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  • hydraulic compression
    buildings Similarly we ll be configuring our hydraulic compressor in a variety of ways in order to match up the various power requirements of each stage One type of hydraulic equipment that we use often here at Windward is our wood splitter In this case an internal combustion engine turns a hydraulic pump which then feeds pressurized oil to a hydraulic cylinder As the pressure builds up in the cylinder the cylinder s piston is pushed out until it makes contact with the wood that we re wanting to split As the wood resists the motor builds up pressure in the cylinder When that pressure builds up enough the wood splits In a hydraulic compressor when enough pressure builds up the gas at the other end is compressed When the pressure of the gas being compressed exceeds the pressure in the next storage tank it moves out through the check valve and into the next stage That s it repeat as needed A huge advantage that hydraulic compression offers us is the ability to compress a small amount of gas to high pressures at precisely the time that it s needed In the first stage 1 to 4 bar we ll use a 2 hydraulic cylinder to push a 6 pneumatic cylinder a 9 1 power ratio In the second stage 4 to 16 bar we ll use an identical 2 hydraulic cylinder to push a 4 pneumatic cylinder a 1 4 power ratio Stage Three The third stage will involve a different approach Instead of having one cylinder push another everything will be happening inside a single cylinder A cylinder that s capable of exerting force in opposite directions is referred to as a double action cylinder Pressure is applied to one side of the internal piston head to move the piston shaft one direction and then on the other side of the piston head to move it in the opposite direction For the third stage a double acting hydraulic cylinder will be mounted vertically with hydraulic fluid acting below the piston head and with the gas being compressed in the space above the piston head the double action cylinder hose at each end that operates our wood splitter Compressed gas from ST2 the storage tank located in between stages two and three will flow through the check valve and into the top of the cylinder This will push the piston head downward thereby pushing hydraulic fluid out the lower inlet through the control valve and back into the reservoir The third stage of compression will start when a sensor indicates that the pressure above the piston head has reached 16 bar When that happens the control computer will tell a solenoid controlled valve to route compressed hydraulic fluid from the pump to the bottom section of the cylinder As the hydraulic pressure on the bottom of the piston head increases at some point the pressure below the piston head will become greater than the pressure on the top

    Original URL path: http://www.biomass2methanol.org/hydraulic01.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • HP Gas Booster
    HP compressor using hydraulic cylinders I find that having Harlow s thoughts at hand is a real comfort when venturing to explore the unknown unknowns involved in a project like this The The Laws of the Navy is a century old compilation of wise thoughts expressed in a nautical context one such admonition goes Be wary lest you bouy for another That shoal It s one thing to make a

    Original URL path: http://www.biomass2methanol.org/gas_booster01.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Microprocessor Control
    will enable the work to go forward more quickly and confidently Also the use of micro controllers facilitates the task of breaking down the work into manageable sections something which lies at the heart of our approach to building sustainable systems The Arduino The Arduino is a popular open source platform for doing all sorts of projects The boards are inexpensive and designed to stack a practice which allows various sorts of application specific boards to be easily mounted on top of the actual control board Because of the large number of people working with the Arduino many of the sub routines we ll be using can be readily adapted from prior work Perhaps the best way I can convey the excitement building around the Arduino is by referring you to a TED talk by Massimo Banzi one of the developers of the Arduino and a fan of the Maker culture that it s facilitating A Ship s Clock At each step in this project we look for the parts of the project than can provide useful interim benefits such as the conversion of our work truck to run on a gaseous fuel In the case of the biomass compressor s computer control system the smallest useful form we thought of was to use the Arduino to create a ship s clock Sailors on a ship usually stand four hour watches which were originally timed using an hour glass or to be more precise a half hour glass At the end of the first half hour of the watch a bell was wrung and at the end of the first full hour two bells would be wrung And the sequence progressed until eight bells signaled the end of one watch and the beginning of another For more information on the

    Original URL path: http://www.biomass2methanol.org/micro_controler.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • What is the GEK?
    traditionally limited the understanding of small gasification systems was that each unit was being cobbled together using components that where conveniently on hand what s known in the trade as obtainium Because of the incredible variety of configurations that the use of obtainium resulted in it was very difficult to use those small one of a kind gasification systems to discerne the fundamental principles involved That understanding is needed in order to answer key questions such as Why does one system perform better than another Mason s vision involved putting together a series of CAD drawings that can be used to generate a standardized gasifier using a computer controled plasma cutter He then offered free access to the CAD files so that anyone with access to a plasma cutter and sheet steel could create their own GEK For those without access to high tech cutting gear Mason offered ready made sets of computer cut components so that anyone with basic welding skills could put a GEK together Mason s vision made sense to us and Opalyn and Walt made the trek down to All Power Labs in June of 2008 to weld up and bring home GEK 004 Opalyn welding up our first GEK in APL s Berkeley workshop For more about Opalyn s experience Click Here A year later we returned to upgrade our initial unit and utilize the substantial improvements that Mason s open source concept had engendered in just that short amount of time The newly updated unit now known as GEK 170 was immediately put to use providing fuel gas for a single cylinder Lister an engine designed to run on diesel but which was in the process of being converted to operate solely on wood gas That s Opalyn in the brown welding jacket at

