Tom Collins' Gasifier

Don/group; Here are four pictures of my “umbrella” in the lid of the top drum/silo. The first picture is a picture of 2 different lids I have used. Both are “crowned” on top so the condensate will flow to the edge and drop off. The second picture is of the top of the drum/silo. I have a hole in the top of the drum with two rings welded around the hole. One rib is for the lid to seat on and the other, with a round disk forms a gutter. The third picture is a look down on the center hole showing the rings and gutter plus, four slots in the gutter to let the water drain out onto the next part pictured. Picture four is the bottom side of the barrel lid with the “cone” attached to the bottom. The cone is spaced down about a half inch from the lid. This allows the water to fall through the gutter holes, onto the edge of the cone and flow to the gutter around the outside of the drum. Water can also collect on the bottom of the cone and flow into the gutter.


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Hey Tom,
I guess I just noticed you don’t have a WK gasifier. I know this isn’t the right thread but would you mind sharing some pictures of your truck/build on DOW? I noticed your gasifier sitting on top of your bed rather than in. So, if you don’t mind…

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Thanks Tom, Where do you store hopper condensate? Does that dome and umbrella lift up together or separate? Did you add the umbrella later or right from the start? The reason I ask is because I like to know how effective they are in collecting more water.

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Moved to new thread. Thanks for the photos Tom, we’d love to see more of your gasifier!

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Bill, Don, and All; Especially Chris for your interest in my build and allowing me on this thread. I’d like to start by introducing myself, then an overall of my truck (details to follow)
I am Tom Collins 76 year old and I live in Crivitz, Wi. My first interest in woodgas was in the 70’s durning the “oil embargo”. I sat in gas lines in LA reading about wg in Mother Earth magazine. It wasn’t until 2000 that I got my first computer and started looking up wg, that things started to progress.( only two articles on the internet on wg then) I’ve gone through 3 engines, two vehicles, about 3 totally different gasifiers and many many rebuilds. I did not build by “design” but I built by “evolution”.
My truck is a '94 Chev 1/2 T 2WD with a 4.3L engine and a 4 speed with OD transmission. My gasifier is NOT a WK. It is my version of a Mike LaRossa using brake rotors—I call it a LaRotor. I am in NO WAY suggesting anyone copy me; I only show what I have done that might give you some ideas of how to improve your gasifier ( I can not usually just copy something I have to make some “improvements” to it) I feel that if you are building your first gasifier follow Mr. Waynes book and if it is NECESSARY to deviate from his build, understand what you are doing and come to this forum for assistance.
The 1st picture is an overall picture of the truck-- those are 4" schl. 40 cooling rails. More on that later
The 2nd picture is an overall of the gasifier.-- I use counter flow heat exchanger to heat incoming air and cool the gas. ( Don, You can see a pipe going from my condensate gutter to a 5 gal. “jerry” can on the side. Just the domed lid come up when adding wood.)
The 3rd is my engine compartment. Very simple— the top/butter fly off from a “small” carburetor and the mixing chamber a PVC “Y”.
The 4th is my instrument panel.— cooling rail & grate vacuum. I am trying to get some thermocouples, but having trouble with Chinese quality. TC’s that are not suppose to be grounded have shorts. ( use Carl Zinn’s presentation and check ALL TC before installing)
http://jamclasses.drbanjo.com/static/dimages/100_2237.JPG
http://jamclasses.drbanjo.com/static/dimages/100_2240.JPG
http://jamclasses.drbanjo.com/static/dimages/100_2241.JPG
http://jamclasses.drbanjo.com/static/dimages/100_2244.JPG

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Looking great TomC
You lining yourself up to be the next front page high-lighted project.
Regards
S.U.

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Tom,
It looks like your close to your first light off

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I’ve been driving it around here this summer. Went to Green Bay and back for the furthest trip. Needed wood for the beast so took a break to built a wood chunkier. Working on making things better such as exhaust leaks. Get them fixed and back to driving around.( I hope ) Working on the famous 75%

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Hi Tom,

Looks great! Glad to see you’re making progress. Simple is good.

Rick

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The rewards of success are: needing to build a chunker. Both projects are looking good.

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Good morning Mr. Tom

Thanks for the picture and the history .

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Hi Tom

Have you ever advanced the timing or played with the timing at all on the truck?

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Thanks for the comments from my friends here on DOW. To Dustin; yes I have a spark advance on the truck. As you saw with Mr. Wayne’s tractor, my truck runs with the advance in either position but runs best when running on petro to have stock settings, but on woodgas the advance is best. I can’t tell you how many degrees I advance it, I just tweak it until I hit the sweet spot.TomC

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Ahhhhhh, the sweet spot … OBD2 tends to find it automatically … Saves a lot of grief … I think Ron Lemler was reading all the parameters as we went around the 20 mile block on the 98 S-10’s maiden voyage … Goes up to 45 or 50 downhills and settles between 15 and 20 under load … Usually cruises around 19 but I’m too busy driving and need trifocals now which I don’t have :o) … M
PS, usually 14 or 15 on gasoline …

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I had a bad day yesterday and need a little insight. I have not driven my truck for a couple of weeks ( I stay at the farm and don’t even go to town to get a morning cup of coffee. wink) I was working on the chunkier and then I decided to work on some mechanical problems with the old truck. Yesterday it stopped raining so I decided time for a ride. The silo had char above the nozzles and some char/brands covering that. I poked a hole in the gasifier down through the grate. Turned on my blowers(vacuum). Darn, nothing happened. Oh well I could have plugged in my Kirby but thought, why not light the char and take off on petro until the WG starts pulling up to the engine. I tried to light the charcoal. I had another problem. I put a new tank on my propane torch and it wouldn’t burn very long in the upside-down position. I finally thought I had a good enough fire until I could pull some vacuum on it. So I took off down the road on petro with the air to the engine coming through the gasifier. It would not make WG. It has been very humid here lately and the brands on top were stuck together with tar, which I broke up. QUESTION; Is it possible sitting so long the charcoal absorbed enough moisture from the silo cooling and the humidity in the air that it would not burn??
Got to go pull my bulge blowers and see if soaking them in diesel will revive them. TomC

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I don’t think I would dare to start my gasifier that way. I never start my engine until I see grate temps above 900 F. I can light a flare when grate temps are about 450 F. Maybe when I get more experienced I might change that but I still push the accelerator first thing when I get in after total cool down to see if it sticks. I am paranoid about tar.

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Don, I’ve started that way many times, it works fine if the char bed is in good shape. Uses extra gasoline of course. But lack of blowers won’t shut me down… :slight_smile:

Tom, wet wood will make more steam than gas. Check for air leaks. Also check that the air inlet valve was open, and any blower or drain valves were closed.

Slight chance, if you have a very small char bed you might have gotten into heater mode - did it get super hot down there?

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it would not absorb enough moisture to hurt anything. When I pulled my char bed to rebuild this spring, I left the char in an open top bucket all summer. It lit just fine. Did you open it up when you got home to see if indeed there was a fire going? If the engine pulled enough to start a fire, and that resulting wood gas was pulled up to the motor, it would either run, or kill the motor from carbon dioxide and smoke from a smoldering gasifier.

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I can’t count the times I’ve forgotten to open the air intake.

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I keep telling my wife I need post it,s open air in close blower out vent before lighting!!! good times.

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