Improving downdraft gasifier stability by robust instrumentation and control systems

Kamble, P., Khan, Z., Capper, S., Sharp, J. and Watson, I. (2017) Improving downdraft gasifier stability by robust instrumentation and control systems. Energy Procedia, 142, pp. 2214-2217. (doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.12.591)

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In updraft, fluidized bed and downdraft gasifiers, tar concentrations are typically produced around the 10-20%, 1-5%, 0.1% levels respectively. If gasifiers are operated under specific conditions a clean syngas with low tar concentrations will be produced [1]. The principal objective of this research is to develop a set of robust and inexpensive instrumentation systems to measure gasification parameters and inform control systems to improve gasification performance e.g. temperature, liquid flow and biomass weight for real time mass balance calculations. In the present case nine K-type thermocouples were connected to different positions on an in-house downdraft gasifier that allowed temperature and mass balance profiling. The moisture / bio-oil flow was measured by a liquid flow sensor that gave real time flow rates (L/min) and total quantities (mL) [2]. The Arduino platform was used as the core of the instrumentation and control system and integrated with Makerplot software (GUI). These systems offered a high level of control and robustness for low cost with an open source protocol, allowing other developers to benefit and expand the core of this research. The results from preliminary runs are presented which is currently allowing ignition optimization and overall system improvements.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Watson, Dr Ian and Khan, Dr Zakir and Kamble, Mr Prashant and Sharp, Dr James and Capper, Sean
Authors: Kamble, P., Khan, Z., Capper, S., Sharp, J., and Watson, I.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Energy Procedia
Published Online:31 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Energy Procedia 142: 2214-2217
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
676521Real time control of gasifiers to increase tolerance to biomass variety and reduce emissionsIan WatsonEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M01343X/1ENG - ENGINEERING SYSTEMS POWER & ENERGY