    Original URL path: http://www.biomass2methanol.org/gek01.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Earth Day Portland 2014
    people to prosper rural people need to be able to continue living with the land and sending food fuel and fiber into the city Without country grown food the city starves Without the fuels country folk supply the city goes dark Without the watersheds rural people protect the city s water becomes unfit to drink Ensuring that rural people can continue to live with the land is an important humanitarian issue but it s also a matter that touches directly on the ability of your city to sustain your children and your children s children Today there are more than a million people living in the Portland metropolitan area Once there were that many people living in Rome They too were supported by a steady flow of rural resources right up until the Empire crashed and the flow stopped A century later the population of Rome had dropped from one million to forty thousand people and sheep grazed in the Coliseum Today we face a profound environmental crisis but I believe there are two key reasons why Portland can look forward with hope its rivers and its forests When cheap fossil fuel becomes a distant memory our rivers will still run Resources produced in rural communities will float down the Columbia and the Willamette on wooden rafts and enable Portland to thrive I believe that the culture of this city will flourish if rural people are able to live decent and sustainable lives in deep country if they have the ability to steward the farms and forests that will sustain the Portland of tomorrow But in order for that tomorrow to happen we need to prepare for it today The Pacific Northwest is fortunate to have forests that store huge amounts of sunshine rain and carbon dioxide This woody biomass contains the chemical building blocks we need to replace at least some of the petroleum our cities depend on Instead of manufacturing huge photovoltaic arrays to collect solar energy we need to plant more trees Instead of digging for coal we need to care for the forest by removing the excess material that leads to catastrophic fires Instead of damming more rivers we need to use the river of biomass that flows from our forests to fuel our cars and heat our homes The path towards a local sustainable economy is clear enough but there are real challenges that need to be addressed along the way For example woody biomass is a dilute form of energy to fulfil its potential the energy in woody biomass needs to be concentrated and converted into a form that can be transported to the city efficiently Demonstrating the small scale conversion of woody biomass into liquid fuels is the work that forms the heart of the Biomass to Methanol Project Massive industrial complexes do this work in ways that serve the interests of the multinational corporations B2M runs counter to that by adapting this technology to serve rural villages so that they can continue

    Original URL path: http://www.biomass2methanol.org/earth_day_2014_01.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Spring Update 2014
    pump and hydraulic fluid holding tank a view from east work on installing the Hydraulic Shock Absorber is 95 complete pending connecting the solenoid to the Relay Terminal the hydraulic shock absorber is the green unit on the left work on the Relay Terminal is 90 complete pending completion of the 24 VDC power supply circuit and connections to the six solenoids that control the four stages the hydraulic clutch

    Original URL path: http://www.biomass2methanol.org/spring_update2014.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Biomass Control Computer
    I get to go far beyond researching the appropriate components for the task and assembling them according to established industry form factors I look forward to designing everything from the power supply to the user interface to create a replicable on of a kind machine With that said this device is more to me than just a tool it is a testament to my passion for technology and my commitment to the B2M project The BCC is being developed in the spirit of Open Source I hope to publish the code I produce as well as technical drawings circuit diagrams and parts lists I also plan to make good use of available Open Source resources to expedite the development process Technology The working specifications are as follows Based on the Arduino platform and powered by the 8bit ATMega 328 micro controller Modular design with custom expansion boards 4 6 relay switches capable of handling continuos 24V 2A DC 4 6 analog inputs for pressure sensors 4 6 digital inputs for positional feedback 4 seven segment displays 1 2x20 lcd display Override and control interface for manual operation Development It could be said that a computer is a collection of subsystems that work together to produce the desired computational functionality With that in mind the development of the BCC too can be understood as a collection of smaller projects coming together in unison Early on I identified some of the core subsystems for the BCC DC power supply I2C based 7 segment driver chip I2C based real time clock Relay interface Sensor interface analog data input I decided to build a crude prototype and get a better feel for the components and technology I ll be working with To view the programing code for this demo Click Here To view the

    Original URL path: http://www.biomass2methanol.org/bcc_140107.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Floating Foundation
    rounded bottom a leveling shovel has a flat bottom and can be used to create a level flat bottomed trench the location where the 4 x8 floating foundation needs to go The trick is to start by using a long level to get a clear concept of what level looks like in that location Once you have a few feet of trench dug you check it with the level make adjustments as needed and then away you go Once that level trench is long enough you can lay the first railroad tie in place Then working from each end of that initial tie you create perpendicular trenches the bottoms of which are level with the top of each end of that first tie When those two short trenches are in then it s a simple matter of closing the rectangle To finish the work you need to go back and dig a deeper trench for the second tie excavating enough dirt so that it s deep enough that it s top is level with the first tie When you re done you should have two 8 railroad ties that are level front to back and side to side In this case the top of the uphill tie was notably below the surface so the final step involved using the leveling shovel to level the interior of the rectangle by relocating any above grade dirt Good use of the removed dirt was made by using it to bed in around the ties and to fill in where the portions of the interior that were below grade The two heavy railroad ties aren t actually connected to anything or even to each other Because they re not rigid and because they re wood they ll be able to take the vibration without

    Original URL path: http://www.biomass2methanol.org/floating_foundation.htm (2016-04-26)
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