APL Monthly Open House

We’re restarting our monthly Open House events at All Power Labs.  Now that we have the new PP30 Cogen-CS launched, and Local Carbon Network up and running, we have new reasons to gather the interested at our facility in Berkeley CA.  This month we’re having the event this week Friday, August 17th, from 7-9pm.  Future events will continue on the 2nd Friday of each month.  (yes, this one is on the third Friday).

The events are free.  The food and drink are free.  The carbon negative electricity to charge your EV is free.  The information is free.  All you have to do is RSVP here.  And bring your friends.

PP30 Cogen-CS Demonstration
PP30combined

The Open House is an opportunity to see APL machines in operation and discuss your potential projects to use them.  We always have a PP30 Cogen-CS CHP installation up and running for the show, as well as other varying machinery throughout the year.  The “varying machinery” for this event will be a very interesting zeolite based adsorption chilling system made by Fahrenheit in Germany, which we’re powering with the hot water output of the PP30.  Also onsite will be an atmospheric water generation machine machine by SkyWater that we’re integrating with the PP30 for a Water Abundance X-Prize entry (more on this in future news).  APL staff will be onsite to answer questions throughout the event, as well as available for longer discussions pre and post event.  For those who have been debating a visit to have a larger strategic partnership discussion, the Open House is a good excuse to finally do it.  We do encourage longer stays around Open House days so we can schedule one-on-one extended meetings to discuss more involved projects or partnerships.  Please write us separately at sales@allpowerlabs.com if you want to arrange a dedicated discussion.

Local Carbon Farmers’ Market
LocalCarbonConcentrateFullSlideImag16-695

 Starting this Open House we’re expanding the event also host Local Carbon Network (LCN) activities.  Over time we plan to grow this into a monthly meet up we’re calling the “Local Carbon Farmer’s Market”.  This will be a gathering where you can pick up your Local Carbon Biochar, learn how to use it, and explore the related soils and climate management opportunities with other enthusiasts.  Each month we’ll have talks, workshops and other info sharing will help you to make a direct impact on carbon drawdown with your own hands and soil.
To date most LCN biochar has been going to local community gardens and schools.  If you are a participant in such, we do encourage you to join us and help grow the circle of locals actively sequestering carbon in soil.  And invite others you know from these networks. This month, Jim Mason (APL Founder and CEO) will be giving a talk on modeling the climate impact of Local Carbon Network activities.  Over several years APL has developed a progressively elaborate model which relates biomass gasification and biochar machinery on the ground, to GHG impact in the sky.  This has recently expanded to encompass the directed planting and water work that is part of the LCN.  Now we’d like to present the model publicly for your consideration, opportunity to poke holes in, and input on improving it.  The talk is titled:

Biomass Gasification + Biochar = Carbon Negative Energy, Food and Water
 

OR
 

How to reduce atmospheric CO2e levels 10-40ppm over 1 century

through a collaboration of People, Plants and Machines.
 

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 1.11.16 PM

For an abundance of clarity, the Local Carbon Farmers’ Market activities and PP30 Cogen-CS machinery demonstrations will happen at the same Open House.  This is one event, with two related but different tracks of activities.  In the future we may need to divide them into 2 separate events, but for now, it is one tent.

We hope you can join us.
 

Jim Mason and APL staff


PS:  For those who missed the earlier announcements about the Local Carbon Network project, a more detailed description is reproduced below, 



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Local Carbon Network

Community Supported Carbon Sequestration.
Moving carbon from “sky-to-soil” to reverse climate change

The “Local Carbon Network” is a new participatory project we’re launching at All Power Labs to put a meaningful dent in the climate problem. The project uses the carbon negative energy and agricultural machines we’ve been developing for the last decade, combined with hands in soil at local gardens and farms, to move carbon from “sky-to-soil” for Community Based Carbon Sequestration.

The project is an unusual collaboration between plants, people and machines. The plants are green-waste, which recently captured atmospheric carbon via photosynthesis, but are now a disposal problem. The machines take this “waste” and make energy and carbon biochar for soil out of it. And the people put it in the ground for improved plant growth, water conservation, and long term sequestration of carbon. Taken together, good things happen locally across Energy, Food and Water systems– which makes good things happen globally for climate by “refossilizing” sky carbon back underground.

We’re running this Community Supported Carbon Sequestration on the model of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes you get weekly or monthly via membership. Now, the membership is for ongoing local carbon drawdown, with a physical product delivered that does magical things for your garden, house plants, farm, or vineyard.

