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Topics in this GEKnews:
1) Live V5 Gasifier webcast set for this Thursday on Asia, Europe, and Africa time.
2) Details of what’s going on inside the new reactor.
3) Final ten days of discounted sales on new Power Pallets.

1) Live webcast this week for Asia, Europe, and Africa:  v5.0 Dissection and Explanation.  

Last week’s webcast from our factory turned out to be quite popular–in spite of the fact it was the middle of the night for many of our customers. ( BTW, what were all you Italians doing up at 4am watching a webcast? ).  To make it more convenient for the other half of the world, we’re going to do the webcast again, only this time during your daylight hours.

This round we’ll start at 2am Pacific time, the morning of January 16th. This is GMT-8. This lines up to the following times in Africa, Europe, and Asia:
10am in Monrovia, Liberia
11am in Paris and Rome
12 Noon in Johannesburg, South Africa
1:00 in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia
3:30 in New Delhi
5pm in Bangkok

Jim will host again, walking you through all the details on the innards of the V5 Gasifier and Power Pallet. Questions will be taken and answered live.  The webcast will be at: 

Want an automatic reminder? Send an email to with the word “reminder” in the subject line, and we’ll send you a note an hour before the webcast begins.


2)The v5.0 GEK Gasifier Hearth Details Revealed

During the webcast, we’ll be going through the details on the new Version 5.0 GEK Gasifier and Powet Pallet. From humble beginnings as a kit for experimenters in wood gas, the GEK/Power Pallet has evolved to the point at which it can now be considered a reasonable replacement for diesel generators, either as a stand alone energy platform, or forming the heart of a micro/mini-grid. If you have waste biomass like wood chips, nut shells, or corn cobs, you can now make on demand renewable energy for as little as $.10USD per kilowatt hour. Some of the new features and performance includes:

* up to 24hour run time
* lower maintenance, longer lasting
* easier servicing
* increased fuel flexibility

Below is the start of a deep dive into the details of the hearth, the heart of the gasifier. We hope you’ll find the solutions we’ve come up with as interesting as they have been for us to figure out.

If tar is the Achilles heel of gasification, then “hearth packing” is its club foot.  The tar problem gets lots of attention, as it is always the first and most dramatic failure (i.e. it’s dirty, smelly and sticky). But “hearth packing” is the next and equally major problem that always appears.  Keeping the charcoal train moving through the hearth, not packing up with fines and choking the reduction zone and grate, is a persistent problem that must be solved before long run times are possible.
The packing problem follows from gravity and gas going in the same direction in a downdraft gasifier (i.e. down), and packing things into a cake above the grate.  This is accelerated by the physical size reduction of charcoal during chemical reduction, and the resulting mass of charash left at the end of the process.  It is common for these fines to get stuck at the grate.  And once the flow stops, fines will quickly back up through the bed, filling the reduction bell, and ultimately the combustion bowl.  The first result is restricted gas flow (as seen via the P-ratio crashing), but soon the concentrated mineral ash in the combustion bowl will start clinkering, and quickly the entire hearth is plugged with glass rocks.   That’s game over, and soon you’ll be face down in the charcoal digging out the rocks.

With the v5 GEK Gasifier we’ve solved this problem by reversing the direction of reduction gas flow.  The gas now flows upward against the charcoal and charash, keeping it more “fluffed”, not pushing it into a cake.  This “Reversed Flow Reduction” is achieved by a compound projected hearth that runs combustion down the center, and reduction rising back upwards around the annular sides of the hearth.  Gas flows downward through the inner bed for combustion, then reverses and flows upwards through an elevated char bed on the outside of the hearth for reduction.
 3_PyroreactorFull-text-350               CloseUp-BlueHearth-alltext-350

The char bed is raised upwards by a novel combination of mechanical agitation and motivated gas flow dynamics.  A high wrap grate basket controls the height of char rise, and creates an open spillway at the top to purge any fines that make it to the end of the elevated bed.  The grate basket is agitated with a washing machine type, sharp “shaky shaky” motion, which both size separates the char pieces via the “Brazil nut effect” (big pieces up, little pieces down), and purges the fines out the perf basket base and sides.  A cone activator under the hearth in the center of the grate, helps to keep things moving by eliminating the usual flat grate for fines to stack against, and keeps the char sliding out of the combustion bowl.


Getting this fines bed management right has been the hardest problem we’ve solved to date.  The work on it really started with the 100kw Powertainer over two years ago.  A long list of hearth and grate schemes have been built, tested and found less than spectacular.  Things we were sure were brilliant and guaranteed to work, did not.

But finally, we’ve found a combination that is nearly fail proof for packing, while at the same time creating over 3x increase in reduction time, for improved gas energy density.  The result is a wider range of fine fuel tolerance, less fussy worry about the P-ratio to monitor bed conditions, and a more energetic gas for increased power.

Getting this fully right delayed the release of the v5.0 over a year beyond our original plan.  However the final result is solid, and realistically ready for the long run time projects most of you want to do.  We’re now happy, and believe you will be too.

For more details on the concepts and methods behind this solution, see the full explanation here:

– Jim Mason


3) v5.0 Sale Extended ten more days 

In our excitement about the v5, we didn’t notice something very important–sometime just before Christmas our web based contact form database stopped working properly, meaning most ( if not all ) of the information that normally comes through there has been lost. So, the only thing to do is extend the sale–for the next ten days, all the new features, performance, and capacity of the new Version 5.0, same price. 

At month’s end, the standard price for Power Pallets will increase.  Until then, we can take credit card or wire transfer to hold the old price and a Q1 production slot.  We’re also offering a significant one-time-only price reduction on multiple unit orders.  This incentive is offered only to customers in Non-EU countries, where CE certification is not a barrier to multiple unit deployments.   Here again are the sale terms:

1-2 units: 50% down
3-9 units: 25% down, 10% discount on equipment price.  
Package includes free onsite time for one technician to assist with installation and training at your site.  You still pay travel and board.  First two units completed in Q1, payment of balance and completion of the remaining units according to a pre-determined schedule
10+ units: 25% down, 15% discount on equipment price
Package includes one of our technicians traveling to your site to assist with installation and training at no additional cost to you.  First two units completed in Q1, payment of balance and completion of the remaining units according to a pre-determined schedule.

Our intention is to incentivize you to actually start the larger scale deployments that so many of you have proposed to us. The new generation equipment is ready to move beyond demonstrations and pilot projects.  We can now make real the ROI you’ve modeled in all those business plans you’ve send us. . . Contact our sales specialist for your part of the globe via our Contact Form.

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