Electrical performance evaluation of Johansson biomass gasifier system coupled to a 150KVA generator
University of Fort Hare, Institute of Technology, P/Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa; University of Fort Hare, Physics Department, P/Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa
The economic development of any community or society at large is directly linked to energy availability and usage. Concern for climate change due to intense use of fossil fuel for energy production has increased interest in alternative energy technologies such as biomass gasification. A Johansson biomass gasifier system at Melani village in Eastern Cape South Africa was installed to assess the viability of biomass gasification for energy production in South Africa. This system utilizes chunks of wood coming from a sawmill industry located nearby, which produces large quantities of biomass waste that pose a challenge in terms of disposal. A study on the implementation of the latter gasification project has been carried out. Therefore this present study aims at evaluating the performance of the system when operated on a full electrical load. A custom-built gas and temperature profiling system was used to measure the gas profiles from which the gas heating value was calculated. A measuring balance/scale was used to measure the quantity of wood fed into the gasifier. A dummy load bank was constructed using 12kW water heating elements connected such that they draw maximum power from each of the three phases. A power meter was used to measure the current, voltage, power as well as energy from the generator during operation. A cold gas efficiency of 88.11% was obtained and the overall efficiency from feedstock to electrical power was found to be 20.5% at a specific consumption rate of 1.075kg/kWh. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Biomass; Climate change; Conversion efficiency; Gas generators; Waste disposal; Alternative energy technologies; Biomass Gasification; Downdraft gasifier; Economic development; Electrical performance; Electrical performance evaluation; Energy availability; Temperature profiling; Gasification; biomass; economic development; fossil fuel; heating; operations technology; performance assessment; waste disposal; Eastern Cape; South Africa