The goal is to create a replicable model based on the common understandings and methods of Local Food and Farmers’ Market networks. We’re creating the first “proof of concept” and template for it here in the East Bay of California. We then expect the model to spread with low friction as a layover to Local Food and Local Market economies elsewhere in the US and globally.

cc1

Success in this initial East Bay capital campaign fund and deployment will justify follow-on campaigns and deployments dedicated to other Local Carbon Clusters.   APL intends to followup on the East Bay campaign with additional Local Carbon Clusters in California, Italy, Liberia and India.  These areas will be next as projects can build on business and service logistics already established by All Power Labs in these markets, and demonstration projects already operated to success.  We also invite you to consider a Local Carbon Cluster in your area, and talk with us about how to make it happen.

growth

The goal is to fuel progressive steps towards, and long-term stewardship of, gigawatts of carbon-negative power and product deployments; with the ultimate objective of enabling a 10-40ppm drawdown in global CO2 concentration over the next century.  A 10-40ppm drawdown is approximately 10-20% of the carbon reduction that will be needed to maintain global temperature increase below 2˚C, the commonly-accepted point that will stave off catastrophic climate change.  
“Global Carbon Management through Green-waste Management” is one our most powerful tools to do something consequential about climate change with today’s technology and at-market products.  Moreover, it is a solution that can be run profitably–delivering real economic value across Energy, Food and Water systems–and therefore has a built in engine to scale.   

APL will not do this as a single company, but as a general industry enabled and pursuing the what is ultimately a market driven solution for energy and agricultural needs, we just might be able to make it happen.  Model details on the climate and financial modeling behind this scenario are in the original launch campaign on Indiegogo:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/local-carbon-network-community/x/18354621#/  

Yes, we have solutions to “refossilize” consequential amounts of carbon out of the sky and into the ground.  Plants + People + Machines can work together and drawdown carbon for both local value and global climate benefit.

We hope you will join us in setting this very accessible trim tab against the unrelenting fossil CO2 flow.

PP30 Launch event at APL this Friday!

June 29th, 5-7PM, Berkeley California


We look forward to seeing many of you at our new product Launch Party later this week.  We have 60 people RSVPed so far, which is approaching the attendenance levels for our full workshop weekends of years ago– which is great.  We also have some surprisingly dedicated international travellers coming for the event.  We’re of course very happy to see this much interest in our new product.  We have space for ~100 people, so if you want to be there, please do RSVP to the event page soon.

The event will be a formal presentation by APL Founder/CEO Jim Mason on the new concepts and features of the PP30 Cogen-CS, as well as run demonstrations with several machines on site.  We will have walk around demonstration stations for the PP30 Cogen-CS, previous PP20 for comparison, Local Carbon Network biochar information/char, and–maybe most importantly–a walk in “beer cave” shipping container, cooled with our new absorption chiller.  A CHP hot tub post party is also rumored.


 

Technical Specifications

Many of you have requested a full technical specification sheet for the new machine.  We’re happy to provide one, as we’re rather happy with the details of what we’ve been able to accomplish through this major generation change of the Power Pallet.

Below is copied the full technical spec sheet, divided into typical topic blocks, and with all the details that the obsessives want to know.  We have crafted the spec sheet as a comparison between the PP20 and PP30 to help highlight the changes, and where possible clarify how we achieved the numbers.  Close inspection will be rewarded.   You can also find the same spec sheet as a downloadable file here.



Old PP20 vs New PP30 Cogen-CS
Technical Specifications & Comparisons

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 10.39.46 AM

Points of particular interest:

  • Higher power output through larger displacement and higher compression Ashok Leyland / Hino engine, with high efficiency Marathon genhead.
     
  • Major efficiency increase in biomass-to-power from 1.2kg/kWh to 1.0kg/kWh– a 20% reduction in biomass consumption.  We actually see it a bit below 1:1, but for now we’re happy to represent a scale scale gasifier engine system that can operate at the 1:1 threshold.   This is unheard of for small scale machines previously in the industry.
     
  • High efficiency three stage CHP system utilizing engine cooling water, engine exhaust and gasifier waste heat.  Each 1 kW electricity produces 2 kWt heat.  This 1:2 ratio similarly exceeds the prior art in biomass gasifier based CHP systems.
     
  • Major emissions improvements with an upgraded catalytic system and engine tuning.  We are now able to meet California regulatory standards–even the Bay Area Air Quality Management District ones–for both for criteria pollutants and air toxics.  These California standards are much more aggressive than we’ve previously encountered in Europe.  Both the Berkeley engineering group and the APL Italia Modena engineering group have put a great deal of test work into characterizing our emissions across load, timing and mixture ranges; and then using these sweeps to find system configurations which optimize for the minimum intersections.  The result is exceedingly low numbers and ability to meet even CA standards–which at times seem like you have to make stationary engine emissions approach indoor air quality levels.  Well, not quite, but the thresholds are brutal.  See numbers below.
  • Operations and maintenance refinements across all systems; with particular emphasis on a new engine with in-frame rebuild kit capability, and a temperature controlled filter/cooler system that prevents final condensate, and allows for real time soot cleaning of heat exchanger while running.
     
  • And with that quick cheat sheet, here finally is the full comparative spec sheet for your consideration . . . 

     
perf2 4
cogen 2
gasmaking4
engine
genhead
gridtie
emissions 3
fuel
uses 2
operatingconditions
shipping

The New PP30 Cogen-CS

montage1-800

Combined Heat and Power with built-in Carbon Sequestration (CHP-CS)


All Power Labs invites you to join us for a special Launch Party on Friday, June 29th in Berkeley, CA where we will debut the new Gen 2 Power Pallet.  The event will be a formal presentation by APL Founder/CEO Jim Mason on the new concepts and features of the PP30 Cogen-CS, as well as run demonstrations with several machines on site.
 
