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28-02-2019, 22:33   #1
timfromtang
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Arduino/Rasp Pi Expert required, help needed, for new Charcoal Retort design in Tang.

Greetings all,
I'm building a new retort in the yard for making charcoal, this post is also on the forestry forum, I was advised to ask here too.


I could do with a bit of a dig out concerning automation.
Suggestions for other forums to post this on welcome.

I'll need to read and log the data from 4 or more thermocouples and display temp/time graphs in real time on a display, ideally the real time data and log would be available over a local network, perhaps even sent to an android phone.



Is there a knowledgable individual who wishes to help, I imagine an arduino to read and log the data, and a raspberry pi to do the web server duties etc might suit and be reliable and inexpensive. I can offer compensation/payment I have forest products, posts boards poles firewood, charcoal etc to trade, or even euro's if that suits.


Hopefully the new retort will improve the economics of making charcoal from Irish woodlands. For this first retort I am aiming for 120kg daily output and a cycle time of below 8 hrs, build cost below 3K. A larger design that makes 270kg/cycle is potentially workable also and would cost in the region of 4.5K euro to build. This new design recycles all the waste heat into drying input material, greatly reducing the stock level required in the yard, furthermore clean burn technology in the firebox and recyling of gases from the wood chamber ensures minimal release of smoke etc.


For comparison the current Retort we are using is an Exeter Retort from the Carbon Compost co in the UK, this also has a 120 kg output, but the cycle time is considerably longer requiring at least 24 hours for a load, fire, cool, unload cycle and costs around 18K. No waste heat is recycled bar that from the burning wood gas which is used to maintain the reaction to completion at the end of the burn, the gas and steam from the wood chamber that is released during the drying phase and at the beginning of the pyrolysis stage (before it will burn with a stable flame) is smelly and toxic, its got nasties like pyroligneous acid, methane, tars etc in it, not as bad as a ring kiln but smoky and smelly nevertheless.


tim
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01-03-2019, 19:59   #2
zg3409
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As I don't see any replies yet, I would suggest a 4 channel temperature data logger, off the shelf.

You can find ready made solutions on eBay and a google search.

You mention automation so I am not sure if you want to control something, that might need a custom solution, but I would start with something off the shelf even to learn what your needs might be before attempting anything custom or complicated.

E.g.

https://www.loggershop.co.uk/product/mcr-4tc-4-channel-temperature-data-logger/
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01-03-2019, 22:41   #3
timfromtang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zg3409 View Post
As I don't see any replies yet, I would suggest a 4 channel temperature data logger, off the shelf.

You can find ready made solutions on eBay and a google search.

You mention automation so I am not sure if you want to control something, that might need a custom solution, but I would start with something off the shelf even to learn what your needs might be before attempting anything custom or complicated.

E.g.

https://www.loggershop.co.uk/product...e-data-logger/

Thank you for the suggestion and for the reply.
I will wish to further automate the system a bit later on. In particular during the pryolysis stage when the wood gas is being released and burnt in the firebox, I would like to use a code controlled motorised valve to control the gas flow and retort chamber temperature.
I'll look intro the data logger, an off the shelf solution would be handy.
tim


Geez!! I looked the yoke up, the data logger, OUCH tis expensive, out of the budget I'd say.

Last edited by timfromtang; 01-03-2019 at 22:44. Reason: looked up the yokey
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02-03-2019, 23:29   #4
zg3409
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Try eBay etc. for cheaper alternatives
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