troubleshooting hodgepodge

I don’t know how best to organize this info, but want to capture some recent troubleshooting suggestions under other topics. Please feel free to add to or correct this list or start a new and better organized troubleshooting topic. My apologies to all for not giving you credit or for poorly representing your suggestions.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t jump to conclusions or assume the worst. Keep an open mind. Make lists and diagrams. Ask for help.

Perform a baseline test regime: Run and record performance under specific, repeatable load and conditions (Wayne video records a 0-60 mph test on a specific stretch of road).
Test engine on gasoline to see if problem persists before blaming gasifier.
Change, alter or fix only one thing at a time* so you will know which action fixed the problem. Make a list and start with the easy stuff.
Air leaks–pressure test with soapy water, smoke test, create suction and watch a vacuum gauge or manometer while using liquid on suspected joints and fittings. Don’t assume stock parts (air cleaners, hoses, fans, blowers, valves, etc.) are air tight. When running on gasoline, closing air mix valve and gas pipe will stall engine immediately. If engine runs at all you have an air leak near engine.
Engine compression– stuck valve or particle holding valve open.
Gasifier Restrictions–water, tar, rodents, wasps, bends, kinks, collapsed hoses, flame arrestors or nozzle too small or glazed over with clinkers.
Engine Restrictions–Use compressed air at spark plug hole to check for restriction between cylinders and throttle. Burn out carbon in intake manifold. Use additives to remove carbon build up in cylinder and around valves Marvel mystery oil, BG’s EPR (Engine Performance Restorer) etc.
Spark plugs–keep clean and reduce gap by 20% except on new feedback ignition systems.
Timing–sheared flywheel key or cracked flywheel can cause starting and running problems.
Mixture*–If running petrol and too rich there will be smoke out the exhaust. When running on woodgas you can richen the mix enough to kill the motor and there will be no smoke.
Flare-Does your gas burn on its own? For good engine gas, it has to ignite with a spark and burn with a roar. (Some fan/blowers may push too much gas through the flare pipe or the flare burners don’t introduce enough air to sustain a good flare.)
Consult old gasifier manuals for trouble shooting tips–Pederick, etc.

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treat your gasifier as a good old woodstove, ashes out and fresh fuel every day will keep the troubles away…
“feel” the drag on your engine / gasifier, adjust airmixture untill it runs at its best…
keep an eye on your filters, better clean than sorry…

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Took apart gasifier multiple burn thru of preheat tubes . I had been running for year with air from lighter tube .

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Hi Henry, did you notice operation of the gasifier being different lately from a year ago?
Bob

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Before I had approval for grid tie I tested unit with demand electric water heater . I could get flare ,start engine , engine would stop all gas was being burned in gasifier .Caped air intake used lighter tube for air intake . This year I had to clean blower , got flare , engine would not start . 4 cylinder one had compression . took head off engine burning out tar .

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upside down
air line spec 72 inch 3/4 stainless steel x 5 . This is rust shale crumbles when touched .
wraps 1 1/2 times around . wood gas passes coil to cyclone . caused blockage of gas flow .
Got flare , start engine , engine stops , no flare , all gas burned in gasifier .

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lapping valves , seeing a lot of pitting on valve , which is rust not tar . This occurs on intake valve , on cleaning exhaust valve there is a spiral pattern on stem near flute that must be original machining . .

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can not remove rust pitting from small area of valve face , rust goes through whole intake valve .

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That sounds like a manufacturing defect.
Rindert

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valve

I do not think you can see the exact spot , It is a rusty valve . have I lapped the valve more then I should ?
!/8 inch .

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Pretty much ALL metal was cast (poured into a mold) at some point. To me that looks like a batch that didn’t get flux, so it is shot through with oxide inclusions. Flux would have caused those inclusions to coagulate and float to the surface as slag (sometimes called dross).
Rindert

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The engine has also been sold for marine use . I can get parts as boat parts . I will just put engine together with parts I have .
Have new head gasket . Waiting on parts to rebuild gasifier to stock configuration . 72 inch flex gas lines 5 of them . breach burn through in gas line caused wood gas to burn inside gasifier causing more damage to gasifier . On first use , perhaps unit was shipped with this flaw ? Some 300 of these units were sold . I was not supposed to get one of them . I paid for a newer version , but I was shipped a total piece of crap sealed in tar . $34,146.00 ALL POWER LABS INC , 2013.
If I was in California I would have sued .

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Ouch!!! I am getting a worse and worse opinion of those guys as time goes on.

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Henry,
I got curious and checked out the All Power Labs website once again. I brought up their warranty policy, which I expect you have seen, too:

http://www.allpowerlabs.com/products/warranty.

It sounds impressive, but do they honor it?

All power labs
I am unsure why you are escalating this to threatening legal action. We are cooperating with you. You’ve only recently (within the past few days) made a request to return the DSE equipment. This is not standard, but we are considering ways to accommodate your request.

Please inform me/us of what our company has done for you to react so strongly.

You ordered a product and we shipped it to you. We offered to train you and your reply was " I demand a refund on the DSE equipment because I can’t get my local utility to agree to grid tie the equipment". I am sorry that you ordered a piece of equipment and your use case has changed due to extenuating circumstances, that has nothing to do with our company or our equipment. We will assist as best we can.
Me
I had asked if unit complied with IEEE1547 . You sold the unit as a grid tie unit. the unit has no certification to be used in USA as grid tie unit…
As soon as I got unit you started selling v5 . Tech expected that I had v5.

I did not say. " I demand a refund on the DSE equipment because I can’t get my local utility to agree to grid tie the equipment", You must get a lot of these. Your tech told me it was only certified in Europe after I told him like 20 times that I have net metering. I told Com Ed that you told me it was not certified . I was willing to try to make this work. I am not going to pay you anything. If you say I need your technician here I will send the pallet back.
Allpower Labs wanted $9000.00 as down payment to send out technician . and they had asked why I had not already sent money for technician to commission unit .All power labs does not offer support for versions earlier then V5 . All power labs does not support single phase 240 for grid tie . When I said I had single phase 240 they simply could not understand my words . I got call from my installer who worked with boiler that he would specify voltage and he would make it work . He helped get boiler installed but never worked on generator.
It took five years and I spent another twelve thousand to get unit working on netmetering

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replaced air lines with what I could buy after getting wrong item from other vendors . will need to cover threaded ends with fire clay , retort cement . Does heating incoming air actually reduce tar ?

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put engine back together . ran engine . compression tested engine . low on 1 and 4 , high on 2 and 3 . Ran engine on cylinders 2 and three only , removed rocker arms and rods , ran under load . ran out of gasoline used 2 cycle mix .
Rated 20 Kw , was told by allpowerlabs it will never do that , load is 8 Kw , output today was 80 amps 48 volt .
engine is 3 liter now 1.5 . should get 8 Kw from one liter .

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I should say it “The golden words” .very informative and practical tips

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That doesn’t sound good. Are 1 and 4 not sealing? You had it apart were there ridges at the tops of the cylinders on 1 or 4 or both. Oil pressure at idle?
Rindert

very low hours , no ware to cylinders . lapping should have sealed valves . had good compression on second cylinder before doing any work . do not have oil pressure gauge . spent day on intake planning three filters . have coil of tubing to use as condenser . 1 under 40 2 over 150 3 over 150 4 over 40

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