High performance gas making as required for large engines or turbine application has been inhibited by the dimensional limitations imposed by conventional gasifier designs. Fluidyne's work with packed carbon beds has also identified specific needs for different wood species requiring the gasification parameters to be changed or "tuned".
Tuning the gasifier requires small increments of change to create the optimum phenomena resulting in a gas with no condensible tars or pyrolysis oils when cooled.
The Mega Class project is drawing on the technical expertise from New Zealand, Canada, and Northern Ireland to develop an integrated package of power generating technology. Specific attention is being directed to fuel preparation, with emphasis on residue wastes not currently gasified or seen to be appropriate for incineration technologies. The photograph shows the first of this new design of gasifier set up for manual testing in Canada, and it should be noted that the tests are to establish limitations of component design rather than testing of the gas making process.
Initial tests using briquetted fuel indicate a fuel to gas conversion rate of 1 tonne/hour, sufficient gas to produce about 1MWe via established engine powered generation. It is expected to increase the output capability once the automated fuel feeding equipment is installed and fuel storage bunkers put in place. For this existing test programme, the gas is burnt to waste via twin 250mm flu stacks with all emissions and waste residue being measured. Waste heat from the gas cooling, can if necessary be ducted for space or water heating.
This programme of design in New Zealand, and construction in Canada and first tests were conducted in a period of 12 weeks. The fuel systems are now in place and extended operational testing commenced on 18th September, 2000.