Setup of the system will vary depending on the scale of the operation. The following shows how some have set up their chip handling and equipment.
Bulk chip storage
Bulk chip storage and drying will vary depending on how dry the chips are. If chips require added drying, then a pre-hopper with fans providing heated air circulation may be required. Chips are generally moved by a front end loader to the storage hopper area. Depending on the volume, some operate with two hoppers for added capacity and drying. Two bunkers allow an operator to dry chips in one side while the other side is feeding the wood plant gasifier.
Optional chip screening
Chips may need screening if there are excess small particles. Sawdust debris under 3 mm is not ideal for the gasifier. This can be done prior to or as the hopper is filled.
One solution for drying chips is to build the base of the hopper with grates or slits to allow warm air to flow through the chips.
Heat for Drying
The heat from the gasifier or engine can by routed to a heat exchanger for drying chips. In this example a user is pumping heat directly above the gasifier room to the chip bunker.
This is the first step of an optional feed system. A four-arm rotator below the wood chips directs wood chips to the opening where chips fall into an auger system.
Dual bunker feed system
When using two bunkers for simultaneously feeding and drying chips as shown above, a two-auger system draws chips from selected bunkers into a central point above the gasifier. A one-bunker system would use a similar one-auger feed method.
Though there is no exact layout prescribed for the gasifier and engine. The machines in most applications face each other and are slightly away from the walls for ease of access. The gasifier placement should be planned with respect to the wood chip bunker and chip transportation.
20 unit installation
The engine being used to combust the gas is a GM 5.7 L Vortec V-8 engine. The engine runs at a speed of approximately 1530 rpm and is also turbocharged for maximum efficiency. The engine mechanically rotates an Asynchronous 45kW Generator which is what produces the electricity.
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