As many of you have noticed, APL has been rather quiet for the last two years in terms of new announcements and deployments.  The pause has been enabled by significant grant funding from the California Energy Commission and US National Science Foundation, which has enabled us to do a full redesign and generation change of the Power Pallet.  

After nearly a decade of on-the-ground work around the world–starting with the GEK DIY kits and continuing through the grid tie Power Cube–we’ve been blessed to have a funded pause where we could redevelop our core product from scratch, in relation to the totality of our learning to date.  The result is the new PP30 Cogen-CS.  We believe it represents a major step change beyond anything offered in the industry to date.  We’re excited to show you all that we’ve been able to achieve.

During the Launch Event we’ll demonstrate a variety of new capabilities on the PP30 Cogen-CS including; higher power output, high efficiency CHP utilizing both engine and gasifier waste heat, optimized biochar output, quiet run enclosure, and operations and maintenance refinements across all systems.  We plan to put the CHP heat output to good use making a hot tub human habitable, as well as driving an absorption chiller we’re currently testing for refrigeration and air conditioning uses.  The absorption chiller is not quite yet a regular sales offering, but it is something we plan to offer as an add-on in the very near future.

As usual, the point of APL events is for you to put your hands on the details of the machines, meet the people that develop them, and discuss how we might collaborate on projects in your region.  We invite you to join us for this and more.  The event is free, but those interesting in attending need to register here

PP30 Cogen-CS:  New FeaturesIn the coming weeks we’ll explore the new concepts, features and functions of the PP30 Cogen-CS in detail through a series of APL News posts.  Today let’s get started with a high level summary of the main points of interest.  

Higher Power output: ~25kWThe Gen 2 Power Pallet uses a new 4.0L 4cyl engine at 12:1 compression ratio, in combination with a new high efficiency genhead to produce a continuous 25kW at 60hz, and 23kW at 50hz.  The system will support temporary loads above this, but for continuous rating we are confident at 25/23kW for 60/50hz markets.  The limitation in the 60hz market is now the gasmaking system capacity, not the engine, thus the 50hz rating is not derated by raw rpm/hz%.

After a large survey of value optimized engines of the world, we have exited the previous GM, and selected the Ashok Leyland H4 from India– an engine based on and further developed from the Hino/Toyota W04.  This engine was the workhorse HIno medium duty diesel truck engine in the 80s and 90s.  More recently, it is the engine that powers 100s of thousands of CNG buses in India, and equally proven over extensive powergen deployments globally.  The engine is a heavy duty industrial power plant, with a long list of features that result in quiet operation, high efficiency, extreme longevity, and ease of rebuild via removable cylinder liners and in frame rebuild kits.  Also, most importantly, the factory delivers it painted fire engine red, so it goes extra fast!

Ashok Leyland is a major new strategic partner for APL and the Gen 2 Power Pallet.  We’re highly excited by the new capacities they’re bringing to the APL effort, both in engine supply, as well as more broad manufacturing services for the genset part of the Power Pallet.

engineandmeter-700

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Standard

The best and highest use case for our machines has always pointed toward CHP.  The problem has been adding the extra CHP related components without destroying the price point for the total machine.  After a long cycle of value engineering, we’ve figured out how to offer multistage CHP–utilizing gasifier waste heat, engine cooling water, and engine exhaust–without the typical 2x or 3x price multiple on the raw genset.  We’ve been able to reduce the cost far enough that we’ve decided to just make the CHP native to the machine.  Cogen standard highlights the unique value a biomass based genset can offer beyond an electricity only renewable; extending renewables to solve typical heating needs without the typical fossil based solutions.

The base CHP system is 2 stage (gasifier Hx and engine cooling water).  The engine exhaust gas Hx is an optional add-on that completes the full 3 stage system. 

If using all 3 CHP stages, each 1kW electricity generated will produce 2kW of thermal output.  Total system efficiency with the 3 stage system is ~70% calculated from raw biomass, or ~80% if calculated from input syngas.  

Built-in Carbon Sequestration (CS)

Our climate trajectory requires carbon drawdown, not just carbon emission reduction.  Gasification + Biochar is one of the very few pathways for carbon drawdown that is currently accessible and ready to engage with current technology and products.  And it’s already built-in with a biomass gasifier engine system–no extra carbon capture and sequestration machinery required!

The new PP30 Cogen-CS enables deployments of this solution with a dedicated biochar collection system, larger collection bins on both reactor and cyclone, and temperature controlled collection environments that prevent PAH condensation on the char.  Default biochar mass yield rate is 5% of biomass in.

Genset Enclosure Standard

The gen 2 Power Pallet comes standard with a new half enclosure solution: the genset side is enclosed, but the gas making side is left exposed for ease of access.  Previously we found the full enclosure of the Power Cube to be a liability for operation and maintenance, and have decided on this half and half solution as a better optimization of protection vs access.  The resulting enclosure is smaller and thus less expensive to make, so we’ve decided to also make it standard with the product.  Now, all Power Pallets are quiet running, and genset enclosed.  No more exposed engines on open skid!

enclosure2

Grid-tie and Paralleling Standard

Most users have tended towards ordering the Power Pallet with grid tie and paralleling capability, so we’ve decided to make it standard on the new generation machine.  Now all machines arrive ready to sync to typical global grid configurations, as well as enable multiple Power Pallets to parallel together.  The machines can still run off-grid with the same Deep Sea multifunction genset controller / synchronizer that is used for grid-tie, but now with the added benefit of full power meters and configurable run parameters and safety settings.

