Electric from any fuel

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by StirlingWoodPower, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. StirlingWoodPower

    StirlingWoodPower Neophyte Monkey

    I am a design engineer from a cogeneration company. I am trying to do market research on a product I would like to kick start on a crowd funding platform called KickStarter.

    I want to see if there is a market for a product that can make electricity and heat from any pelletized fuel source. Wood, rice coal, corn, or even wood chips will work. Options for gaseous fuel are also possible. Another option could be an outdoor boiler that uses standard logs. I just need my heat source to reach 800degF or higher and I can produce electricity and heat for a dwelling.

    The power generation technology is an existing commercialized sealed sterling engine that requires zero maintenance. The power output could either be off grid oriented or it could be grid tied similar to solar. The product would make electricity and heat at the same time, so one could heat their home and power it using many different fuels.

    Please lend me your honest opinion and ideas so I can try to come up with the right product that can change how we power the world.
  2. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Some questions. are you saying it will start with a pelltized fuel source? meaning we have to make or buy the pellets 1st? I only ask because that means $$ or one more step in the process. Which for me would not be worth it.

    if the goal is to power the world then the fewer steps, the more efficient it is in terms of man power and time. True off grid living takes alot more time and manual labor than most people think. so anything you can do to reduce man hours and increase efficiency while decreasing cost will always be welcome.

    If I missed understood on the peletization then could you explain a bit more.
  3. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Wouldn't that be a Stirling engine as opposed to a sterling engine?

    Grid tied is going to be problematic typically the power company is going to want to certify the 'generator', before allowing the consumer to connect a grid tied device.

    It's going to be pretty big if you want to cogen heat and electricity for today's modern houses. How many KW are needed to power a typical house? Additionally, how many BTU would be required to heat a house in Zone 7 through Zone 2. What about summer time, what to do with all the excess heat?

    Power conditioning is going to be a must for those with electronics.

    As for Kickstarter, I think I saw a project a few years back that is quite similar to your idea. I think they have yet to produce their first unit. That may reduce the population of those willing to back a similar project as the last one may have flopped.
    Seepalaces and Ganado like this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    800F is pretty high for small scale (read as domestic) use, and problematic from a materials standpoint. Also is well beyond outdoor furnaces in common use where there's plenty of wood and wood waste available. What's included in the "sealed" machinery?

    We see you have posed the same question elsewhere on the web. While we don't object to your research or taking a one time attempt for contributions, you'll find most monkeys unwilling to buy into a future product.
    VisuTrac and Seepalaces like this.
  5. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I have seen steam generators offshore and inland fired using natural gas
    However I have never seen one actually operational. All were out of service.
    Ganado and Seepalaces like this.
  6. hitchcock4

    hitchcock4 Monkey+

    How much can you contribute? :cool:
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Do you posses a PE Stamp, or are you just a Graduate Engineer? Many have tried such lofty Goals, but most fail to understand that it is, in REALITY, BTUs/Hour IN, and KWH OUT, minus the BTUs/Hour thrown away in Heat Losses in the System..... Even an TRUE Off-Grid Home will need a Minimum of 3-5Kw if they have ANY Modern Conveniences, installed, at all. Figure out how many BTUs per Hour it will take to make that happen, and then you only get to use the Top 50% for the Electric Conversion, and then you need to recover the Bottom 50% for Heating the Insulated Structure of the Dwelling, in Winter, and powering ther Heat Pump, in the Summer, for Dwelling Cooling. Before you get to far down the System Design Path, you really need to run the Figures and Do the MATH, and don't forget to throw in the efficiency of your Stirling Engine, including it's Heat Losses. Most guys will start designing before they ever do the MATH, and then come up against those "Dang Foolish, Laws of Physics, & ThermalDynamics, that keep getting in the way of the Design. Warning, and Word to the Wise....
    Gator 45/70, chelloveck and VisuTrac like this.
  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I am not sure that a furnace that depends upon pelletised fuel would have all that much appeal to preppers who aim for self sufficiency and self sustainability. Yes, a furnace that enables preppers to go off grid with their heating and electrical energy needs looks enticing from the stand point of convenience I guess....but it still ties them in unacceptable ways to the supply chain of pelletised product from raw materials suppliers, to manufacturers, to wholesalers/retailers to the end user. If, due to disaster, or economic/financial collapse etc... any part of that chain is disrupted...the furnace will be essentially useless unless adapted to alternative means of fuel to energy conversion.

    Will your furnace design include a feature to convert it into a ginormous rocket stove, in the event that manufacture and supply of pelletised fuel goes belly up??

    Pellet fuel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I can reach temps of @500° with just a small Fresnel lens. IMG_20150614_143646929_HDR. IMG_20150613_123323356. so, would not a large satellite dish with a mirror surface, handle the daytime heat requirements? That would cut down considerably on fuel costs. (As a supplemental source)
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  10. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    That might be problematic as one would have to focus the beam on the hot end of the stirling engine, and that is probably going to be enclosed in a firebox in the flame path in the OP initial design as I envision it.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Two Stirling's. They do not need to cohabitate.
  12. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Are you suggesting rubbing two Stirlings against each other to heat the boilers by friction???


    Well, I'll be danged....There are Stirling Aircraft Engines that could power a Stirling Aircraft ( or a model aircraft at least)

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Rather than "Pellet" Fuel, how about just "Shredded" Wood, like what comes put of a Wood Chipper.... Easy enough to make, out of ANY Cellulose based plant. Trees, Limbs, Leaves, twigs, and Branches....
    Run the all thru a Chipper, and then use that to feed the Fire..... The burnt Ash, also will have plenty of uses. I am NOT questioning the Fuel, just the possible efficiency of the completed System, per Hour of Fuel Prep. It wouldn't do to spend even 4 hours a day, doing Fuel Prep, to make it work, and the Dried Fuel, in the be shredded form would hard to store, in any quantity.
    chelloveck likes this.
  14. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    That would seem to be a good form of rehabilitative employment for residents of the county jail. Paying for their keep so to speak.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary