Alex English, January 2012

Its a long winter, and old bones and cord wood and Crispin make me

Attached are two pictures which show my early steps towards
understanding the limitations of gravity with stoves.
One shows a wedge shaped door spacer "the Artful Dodger' which picks the stove's pocket for draft and connect it to any burner idea I can cobble together.

The other shows it operating with a burner that has a small unsealed
hopper for pellets. I use a loose lid/follower to ride down on the
pellets. So far there has been no fumes coming up and out, and the fire has not chased the air and fuel back into the hopper. The bottom throat on the hopper is about 5 cm diameter. It operates continuously at one speed with an input of 1.6 kg of wood pellet per hour.

For a video

Flame Speed Video
Alex English, October 6, 2009

This is a very short video which demonstrates the flame holding ability of a hole-in-thin-plate as Andrew described. The video also shows the nature of flame speed. For most of the video the flame is loosely attached to the outside of the combustion chamber. During this time the mix is fuel rich and has a slow flame speed slower than the rate at which it leaves the chamber. Near the end, the flame is able to rush back inside. I can control this with primary air or secondary air adjustments. Primary air controlling the rate of fuel gas production, secondary air supply providing oxygen for combustion and both influencing the resulting mix and its flame speed.



Teaching Renewable Energies and Sustainability in the School of Diogo Vaz (São Tomé, Africa)

This work aims to show how sustainability and renewable energies could benefit a rural area of Africa (in São Tomé) by means of using solar energy and biogas. Applying these technologies requires ingeniousness and little founding, the favourable outcomes are becoming less dependent of fossil fuels (wood, coal and gasoline) while saving time and, more importantly, the forest. We have taught how to design, build and operate systems for cooking, lighting and water-heating that use renewable sources of energy.

Two Days at the Appropriate Rural Technology Institute Field Research Station in Phaltan, India
Working with Hemant Mahajan (ARTI Engineer, with the white cap) to demonstrate charcoal production using Top-Down pyrolysis and off-gas combustion. ( Nov 28-29, 2000)
Alex English english@kingston.net

Having come all the way to India to present a paper on this topic (Preliminary Tests on Charcoal Making-
Pyrolysis Gas Burners) it seemed appropriate to at least try and demonstrate the concept. So after the conference I spent two quick days in Phaltan, building, modifying and trying out a oil drum charcoal maker modeled after one I built back in Canada three years ago.

This shows the mostly full drum of cotton stalks. This trial did not work so we moved on to a denser fuel, bamboo.

Here the drum full of vertically packed bamboo is ignited on top. The drum has a few dozen small holes in the bottom for
primary air to promote the partial combustion, or pyrolysis of the bamboo. During startup no air is allowed into the drum from
below. The fire on top needs to be burning over the whole surface. Then a small hole is dug in the dirt at the bottom of the drum to allow some air up through the bamboo to the fire on top. This increases the fire intensity and causes the fire to move down into the bamboo below the top. After five or ten minutes the burner can be placed on top.

With the burner placed on top the flames are extinguished and the bamboo smoulders or pyrolyses. Notice the small opening in the dirt at the bottom of the drum.

High Performance Combustion with a Simple Technology
Alex English, 553 Maple Rd. Odessa, Ontario, Canada K0H 2H0 , Nov.15 2000

Alex English, October 20, 20000

Pyrolyser with Horizontal Burner Alex English March 24, 2000

The following three images relate to single experiment. The goal was to set up a forced air burner for the gasses from a top-down pyrolyser. This is a concept which could be scaled up for firing a conventional boiler, kiln or __________(you fill in the blank).


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