► Photothread: Wood gas generators

A section dedicated to photo threads on panzer and other Axis vehicles.
User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3701
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by BDV » 02 Jan 2016 19:22

A question for the Section members:

It seems that wood-gas use was quite widespread and to some extent effective. Are there any specific reasons why this was not standardized (/considered for standardization) for tracked and half-tracked support vehicles? In particular a Lorraine L37 design pulling a gasifier unit in its trailer could have been produced and deployed in (relatively) large numbers ~50/month.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

User avatar
John Hilly
Member
Posts: 2590
Joined: 26 Jan 2010 09:33
Location: Tampere, Finland, EU

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by John Hilly » 02 Jan 2016 21:29

Wood-gas didn't produce enough power compared with gasoline and diesel.
Passengers had to help pulling wood-gas busses uphills in Finland. :lol:

With best, J-P :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3701
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by BDV » 03 Jan 2016 02:16

Hello,

The method seems to be producing plenty power; right now many applications are for pick-up trucks. Maybe the Finnish buses were using small units, not to overload the chassis? That's why I thought that the gas unit could/would/should be placed in a towed trailer...
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

User avatar
Luftflotte2
Member
Posts: 4179
Joined: 17 Aug 2010 05:11
Location: __

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by Luftflotte2 » 03 Jan 2016 20:53

Take a look at the specific energy of different fuels. Gasoline - 40-48MJ/kg; diesel - 47MJ/kg; wood 16-21MJ/kg. This is why wood gas vehicles were not used as front-line equipment. Prime movers such as half-tracks need power, and wood-gas cannot produce enough.

User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3701
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by BDV » 04 Jan 2016 03:52

Luftflotte2 wrote:Take a look at the specific energy of different fuels. Gasoline - 40-48MJ/kg; diesel - 47MJ/kg; wood 16-21MJ/kg. This is why wood gas vehicles were not used as front-line equipment. Prime movers such as half-tracks need power, and wood-gas cannot produce enough.
Quite.

AFAIK the energy density of the wood gas itself, does limit the top RPM and the top speed of a vehicle. But beggars can't be choosers, and a fleet of support vehicles that do not require additional petroleum shipments can/should be an important consideration .
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

ilfil
Member
Posts: 920
Joined: 03 Feb 2009 18:31
Location: Bulgaria

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by ilfil » 04 Jan 2016 17:13

The considerable reducing of the engine power of those gas-genarator equipped vehicles apart (up to 50%!), have you ever considered the problems with the "fuel" supply on the front line? Also, what about all those time-consuming steps to produce the right wood for fuel, which may take up to 18 months, if starting from a fresh lumber?
Just my 2 cents.
"...and on the 8th day He made truck so that man, made on 7th day, had shelter when woman threw him out for the night."

User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3701
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by BDV » 04 Jan 2016 23:40

ilfil wrote:The considerable reducing of the engine power of those gas-genarator equipped vehicles apart (up to 50%!), have you ever considered the problems with the "fuel" supply on the front line? Also, what about all those time-consuming steps to produce the right wood for fuel, which may take up to 18 months, if starting from a fresh lumber?
Just my 2 cents.
the up to 50% loss of power is definitely a consideration (those tracked vehicles won't be popping any wheelies).

OTOH, the drying of wood definitely takes less than that, because unlike lumber, you can cut up the wood upfront. Also, AFAIK, you can switch back to petrol any time, with minimal changes, so in case things heat up, the vehicles can be fueled up back to top power to assist with the march hin und zuruck!
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

ilfil
Member
Posts: 920
Joined: 03 Feb 2009 18:31
Location: Bulgaria

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by ilfil » 05 Jan 2016 11:44

To run on petrol (or gasoline, if you're across tha pond) an engine modified for wood gas, the "minimal changes" will include replacing the engine head and fitting back a carburetor instead of the gas-air mixer. Often on the modified engines also the pistons were changed.
Indeed, on many such modified engines also a carburetor was fitted, but it was of different construction, so-called "starter carburetor". It allows engine to run on petrol but not more than about 15-20 mins. But even this wasn't recommended, for the detonation was able to ruin the engine.
Talking about wood drying times, the best recorded results were about a week to 10 days, in special drying facilities built for the purpose. Also, to keep the wood in usable condition, the dried "fuel" usualy was stored in well ventilated places with strictly fixed temperature and humidity.
In a word, the gas generators were more headache than advantage and apparently were forced solution of necessity, that's why they weren't used on battle vehicles. Producing synthetic fuel was also a headache but, according to the Germans, still better solution.
All above apart, let's see the things from the logistics point of view. A cubic yard of prepared wood was roughly an equivalent of a 20 l. jerrycan of petrol. Consider the volumes needed to deliver both fuels to the front.
"...and on the 8th day He made truck so that man, made on 7th day, had shelter when woman threw him out for the night."

User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3701
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by BDV » 05 Jan 2016 16:56

ilfil wrote:Talking about wood drying times, the best recorded results were about a week to 10 days, in special drying facilities built for the purpose. Also, to keep the wood in usable condition, the dried "fuel" usualy was stored in well ventilated places with strictly fixed temperature and humidity.
Even if it takes 3 times longer than that, it's significantly less than 18 months. As to the strict requirements on the wood, I thought that there is some leeway, depending on how clean one wants to run, and how much filtering is done.

In a word, the gas generators were more headache than advantage and apparently were forced solution of necessity, that's why they weren't used on battle vehicles.
Who said anything about battle vehicles?


Producing synthetic fuel was also a headache but, according to the Germans, still better solution.
Is there proof that was even considered?


All above apart, let's see the things from the logistics point of view. A cubic yard of prepared wood was roughly an equivalent of a 20 l. jerrycan of petrol. Consider the volumes needed to deliver both fuels to the front.
One can make the thing locally, maybe move it locally a few tens of miles, vs. having to schlepp it thousands of miles.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

SIS 5
Member
Posts: 4325
Joined: 22 Nov 2006 17:27
Location: Germany

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by SIS 5 » 16 Jan 2016 00:13

Hi,

here a good pic of a Bedford with a gas generator (source of the pic: an expired ebay auction).

Regards

Bert
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Luftflotte2
Member
Posts: 4179
Joined: 17 Aug 2010 05:11
Location: __

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by Luftflotte2 » 17 Jan 2016 01:31

A truck before and after wood-gas conversion.
source: ebay.de
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Maxschnauzer
Financial supporter
Posts: 4213
Joined: 24 Jan 2014 07:36
Location: Philippines

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by Maxschnauzer » 01 Feb 2016 11:37

1939-1941 Ford G 087 TG three tonner.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Cheers,
Max

User avatar
Luftflotte2
Member
Posts: 4179
Joined: 17 Aug 2010 05:11
Location: __

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by Luftflotte2 » 02 Feb 2016 17:31

I will post what is written on the back to give some context to these photos:

Image

Image

User avatar
Luftflotte2
Member
Posts: 4179
Joined: 17 Aug 2010 05:11
Location: __

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by Luftflotte2 » 02 Feb 2016 18:54

Opel Admiral with two-tone camouflage.
source: ebay.de
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Maxschnauzer
Financial supporter
Posts: 4213
Joined: 24 Jan 2014 07:36
Location: Philippines

Re: Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

Post by Maxschnauzer » 02 Feb 2016 23:21

Luftflotte2 wrote:I will post what is written on the back to give some context to these photos:

Image

Image
Thank you Luftflotte,
I had not seen the others.
Cheers,
Max

Return to “Panzer & other vehicles - Photo threads”