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Here are some free plans to get you started. Also, don't miss these other free PDF downloads.
These are the critical dimensions from the most successfully deployed gasifier in history.
Free plans put out by FEMA. Great for a weekend "lets see if this actually works" project.
NOTE: this is an emergency-use design - stratified gasifiers are known tar makers, placing your engine at risk. Best used for flares and heating applications.
A taste of Ben Peterson's excellent plans. This gasifier is designed for a small stationary engine, like a generator. You get the schematic and general overview for free. If you want step-by-step plans you'll need to buy his book, available at www.woodgasifierplans.com.
A very easy to build charcoal gasifier designed by Gary Gilmore. Works well for backup generators and most small engines.
Make a woodgas camp stove! Get your feet wet with gasification and build this cute little stove using tin cans. Design by Arthur Noll.
The team at Mother powered a truck back in 1981, read the articles here and here. You can contact them for the plans. OK, it's not free - but it's pretty cheap. A well documented build is here, videos here.
Raymond Rissler's classic design from 1983. One of the few gasifier designs that uses sawdust for fuel.
Jim Mason's design. He makes the plans freely available, so you can build one straight from the CAD files.
General design schematics for Larry Dobson's design.
Don't see what you need? You may be interested in the following:
Backup power or primary off-grid - whatever your situation, woodgas can make you more independent. The above mentioned designs can be adapted to a smaller setup. We have a subforum dedicated to small engines. Large generators will be more like automotive applications, with some added automation to keep things running smoothly.
Cruising the freeways is a part of the American Dream, but it's much more affordable when you're burning scrap lumber instead of gasoline! You'll want to convert a light truck with plenty of power, because gasoline engines lose about 30% power on woodgas. The ideal vehicle is a 92-95 Dodge Dakota with a 318 V8 engine. Wayne Keith has extensively developed gasifiers for this breed of trucks, and his gasifier design can easily keep pace with freeway traffic, even towing a small trailer for extra wood.
A caution about these vehicles. Gasifiers can be designed for any size engine, from a lawnmower all the way to industrial power stations. But vehicles present a challenge - the gasifier must perform well from idle right to full throttle. This great difference in demand is referred to as the "turndown ratio". A huge gasifier might power a heavy truck at speed, but not produce good gas at an idle. A small gasifier will idle great - but at the top end you will run short of power. The Keith gasifier is designed to produce a moderate amount of power (about 90 HP) - plenty to move you down the road in a light truck, and still small enough to idle well. Even with the highest turndown ratio of any gasifier made, we're pushing the limits. Wayne has run a gasified 8L V10 Dodge Ram on his farm for the past two years, with no issues. Farm work is mostly below 30 MPH. Heavy trailers are no problem at this speed.
Plenty of folks want a wood powered truck to haul a 5th wheel or heavy trailer down the interstate. This may not work out well. Aside from the issue of wood storage in this situation, it's likely to require more power than the current systems can produce. In this situation, you can consider hybrid driving, where the main fuel is wood but gasoline is used to supplement the extra power. You will still see a major cost savings, and the vehicle will perform well on pure woodgas when the load is removed.
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