- there will be a full time operator looking after the unit
- we expect the unit to run about 10 hours per day
- the fuel will be coconut shell or wood chunks
- we envisage using a Nissan 1400cc petrol engine fitted with a syngas carburettor and a 12V cruise control to maintain speed
Once the gasifier is operating, the engine will determine the gas draw from the gasifier. As the electrical load will vary and the feed moisture and CV are variable, the amount of feed required is not fixed.
My question is:
Is there a method that we can employ that will allow the operator to measure the depth of the feed in the gasifier? The item that comes to mind is a rod with a flat bar on the end that can be pushed down until it reaches the bed. Once the depth is known, the operator can add more fuel if required. The issue that has to be addressed is that, ideally, we do not want a penetration into the gasifier as air can leak in where we do not want it to leak in. So, are there any ideas out there? I have thought of putting a non-magnetic stainless steel tube on the top of the gasifier with a steel rod inside that can be moved up and down with a magnet... I dont know how practical that would be though.
I also concede that measuring the physical depth of the gasifier is not necessarily the best way to go about it. I assume that the operator will be able to see the pressure drop across the gasifier from which he can infer what is happening inside. The major drawback of this inference is: what if there is simply a blockage in the gasifier giving a pressure drop that infers a high level when there is not?
I look forward to any suggestions.