Gasification PowerExchange Workshop #8: Hands-on Gasifier Assembly and Operation. 10kw “Power Pallet” Endurance Run


June 4th, 5th and 6th


ALL Power Labs,
1010 Murray Street
Berkeley, CA

An invitation from Jim Mason of All Power Labs and the GEK Gasifier in California

The next of our quarterly gasifier workshop weekends is set for June 4th-6th, 2010. This will also be the two year anniversary of shipping the first GEK to a professor in Canada. A few things have happened since then, and to celebrate, this workshop will focus on running all the resulting machinery. This round will a bit less welding and wrench turning, and much more hands-on running of the the completed GEK, BEK and 10kw Power Pallet gasifier genset.

The June workshop will have 4 complete GEK systems and 1 BEK set up for your running, learning and investigation. We will run these all day Saturday and Sunday. We’ll also go through the related assembly and configuration specifics in detail. You’ll be able to run different fuels and use scenarios to experience the results. All the GEK add-ons and customizations will be on hand for switch in and switch out. Get your hands dirty. Feel the heat and experience the power. Leave at the end of the weekend with the knowledge to accomplish the same back home. If you want to take home a GEK after the workshop, they can be disassembled and checked on airplanes as excess baggage. However, we have to build them well before the workshop, so tell us asap if you want one.


In parallel with the GEK hands-on sessions, we're also planning endurance tests of the new GEK Power Pallet system. Now that we've proven one can build a fully automated, thermally integrated gasifier genset that runs on regular wood chips, all at a tolerable $1-2/watt price point, the question many of you now have is - "how long will it run?". Well, we run it regularly in house for long stretches, but seeing in person is believing, so that's what we'll do at the workshop.

The plan is to fire up the Power Pallet for two 10 hour runs over the weekend, one run each day. We'll use the regular disk type wood chipper at APL to make wood chip fuel and lean on attendees to fill the hopper and vary the load every once in awhile. Actually, with the new 55gal stainless drums we're using for hoppers on the Power Pallet, we'll likely only need one or two refills during each run, even at high power.

The goal with the endurance runs is to demonstrate the hands-off run capability of the fully automated Power Pallet. There is no fussing and tending of the unit required once started. Syngas/air mixture, grate shaking, ash take off and auger operation all happen automatically. After years of running ball valve mixers and dealing with the continual adjustments, it is a wonderful to finally see this just happening without intervention or attention. Similarly, shaking the grate on reactor need, not when the human remembers it, is a pleasure. We've found a gasifier-genset to be a very different animal than a gasifier-automobile, as you are not sitting there to adjust things as power level and gas quality change. In many ways, the bar is higher in the genset application than with an automotive application.


The purpose of this ongoing series of workshops is to help bring more people to successful operation of small scale gasification and pyrolysis units. The event is open to GEK or BEK user/owners, as well as anyone with any other type of gasifier or pyrolysis unit. The quality of attendees that show up is inspiring, and you'll leave with many new friends. So come join us while we progressively make small-scale biomass thermal conversion a reasonable proposition, accessible to regular mortals, and adequately advanced for honest everyday use.

The winter workshop had over 60 people in attendance, many from out of state and overseas. This workshop similarly has space for around 60 people. Half of those spaces are reserved for GEK or BEK owners/builders. The other half are open to the public. Spaces are free with RSVP to GEK or BEK owner/builders. See more details here


If you are coming from out of town, you are welcome to sleep on couches or floors at the shop. The closest and most reasonable motel is the Golden Bear Inn. See here

Those coming by plane can fly into either SFO or Oakland. Oakland is 10 miles from All Power Labs. SFO is 20 miles or so. You can take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) from either, but there is a shuttle conection required from Oakland. The nearest BART stop to us is Ashby, about a one mile walk or taxi. ALL Power Labs is at 1010 Murray Street.

We hope to see you soon in the gasification mothership - somehow oddly located in People's Republic of Berkeley, California.

Jim Mason

Current Projects:
- Gasifier Experimenters Kit (the GEK):
- Escape from Berkeley alt fuels vehicle race:
- ALL Power Labs on Twitter: