[Gasification] 100kw Powertainer unveiling this week at University of Minnesota, Morris

Tom Miles tmiles at trmiles.com
Wed Jun 27 09:18:43 CDT 2012

Congratulations, Jim. 

I'm sure that your "powertainer" will be an "entertainer" for many weeks to
come. :-/

I know that you are trying to make the technology affordable which is one
goal we need to achieve. Another important goal is to make the technology


-----Original Message-----
From: gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org
[mailto:gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of jim
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:30 AM
To: gasification at bioenergylists.org
Subject: [Gasification] 100kw Powertainer unveiling this week at University
of Minnesota, Morris

Bear Kaufmann, Jeff Tiedeken and I (Jim Mason) are at University of
Minnesota, Morris this week installing the Powertainer and setting it up for
its initial runs onsite.  This has been a long haul, and we're very happy to
finally have it here and soon begin pumping power back into the grid.   A
big thank you goes to Lowell Rasmussen, Jim Barbour and Dave Aronson at the
UMM for making this project possible, as well as their general dedication to
proving small scale biomass energy for midwestern ag applications.

There is a formal opening and demonstration onsite this Thursday from 1-3pm.
 It is open to the public so if you are in the area, you are welcome to
attend.  More information on the opening and the project can be found in the
press release here:

For the next 6 months we'll be learning and refining the installation
onsite, and hopefully ending with a daily running installation.  There are
many details to work out, and surely many things yet to learn.
However, we are very satisfied with the fundamentals, and the general
proving that one can compact and integrate the full gasification system
(gasifier, filtration, engine and hopper) within one 20'
shipping container.  The goal is the total system in a box, drop it off the
truck and go.  No onsite construction.  Fill the hopper with a conveyor,
skid steer or bucket tractor.

The architecture for this system is essentially the TOTTI vessel and heat
exchange relationships scaled up, with an additional stage of using the
engine radiator blast for predrying the fuel.  The hopper is open to
atmosphere, with a louvered base, so we can pass the hot radiator blast
through the bed.  This should significantly extend the fuel moisture range
beyond the 30% or so top we can tolerate in the standard TOTTI on the Power
Pallet.  We'll be running corn cobs at UMM.  Most of the testing at APL were
on wood chips.

As usual, what started as a gasifier project turned into a fuel handling
project.  Getting a 24hr hopper integrated into the shipping container, with
airlock and secondary heated auger to the gasifier, turned into a
non-trivial 3D LEGO puzzle.  See the galleries for the details for how we
finally solved it.  Thank you to Nick Monahan for the CAD sheet metal
origami that rendered it to real.

See here for the full gallery of photos from the install at Univeristy of
Minnesota, Morris

See here for the full gallery of photos from the testing at APL in Berkeley

We get many people asking us when we can offer this unit to other projects.
 The answer is not yet.  We are not yet at a point of maturity in the design
and details to offer this as a regular commercial unit.  We expect to be
there in about one year.

To help us get there, we are looking for additional projects where a still
in development system is an appropriate fit.  This will be a research or
entrepreneurial setting that can tolerate a
not-yet-fully-hands-off-24/7-running-systyem, in return for the ultimate
reward of a much compacted and price optimized total solution vs other
current options on the market.   Write us at gek at allpowerlabs.org if you are

Hope to see some of you in Morris this Thursday.


Jim Mason
Website: http://www.whatiamupto.com
Current Projects:
   - Gasifier Experimenters Kit (the GEK): http://www.gekgasifier.com
   - Escape from Berkeley alt fuels vehicle race: www.escapefromberkeley.com
   - ALL Power Labs on Twitter: http://twitter.com/allpowerlabs
   - Shipyard Announce list:

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