Operations and Maintenance Refinements

The rub for high uptime gasifier projects is always the real O&M rate.  If there has been a core design challenge and development priority for the new Gen machine, it has been to transform the reality of O&M rates typically experienced in a biomass gasifier-engine system.  Driving this O&M rate down has been our main engineering, test and documentation focus for the last two years at APL.  In the process, a long list of items have been reconceived or refined across all Power Pallet systems: gasifier, filtration, heat exchangers, genset, and automation.  The details are many and will be the main focus of coming APL News posts.

Low Price Point Maintained

The price point for the new full featured PP30 Cogen-CS system is approximately $2/watt.  The base machine includes the new enclosure, grid tie, and CHP as standard, with emissions catalyst and continuous feed system as add-on options.  This base machine is more expensive than the previous base PP 20 Power Pallet, but about the same as the full featured version of the PP20 with all the add-ons.  It is also a bit less expensive than the previous Power Cube (which it replaces), though with much more delivered.

We have decided to standardize on this more full featured configuration, as this is how most people have wanted the machine.  We realize this will be less attractive for some simple off-grid uses, where a less featured machine is desired.  We plan to offer these lower feature machines in the near future, but are starting with the full featured configuration as standard as this is how the majority of customers want it.  If your use case argues for the less featured form of the machine, do write us and we’ll keep you informed about the timeline for these later releases.

What’s next?

More info, pictures and technical specs will continue in weekly APL News posts for the next month.  If you can’t wait and want a full spec sheet now, or more specific pricing and availability info, please write sales@allpowerlabs.com.  Yes, we are already taking orders for and delivering the new machine as of June, 2018.

We hope you will join us for the launch party in 2 weeks on June 29th.  The event is free.  The food and drink are free.  The hot tub and music are free.  But remember you do need to RSVP.  You can do so at the link here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-power-pallet-pp30-product-release-open-house-at-all-power-labs-tickets-46885255060

Hope you see you soon,

Jim Mason
Founder/CEO
All Power Labs

Discount Specials for Last Day of Campaign

For the last 12 hours of the Local Carbon Network crowdfund campaign, we’re offering a limited set of highly discounted biochar bags; in both single kg servings, as well as 3 month membership delivery form.  The 1kg bags for the next 25 sponsors are reduced from $25 to $15.  And the 3 month membership deliveries are reduced from $75 to $45, with only 10 slots available.

More info on these specials is in the Indiegogo campaign here:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/local-carbon-network-community/x/18354621#/

The total campaign is currently at $41,000, with some larger sponsorships in process today as we approach the finish line.  It is unlikely we’re going to meet our full $150,000 goal on this cycle, but with your help, we think we can reach at least $50,000 before midnght tonight.  This will be adequate to set the foundations of the project in motion, with further fundraising to continue.

Our real desire–and what we are succeeding with through this campaign launch–is the ability to run the experiment of a new model for Local Carbon Crawdown, based on the already established community scale solutions for Local Food economies.  We think there is leverage to be found in replicating Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model of regular food box deliveries, through now as Community Supported Carbon Sequestration (CS^2), for personal scale direct action on climate and soil.  We also see using the local Farmers Markets as a network hub for moving biochar from producer to consumer, on the same infrastructure as currently being used for Local Food distribution.

Laying a carbon product and exchange over the top of these already existing activities and infrastructure seems a natural fit and a major point of leverage to get Local Carbon waste back into local soil.  We think you shoud be able to get a bag of sky carbon included with your CSA veggie box delivery, and affirm your Local food, soil and carbon cycle together.  Right now we can only offer biochar on its own, but integrating it with already existing mixed CSA boxes is where we want to take this.  We want to make carbon drawdown and soil regeneration a regular and accessible activity, not unlike your regular sourcing of food.  That is how we will scale this to climate relevant size.

We hope the discounts will encourage more people to try out this “carbon drawdown as a service” membership program; whether to yourself or to a sponsored organization.  We need interested people to the run the test cycles to learn the potential and problems of this new model, which requires getting you into the membership program.

I hope you will consider joining us in this final push, so you can enjoy the soil bounty that will come later:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/local-carbon-network-community/x/18354621#/



Jim Mason
All Power Labs
Founder, CEO

PS:  For those who missed the earlier APL News posts about the Local Carbon Network Project, a more detailed description of the project is reproduced below, 

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Local Carbon Network

Community Supported Carbon Sequestration. Moving carbon from “sky-to-soil” to reverse climate change

LocalCarbonConcentrateFullSlideImag16-695

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/local-carbon-network-community/x/18354621#/
The “Local Carbon Network” is a new participatory project we’re launching at All Power Labs to put a meaningful dent in the climate problem. The project uses the carbon negative energy and agricultural machines we’ve been developing for the last decade, combined with hands in soil at local gardens and farms, to move carbon from “sky-to-soil” for Community Based Carbon Sequestration.

