2012-09-25

biofuel & TEG electricity sources

7.30: gear/pedgen powered by wood-burning turbine:
. a great way to produce energy while mobile
is to use a wood-burning steam engine
to power a windmill's electricity generator .
. go to a national park where there is forest litter,
and burn it in a steam engine,
that drives that the generator
that recharges your batteries .
9.25: summary:
. with that thought in mind,
I set about looking for equipment that
already does such wood burning,
and I found an even better idea:
thermoelectric generators (TEG)
-- converting heat into electricity .
. existing TEG-based camper products
include the $129 BioLite CampStove .

7.30: web:
thermoelectric generators (TEG):
. TEGs are made from thermoelectric modules
which are solid-state integrated circuits
that employ three thermoelectric effects:
the Peltier, Seebeck and Thomson .
It is the Seebeck effect that is responsible for
electrical power generation.
Their construction consists of pairs of
p-type and n-type semiconductor materials
forming a thermocouple.
These thermocouples are then connected
in series or in parallel forming a thermopile .
They are then sandwiched between
two thin ceramic wafers.    

When heat and cold are applied,
the device then generates electricity.
Almost any heat source can be used
even body heat!
TEGs have no moving parts to break .
They are virtually silent and rated to last more than
200,000 hours of continuous operation .

. the efficiency of any heat-generating device
can be drastically improved by
recovering the energy lost as heat.
Here is a small example of
how much power you can generate.
. given a pot of hot water with
4-thermoelectric modules attached,
the output is about 8 watts .
TEGs have been in use for many years
by NASA to power spacecraft
and by the oil and gas industry to power
remote monitoring stations around the globe.
Only in recent years has this technology become
available to the general public
and TEG Power is the first manufacturer
to provide practical and affordable TEGs
to the energy conscious consumer.

When you compare the costs of thermoelectric generators
to photovoltaic panels which function only during sunlight,
thermoelectric can pay for itself 3 times faster!
Granted you will need a cheap or free source of heat,
but if you already have an existing heat source
such as a wood stove or hot flu gases
there is no added fuel cost to run the TEG!
[9.25:
. for instance, your lost cooking heat
could be used for recharging your laptop .]

biofueled thermoelectric generators:
The vast majority of wood burning furnaces today
use gasification technology
which produces clean burning hydrogen gas,
making them extremely efficient and clean burning.
EPA approved wood furnaces
are eligible for a federal tax credits.
$129 Stove Burns Wood, Charges Gadgets
Jan 31, 2012 – biolite stoves burn wood, heat water,
and charges your mobile devices long after sundown?
Heat generated from the stove is converted into electricity,
allowing you to plug in via USB and charge your gadgets.
The “sustainable stove” that lessens emissions
and eliminates a camper’s need for
petroleum-based fuels as well as batteries.
BioLite stoves “make cooking on wood as clean, safe
and easy as modern fuels while generating electricity
to charge phones, lights and other electronics off-grid.”
Weighs 2 pounds, packs up small as a water bottle
The stove comes with its own stuff sack,
packs down to about 8 × 5inches, and weighs 2 lbs.
Cost will be when it’s released this spring,
just in time for camping season.
clean-burning fuels with gasification
. gasification is the clean, efficient way
to use wood as in a combustion engine;
The gas generator was an airtight vessel
into which was introduced a charge of
wood, charcoal, or anthracite coal.
Heat was applied to the fuel
either internally or externally
to initiate a self-sustaining gasification of the fuel
in an oxygen deprived environment.
The resulting "woodgas" was piped to the reservoir,
or in the case of small engines,
directly to the engine carburetor.
Wood-gas modified vehicles were therefore
technically a "dual fuel" vehicle
in that a self-sustaining gasification
of the wood charcoal, or coal
required another fuel to start the process.
9.25: Gasification creates carbon monoxide:
. gasification involves the high-temperature
(800 [degrees] C) conversion of biomass,
in the presence of a small amount of
oxygen and steam, to produce a synthetic gas
(containing hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide,
carbon monoxide, nitrogen and water vapour,
depending on the process)
that can be used in a similar way to
natural gas or LPG.
Gasified biomass can also be used in fuel cells .
== biomass-to-motion-to-electric ==
# home-bred steam power
# Wood-Fired Steam Generator
# Wood Burning Turbine
# Auto-feeding wood-fired generator
# Wood Gas Generator
(generate gas from wood for a combustion engine)
# inverted down-draft gasifiers
# Imbert-style gasifier
# woodgas micro-turbine
(recuperator+fuelcell+combustion)
# wood-powered vehicle (WPV)
# producer-gas vehicles
# Jim Mason`Gasifier Experimenters Kit (GEK)
# Mike LaRosa`fuel-injected woodgas vehicle
# LaRosafier [woodgas vehicle conversions]

== any-heat-source to electric ==
# TEG (thermoelectric generators):
# BioLite CampStove`[thermoelectric] Power Module
# BioLite HomeStove (for 3rd-worlders)
# Wood Burning Generator  (biomass-heated TEG)