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RESEARCH PAPERS

Combination of a Biomass Fired Updraft Gasifier and a Stirling Engine for Power Production

[+] Author and Article Information
Jeng-Chyan Muti Lin

Research Institute of Information and Electrical Energy, National Chinyi Institute of Technology, Taiwanmutilin@mail.ncit.edu.tw

J. Energy Resour. Technol 129(1), 66-70 (Jul 20, 2006) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2424963 History: Received November 10, 2005; Revised July 20, 2006

Biomass is the largest renewable energy source used in the world and its importance grows larger in the future energy market. Since most biomass sources are low in energy density and are widespread in space, a small scale biomass conversion system is therefore more competitive than a large stand-alone conversion plant. The current study proposes a small scale solid biomass powering system to explore the viability of direct coupling of an updraft fixed bed gasifier with a Stirling engine. The modified updraft fixed bed gasifier employs an embedded combustor inside the gasifier to fully combust the syngas generated by the gasifier. The flue gas produced by the syngas combustion inside the combustion tube is piped directly to the heater head of the Stirling engine. The engine will then extract and convert the heat contained in the flue gas into electricity automatically. Output depends on heat input and the heat input is proportional to the flow rate and temperature of the flue gas. The preliminary study of the proposed direct coupling of an updraft gasifier with a 25kW Stirling engine demonstrates that full power output could be produced by the current system. It could be found from the current investigation that very little attention and no assisting fuel are required to operate the current system. The proposed system could be considered as a feasible solid biomass powering technology.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

The schematic of the direct coupling of the updraft gasifier with a Stirling engine

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Figure 2

Snapshot of the modified fixed bed gasifier fed by wood chips with combustion taking place in the embedded combustor

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Figure 3

Represented flame temperature history at the exit of the embedded combustor

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Figure 4

Snapshot of the direct coupling of an updraft gasifier with a Stirling engine

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Figure 5

Snapshot of the heat exchangers on a STM Stirling engine

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Figure 6

A PLC based LABVIEW monitoring system to automatically and concurrently acquired and store the system thermal and power data

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Figure 7

Represented temperature histories at the entrance and at the exit of the Stirling engine

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Figure 8

Power output history from the current study

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