The project is an unusual collaboration between plants, people and machines. The plants are green-waste, which recently captured atmospheric carbon via photosynthesis, but are now a disposal problem. The machines take this “waste” and make energy and carbon biochar for soil out of it. And the people put it in the ground for improved plant growth, water conservation, and long term sequestration of carbon. Taken together, good things happen locally across Energy, Food and Water systems– which makes good things happen globally for climate by “refossilizing” sky carbon back into the underground.

We’re running this Community Supported Carbon Sequestration on the model of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes you get weekly or monthly via membership. Now, the membership is for ongoing local carbon drawdown, with a physical product delivered that does magical things for your garden, house plants, farm, or vineyard.

The goal is to create a replicable model based on the common understandings and methods of Local Food and Farmers’ Market networks. We’re creating the first “proof of concept” and template for it here in the East Bay of California. We then expect the model to spread with low friction as a layover to Local Food and Local Market economies elsewhere in the US and globally.

EastBayAreaCarbonClusterMap-695

Success in this initial East Bay capital campaign fund and deployment will justify follow-on campaigns and deployments dedicated to other Local Carbon Clusters.   APL intends to followup on the East Bay campaign with additional Local Carbon Clusters in California, Italy, Liberia and India.  These areas will be next as projects can build on business and service logistics already established by All Power Labs in these markets, and demonstration projects already operated to success.

eastbaytoworld-695

The goal is to fuel progressive steps towards, and long-term stewardship of, gigawatts of carbon-negative power and product deployments; with the ultimate objective of enabling a 10-40ppm drawdown in global CO2 concentration over the next century.  A 10-40ppm drawdown is approximately 10-20% of the carbon reduction that will be needed to maintain global temperature increase below 2˚C, the commonly-accepted point that will stave off catastrophic climate change.  

“Global Carbon Management through Green-waste Management” is one our most powerful tools to do something consequential about climate change with today’s technology and at-market products.  Moreover, it is a solution that can be run profitably–delivering real economic value across Energy, Food and Water systems–and therefore has a built in engine to scale.   

APL will not do this as a single company, but as a general industry enabled and pursuing the what is ultimately a market driven solution for energy and agricultural needs, we just might be able to make it happen.  Model details on the climate and financial modeling behind this scenario is in the campaign:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/local-carbon-network-community/x/18354621#/  
 

Yes, we have solutions to “refossilize” consequential amounts of carbon out of the sky and into the ground.  Plants + People + Machines can work together and drawdown carbon for both local value and global climate benefit.

I hope you will join us in setting this very accessible trim tab against the unrelenting fossil CO2 flow.

Jim Mason
Founder, CEO
All Power Labs
 

The Local Carbon Network campaign is here:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/local-carbon-network-community/x/18354621#/

Local Carbon Network: Campaign progress

LocalCarbonConcentrateFullSlideImag16-695

  Thank you to all who have participated in the Indiegogo campaign to set the Local Carbon Network project in motion.   So far we’ve raised about $25,000 in Local Carbon sponsorships, which is about 20% of the way to our goal.  This is a great start, and we were pleased so many of your wrote notes back to us to affirm this new model for enabling local carbon drawdown.  Now we need to get the campaign to the goal of $150,000 to fully set the Bay Area Carbon Cluster in motion.   We have about a week left in the campaign, which is when most of the action typically happens in crowdfunding efforts.  In this push to the finish line, we hope you’ll consider a sponsorship, and/or pass the campaign onward to others who you think will be interested.  We need your help and participation to bring this new carbon drawdown model to existence in the world.  Even if you’re at a distance and want to start a Local Carbon Cluster in your area in the future, please do consider supporting the current Bay Area California campaign so we can get this off the ground and demonstrate the model can work.  Sponsorships are for bags of Local Carbon Biochar in varying number, or full Power Pallet 30 machines.   Most sponsorships are of course for bags of biochar, but we’re also looking for a few individuals who want to do higher level sponsorships by purchasing one of the new PP30 CHP machines, letting the local project use it for a year, then continuing thereafter in a lease arrangement, or upgrade and return to you. Details on the Local Carbon Network activities and campaign sponsorship options are here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/local-carbon-network-community/x/18354621#/
Sky-to-soil carbon deliveries begin

garden 2

  Deliveries of your sponsored Local Carbon Biochar have already begun to our partner Carbon Farmer organizations in the East Bay of California.  So far these are of course very small scale, but we wanted to complete the full cycle right from the beginning of the project.  The first 15kg char has gone to Ashby Community Garden, Emeryville Community Garden, and the UC Berkeley Gill Tract Farm, for a total CO2 impact equivalence of 300-600kg in principle (though in practice, not all CHP fossil displacements are in place yet while making this early char). We will be publishing a progressive tally of biochar delivered to soil and CO2e impact achieved by the total project.  This will soon be live on a new Local Carbon Network website, but in the interim, we have spreadsheets and graphs as below to keep track of our progress.

graphs

  We have a great collection of local organizations enthusiastic to receive your sponsored Local Carbon Biochar and put it to good work in soil.  The current list of participating organizations is below.   You are welcome and encouraged to suggest other local gardens, farms, schools and otherwise where you would like to see local carbon returned to soil.   

