[Gasification] Gasifier Automation Circuitry for Sale

Mark Ludlow mark at ludlow.com
Mon Jan 24 00:23:24 CST 2011

As is usually the case, the hardware is probably the least critical system
element; firmware and a development environment that is flexible and
tailored to the needs of someone who may actually prefer to "program with a
soldering iron" is the key element, in my experience.

I have used a bunch of Galil RIO-471x0 PLC's
They are I/O dense, have a "free" development environment, and best of all,
have Ethernet connectability plus HTTP and TCP-Modbus compatibility. We did
design a breakout board for the I/O that allows the use of plug-in
solid-state relays and resistors for 4-20ma loops, plus ruggedized terminal
blocks. We did just as Greg proposes to do: sent a board layout to a service
bureau for "instant" PCBs. These PLCs sell for maybe $250 and have
opto-isolation, built-in PID routines, counters, etc. and can do floating
point arithmetic and lots of other cool stuff as well. But the real beauty
is the Ethernet! We strung 17 of these units together on one drying system.
They are very robust and nicely packaged. With a wireless point of presence,
you can lie in bed, with your laptop on your belly, and drive your gasifier!
Galil's strength is in motion control and we use these devices to move
dampers, control valves, monitor safety systems and regulate system
variables of all kinds. Plus they are industrially hardened and nicely
packaged. Downside? No RS-485 (only RS-232).

I am in full sympathy with Greg's ambitions, but it's nice not to have to
re-invent everything, every time! I love to build controllers, but the
software, especially at the device level, can be an impediment, especially
with a real-time, multi-tasking OS. Yes, it's fun to do, but this approach
works best, methinks, at 1,000+ unit level, where development effort can be
reasonably amortized. Having a controller with a speedy RISC MCC and all of
the development firmware in ROM for less than $300 (OEM) is hard to pass-up.
But good luck Greg, in any case!


-----Original Message-----
From: gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org
[mailto:gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of Jeff
Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2011 9:32 PM
To: Discussion of biomass pyrolysis and gasification
Subject: Re: [Gasification] Gasifier Automation Circuitry for Sale


I have an Arduino, just wish I had the time to dig into them! What a
tool for the money.


On Sun, 2011-01-23 at 22:42 -0600, doug brethower wrote:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino



Sent from any port in the storm via  Acer netbook & Ubuntu Remix.

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