CoolIP index                                                          Most recent edit: Saturday March 16, 2013

* See legal note below.

Hay BioGas and Kite Hybrid Progress

Biogas is not glamorous, but has vital roles in both climate science (as GHG and ODS, if disregarded) and energy production (in a sustainable carbon-neutral cycle). Starting in 1958, cesspool gas was tapped for cooking in the PRC. Since then generating power with landfill-gas has become a standard civil-engineering practice.

Flash forward- KiteLab Austin now has a working Hay Farm as an AWES test site (with an anchor-field installed) Last year we validated dual-use (kite-hay) compatibility. Kites, switchgrass, biogas, and biochar have all been discussed on the Forum before. Now is the time to to actually test another round of these ideas, at small scale.

While biogas is diffusely sourced and rather limited in quantity, it looks like an ideal storage medium to supply continuous baseload power from working Hay and Kite Farms. There are numerous natural-gas and biogas compatible engine-generator sets on the market. Its quite possible to adapt these units, or make one's own version, to accept kite power to make electricity when the wind blows, but burn biogas when the wind is calm. We can set up a small experimental plant without too much fuss.

A supply of hay can be kept on the farm as non-explosive fuel storage (explosive biogas is best used directly). The main hybrid-design job is to automate the mechanical clutching between kite and combustion engine, and managing the gasification cycle. Hay bales act as "stove pellets", entering an enclosed preheat oven, and gassing off the fuel for combustion. The left-over biochar is a superb carbon sink and soil builder.

Peat Farms and other natural crops (non-irrigated, no fertilizers or pesticides needed) may have a similar sustainable cycles as net carbon-sinking biogas-kite power hybrids.

Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.       
All, send notes, links, drawings, papers, videos, plans, safety-critical findings, and photographs!

  • Terms and aspects:   
    • v
  • Related links and concepts:
  • Commentary is welcome:
    • Cautionary Tale- Ten years ago many of us in Austin experimented with DIY veggie-oil diesel, which was kinda cool, but not ideal. At one point a massive DIY biofuel production plant fell out of the back of one of our nomadic circus buses onto the highway, along with barrels of finished fuel and methanol. By great luck, no one was hurt. (I warned them, *sigh*.).   ds, 28Feb2013
    • v
    • v
    • v

*Legal Note: coolIP is hereby defined as a Creative-Commons Unported NonCommercial Share-Alike License,
so now we are integrated with the latest standard cooperative IP model, but "coolIP" remains a nice shorthand.