  • UC Gill Tract Community Garden (UC Berkeley)
  • Spiral Garden Community Food Security Project, Berkeley
  • California Habitats Indigenous Activists, Berkeley
  • Ashby Community Gardens, Berkeley
  • Peralta Community Garden, Berkeley
  • Transition Berkeley, Berkeley
  • Planting Justice, Berkeley
  • Norcal Community Resilience Network, Berkeley
  • Malcom X School Garden, Berkeley
  • Northside Garden, Berkelely
  • Good Shepherd Church Garden, Berkeley
  • California Habitats Indigenous Activists, Berkeley
  • Emeryville Community Garden, Emeryville
  • Big Daddy’s Complete Rejuvenating Community Garden, Emeryville
  • PLACE for Sustainable Living, Oakland

The East Bay Local Carbon Cluster will develop permanent CHP powergen and biochar production installations at the first two green-waste management sites on the list below, with the rest following in later growth stages.  All of the sites listed below serve as existing green-waste consolidation points for the East Bay, and currently have an excess of Local Carbon needing a solution.  

 These green waste conversion sites, combined with the local gardens and farms listed above, make the East Bay Carbon Cluster. 

EastBayAreaCarbonClusterMap

Your sponsorships directly increase the amount of green-waste carbon that is “fossilized” to soil in this social-soil-eco-system.


Scaling for Global Impact

The Local Carbon Network model is designed to be easy to replicate and scale across other Local Food, Farmers’ Market and green-waste ecosystems.  The “proof of concept” East Bay Carbon Cluster is the template we intend to test and refine, making it easy to pick up for additional Local Carbon Clusters in the US and globally.  APL will orchestrate some of these directly, but also invite others with interest (like yourself dear reader) to set things in motion independently in your local area.  

Success in this initial East Bay capital campaign fund and deployment will justify follow-on campaigns and deployments dedicated to other Clusters.   APL intends to followup on the East Bay campaign with additional Local Carbon Clusters in California, Italy, Liberia and India.  These areas will be next as projects can build on business and service logistics already established by All Power Labs (APL) in these markets, and demonstration projects already operated to success. We also invite you to suggest other areas where a local carbon cluster might be relevant in your area.

After nearly ten years of technology development, business partner establishment, and on-the-ground infrastructure building, APL is ready to make a consequential impact on energy and agriculture transformations in these regions, while drawing down carbon from the global pool during the process. 

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The Goal

The Local Carbon Network intends to create and support long-term stewardship of gigawatts of carbon-negative power and product deployments, with the ultimate objective of enabling a 10-40ppm drawdown in global CO2 concentration over the next century.  A 10-40ppm drawdown is approximately 10-20% of the carbon reduction that will be needed to maintain global temperature increase below 2˚C– the commonly-accepted point that will stave off catastrophic climate change.  

We will not do this as a single company, but as a full industry pursuing the “Global Carbon Management through Green-waste mangement solution”, we just might be able to make it happen.  

“Global Carbon Management through Green-waste Management” is the most powerful tool we currently have available to drawdown carbon for global climate benefit.  The Local Carbon Network is bringing together the Plants + People + Machines to make it happen at scale.

We hope you will join us by sponsoring bags Local Carbon Biochar or PP30 CHP Machines to enable the first roll out.

Jim Mason
Founder, CEO
All Power Labs

Carbon Management Through Green Waste Management

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Partners Wanted For Waste To Energy Project Trials

You likely already know that APL’s technology provides significant value in the areas of waste management and renewable energy, while also making substantial contributions in the fight against climate change. Turning green waste into energy is a win-win-win solution. As pointed out in an article this week in The Guardian, “Agricultural waste, which would otherwise be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions if burnt, could instead be turned into a biochar – a process that produces more energy than it consumes – and the biochar could then be used to enrich agricultural soils with carbon. Research suggests that biochars not only boost crop yields, but could lock away carbon for several thousand years.”  With recent significant improvements to our technology, we believe the value proposition is now stronger than ever.

However,  you may also know that biomass gasification isn’t yet as easy to finance as solar, which is a barrier to scaling and realizing the full value of the technology. So, to make our solution more accessible, we’re now offering turnkey waste-to-energy (WTE) services, wherein APL or its affiliates will own and operate the equipment at your location. You would not be responsible for the capital cost of the equipment, and- because we can dispose of waste and generate energy more cheaply that other technologies- our fees would simply come from the waste management and electricity use savings from using our services. There’s also an option to provide onsite heating and cooling as well, if needed.

This fee-for-service model provides a simple WTE solution that offsets both waste management and power consumption costs for customers. The compact, modular, and turn-key design of the Power Pallet enables us to scale the service as needed. Projects will be operated in a net metering situation similar to solar, but would have the additional value streams of biomass waste processing and provision of heat and cooling services, not to mention the flexibility of having mobile units.

