[Gasification] Spanner

Tom Miles tmiles at trmiles.com
Wed Jan 30 02:03:18 CST 2013


It's good to hear from you. And many thanks for the report on the Spanner. 

I have found some reports on the performance of the Spanner gasifiers. If the it operates reliably then it might be worthwhile considering. It is encouraging to hear that so many are in use. University of North Dakota (EERC) developed a 100 kWe gasifier with a reactor that sounds very similar in concept to the Spanner. It seemed to work well on wood. They built a couple of them but the economics were not favorable so I do not think they are being used.  

I have seen that the 30 kWe Spanner gasifier is about EUR 130,000 and the 40 kWe/100 kWth unit is about EUR 140,000 (USD 189,000). If you add another EUR 70,000 (USD 95,000) for the feed system, heat distribution, and switchgear then it is a fairly expensive heater and generator at about EUR 210,000 (USD 284,000). 

We have a similar situation in most of the US where the only real savings is by not consuming from the grid. Even through there are public incentives for small generators the utilities discourage small generation through high connection costs and other high service fees. 

The economics are favorable in the remote villages in Alaska and British Columbia. The Alaskan sawmill where we installed a 20 kWe  gasifier pays about EUR 496/kWe (USD 670/MWh) for diesel generated power. We estimated that we could generate power with the gasifier for about EUR 296/kWh (USD 400/kWh). A consumer in a larger town pays about EUR 326/kWh (USD 440/kWh). We estimated that we could generate 1 MWe power for about EUR 178 (USD 240/kWh) with public subsidy for a small (2 MWe) steam system but  gasifiers at the 2 MWe scale were too expensive.     

All  the best, 


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