16-06-21: We are now reverting to an earlier CHP gasifier design! Please see the picture.


new gas producer design 1905

You will note that it utilises a down draft gasifier, complete with blower unit, feed stock air lock and a cold start flare line. There is a main filter and an emergency filter for the gas which is fed to the spark ignition engine. We have simplified the engine design slightly and now utilise just the one cylinder instead of 8!

I knew that this machine existed but had struggled to find a drawing of it. Built in 1905 by Rustons, who also built my steam engine in 1908. Apparently these units were extremely popular in Australia and there are some larger units that still survive.

“A survey of the equipment installed has shown that R. Hornsby & Co suction gas engines were by far the most
predominant source of motive power, with 47 units totalling 2,926 horsepower installed in 39 power stations – representing 69% of all suction gas engines and 59% of overall horsepower installed by 1915. In the initial years the trend was even more notable, with Hornsby’s claiming in their publicity brochures to have supplied 81% of the 22 suction gas engines installed for electric lighting in country Victorian towns by 1911.”

“When on full demand, the twin-cylinder Ruston Hornsby suction gas engines in Yarraman Powerhouse operated by igniting the gas drawn from two gas producers. Wood for fuel was collected from local farms by Eddie Dyer. He chopped the wood up with an axe before delivering it to the Powerhouse in Mr. Budgen’s old Dodge utility truck, which was named ‘Tin Lizzie’. Mr Dyer was a champion axeman and regularly entered competitions including the annual Queensland Show in Brisbane, known as the ‘Ekka’. At the Powerhouse the logs were cut into blocks on a saw bench. The engine driver split the blocks of wood with an axe to provide the right size for feeding into the top of the gas producer.”