We plan to start offering our WTE service model here in Northern California, then across the state, then wherever there’s a good fit. We are targeting the first installations to begin producing power in the SF Bay Area in the second half of 2017. This pilot program will also be used to refine the business model in preparation for general release in 2018.

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This work is being enabled in part with strong support from the state of California; the California Energy Commission has awarded us $3M in grants in recent months to continue to refine our products, making them more efficient and easier to use.

The need for this kind of solution clear: climate change is causing a mounting biomass solid waste crisis, which is in itself contributing significantly to climate change. We intend to help break this cycle. Last fall, we started sounding the warning about the impacts of climate change on our forests here in California, a crisis that continues to deepen. The latest climate clarion call is from Southern California, where the transition to a landscape wholly devoid of urban trees––in parks, on campuses, and in yards––could happen in just the next generation.

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We are now looking for qualified demonstration sites to conduct the most near-term WTE projects, with the following characteristics: located within two hours of the San Francisco Bay area, significant onsite energy use  (around 100kW or more), and onsite biomass waste processing that’s either revenue neutral or a cost center. If these characteristics describe a site that you own or to which you have access, and which you would like to be considered, please fill out the attached form. We will get back to you right away if your site fulfills the requirements for a  successful project.

OPEN HOUSE this Friday night, 5-7pm
Our regular monthly open house is coming up this week. Please RSVP so we know how many guests to plan for, then drop by for pizza cooked in a gasifier-powered oven, plus cold beer and soft drinks, and all the gasifier talk you can eat.

Negative emissions tech: can more trees, carbon capture or biochar solve our CO2 problem?
As noted above, The Guardian newspaper in the UK has a thoughtful look at this promising question this week. Click here to read all the details.

The business, and climate, case for biomass
The former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, and the former head of the US environmental group Sierra Club, Carl Pope, have written a much deeper dive into the same topic as the Guardian article in their new book “Climate of Hope.”

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They write, “We have phenomenal machines to do this job — they are called plants, and they exist to take CO2 out of the atmosphere and turn it into organic matter in the soil. (Certain kinds of rocks also sequester CO2 in very large quantities, but our ability to influence the pace of such mineralization is much more limited than our impact on the biosphere and plant life.) What does it take to trip the biosphere — the globe’s collection of animals and plants — into a massive carbon-storing mechanism?”

The climate crisis is making new heroes. Meet Matt Rogers, founder of NEST
Every day, all over the world, new heroes in the climate struggle are emerging from unlikely places. Case in point: Matt Rogers. After working at Apple on some of this century’s most iconic products, Matt left to found NEST, which makes home thermostats. Not very sexy, perhaps, but their combination of sleek design and innovative performance is driving users to install millions of them. This, in turn, has already avoided the equivalent of more than 2 million tons of carbon emissions from burning coal. You can learn more about Matt’s  impact, and the work he’s enabling, in this Medium post.

As always, thank you for your interest in our work. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss buying some of our equipment, email info@allpowerlabs.com or call toll-free +1 888-252-5324.

 

-ALL Power Labs

 

Got green waste? Let’s turn it into something useful.

Plus: New grants, projects, and the new master plan for reversing climate change.

Need power in California? Got green waste? Contact us
APL is now expanding into project development in California––operating its own equipment for on-site power and heat generation, focusing initially on sites that can net meter with the utility grid and have green waste onsite they’re paying to dispose of.

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As we’ve mentioned previously, California is in the midst of a solid waste crisis, driven by the twin drivers of closing biomass plants and a forest health crisis that’s killed hundreds of millions of trees. We can help you lower your electricity bills and waste disposal costs at the same time. To contact us to discuss your project, email info@allpowerlabs.com or call toll-free +1 888-252-5324.

APL wins new grants from the California Energy Commission
The State of California has long been a leader on environmental issues, and has historically invested early in promising technologies. That’s certainly true with biomass-to-energy projects: in the last several months, APL has been awarded $3 million in competitive grants from the CEC, and is shortlisted for $3 million more. The first $1.5 million award is for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects utilizing the Power Pallet, and the second grant, also for $1.5 million, is for a higher capacity Powertainer with CHP and a dedicated biochar offtake.  In both cases, APL was the highest-scoring applicant. APL also received a high passing score for a $3 million grant to create 2MW of Powertainer projects; that project is still working through the system, as the CEC got more winning projects than they currently have funding for. We’re cautiously optimistic those projects will move forward as well.

Highlighting recent projects
We continue to install new projects regularly, all over the world. Here are two recent projects we wanted to highlight. The first, in Costa Rica, uses waste from coffee production to make energy to run their roasters and processing equipment in a remote community. The second, in northern Ghana, powers a school using wood waste from a nearby mill.

    iCafe-talking coffee in Costa Rica. In this video ( narrated in spanish ) you can see how iCafe is able to provide the high-output energy they need to operate their processing operations even in their remote, mountainous location. The Power Pallet is uniquely positioned to serve in this use case: unlike other renewable energy sources, which are not on demand and do not have sufficiently high energy density (unless they are paired with hugely expensive battery banks), the Power Pallet can be used  as needed and provides a high level of so-called “productive power” for energy-intensive agricultural operations.

