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before i left germany, i thought it’d be good to go see the deutsches museum- the german museum of science and technology. the deutsches museum is somewhat like the louvre of industrial engineering. it’s absolutely stunning. every room there’s another mona lisa of an early industrial process, machine or technology. most all the early internal and external combustion engines are here, starting with the first- the lenoir that fired up (barely) on town gas in 1860.

in the transportation building, there is an original imbert holzsvergasser mounted on a 1938 adler diplomat. this is the first actual real imbert brand gasifier i’ve ever seen. here’s the pictures so far (until i got caught removing too many caps to take pictures of the insides. museum curators just don’t understand what’s at stake here.)…mages.php?c=46

the first and lasting impressing is these things were really rough. there is so much mythology about this machine, and really, and really, mike la rosa could give it a good run for the fabricating money . . .;-) i. somewhat like the saturn V rocket at johnson space center- just basic steel and surprisingly mediocore welding. it was funny to see so many of the same problems and needs solved on the imbert in the same hack manner many of us still do with a welder and a hammer. i saw little lost knowledge to rediscover. i saw lots of expedience, simplicity, and band aids.

still, it was completely fascinating. the base was still full of charcoal, likely from the last time the vehicle was run over a half century ago. (note to biochar enthusiasts- charcoal does not degrade at least in 70years).

i got one of the side ports off and could see the houglass hearth, air preheating circle tube, and char sitting up around the bell. i got a bit dirty, spilled some char/ash on the floor, and felt right at home.

can’t get under the hood yet to see the carb and reheating parts. i’m trying to ask for permission (now that i’ve asked for forgiveness) to get more access to the unit. i’ve been given the contact info for the director of the transportation museum. hopefully i can talk my way under a few more caps tomorrow, with proper oversight and assistance. we’ll see.

until then, enjoy the pictures. its a real treat to see and touch the details of how the ancients solved the same problems we suffer today trying to build these things.



UPDATE 10-30-10

i need to somewhat retract the statement that the ancients had nothing on us “moderns”. there were some unusual and unexpected things in the imbert. things i’ve never realized from the drawings and the reports. nothing game changing, but some of the details and integrations between internal reactor components was more mature than we’ve realized.

i’m going to need to write this up in a series of reports, going component by component. i have pictures of everything, as well as complete dimensions that i can translate into cad files for the entire system. in the interim, here’s a portrait of the researcher at work . . .

also, there turned out to be another vehicle with an imbert gasifier in the vehicle part of the museum. this one was a ford truck with behind cab unit. same basic architecture and components, but some significant differences in execution.

i didn’t get to spelunk the ford gasifier. i only got to dig through the one on the adler. but fortunately i got to dig all i wanted. three hours worth. i was rather wonderful, in a somewhat disturbingly geeky way. the musuem staff was excited that someone actually cared about this. the docents wanted to learn lots of details of why and how, as they gives tours of this machine regularly.

reports will start soon. in the meantime here is a link to the picture gallery:

Imbert at Deutchesmuesum

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