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    Modern Star, shining bright in Ghana In February, we installed a Power Pallet at the Modern Star school in northern Ghana.  The project is designed to operate on locally-sourced wood waste from a nearby mill. Once the Power Pallet was installed, the wiring was connected and the unit supplied enough power to electrify all six buildings on campus.

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We’re happy to be doing our part to solve the challenges of energy access and climate change.

Solving Climate Change: Project Drawdown
Last week, Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown released its long awaited, and deeply researched, guide to reversing global climate change. It is an impressive, incredibly ambitious work, and full of surprises. Case in point––the #1 thing we can do isn’t switch to wind or solar, it’s….better manage refrigeration.

All of the solutions are scored and ranked according to impact and cost. Not surprising to anyone who has been following our work, supporting biomass energy ranks pretty high. And, when combined with other cross-cutting solutions like biochar production, waste-to-energy development, and regenerative agriculture, it’s easily in the top ten. Click the image below to learn more and order a copy.

 

As always, thank you for your interest in our work. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss buying some of our equipment, email info@allpowerlabs.com or call toll-free +1 888-252-5324.

 

-ALL Power Labs

LA Times: APL biomass gasification “one of the most promising technologies”

Flexible clean energy that helps solve climate change?

That’s what the LA Times calls biomass gasification from All Power Labs–
“one of the most promising technologies” to help solve the forest health crisis in California.

Last week the Los Angeles Times, California’s largest newspaper, published an editorial exploring solutions for one of the toughest problems facing the Golden State: how to preserve our leadership on climate change while dealing with a crippling multi-year drought that has left more than 100 million trees dead. The solution is to convert all that dead biomass into on-demand energy, and along the way do something impactful to address climate change. Click The Image Below For Link To Article
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The piece sums up the climate potential well: “Aside from their main output, electricity (which can be fed into the grid), the units generate a key byproduct, biochar, a charcoal-like substance that is almost pure carbon. When applied to soil, biochar stimulates plant growth and reduces water consumption, which makes it a valuable commodity in water-stressed California fields. In essence, biochar is carbon that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere, which makes All Power’s gasification process not just carbon neutral but carbon negative.”

The solution that unlocks this potential at scale is the Powertainer, a mobile 150KW power plant that turn waste forest biomass into energy, heat, and biochar. Sponsored by a grant from the California Enegy Commission, APL has been developing a commercial version of the Powertainer modeled on a design we first made in 2012 for the US Department of Energy. Shown below is the new version at a green waste yard testing facility just minutes from APL’s headquarters in Berkeley. As you can see, the unit is easily moved to and from project sites. No expensive civil works are required–just put it on the ground, plug it in, and add fuel.

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To really understand the scope of the challenge we’re facing, check out this video produced by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection: (click the image to play video).

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Over the last two years we have been developing the Powertainer we have received significant interest from potential customers. Now that we are planning to begin deploying units in the field,  we would like to gauge the current level of interest in the product. If you are considering or are interested in getting a Powertainer, please fill out this very quick form–it should take less than one minute.

As always, thank you for your interest in our work. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss buying some of our equipment, email info@allpowerlabs.com

-ALL Power Labs

A menace in our mountains: the terrifying climate truth behind California’s fall forest colors

Fall in the United States is known for the colors in New England, as trees turn to the warm shades of autumn before dropping their leaves. That sort of change historically wasn’t common here California, where our forests are mostly evergreen pine trees. At least, that used to be true–but not anymore.

Thanks to drought and climate change, there are now 66 million dead trees in California, a number that may triple by year’s end. That’s almost one million linear miles of dead biomass, enough to stretch to the moon and back twice. But, when combined with a forward thinking energy policy, this crisis is also creating an unique opportunity to solve the twin challenges of affordable renewable energy and climate change at the same time. APL’s Tom Price just published this Medium post that outlines what’s at risk, and how APL’s gasification solution could save not only California, but the whole planet.

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If after reading this piece you’re interested in seeing the new 150kW Powertainer in person, please see below for an upcoming event at our Berkeley factory.

More APL news:

National Science Foundation awards All Power Labs $225,000 grant to develop next-generation reactor.NSF

Last month, APL was awarded a prestigious $225,000 Phase 1 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, to support our research and development of our next generation gasifier reactor.  Specifically, this grant “enables the research and development of a new hybrid fixed-fluidized biomass gasifier design that allows for a higher carbon conversion efficiency over a far wider range of feed stocks than what current commercially available biomass-to-electricity technologies are able to offer.”  APL’s Dr. Jay Hasty will be the Principal Investigator leading the team doing this important work.

 

APL powers events across Silicon Valley and beyond, spreading the word about “energy for productive use.”

This summer APL presented at (and powered!) several high profile events, all focused on reinforcing a perspective that’s gaining traction in the global renewable energy community:  We need to provide more than just lighting; true energy access means energy for productive use. That kind of high amperage power, to enable value adding activities like running machinery, is something off-grid solar can’t provide, but it’s an ideal use for compact biomass gasification gensets.

In June  we presented these ideas at the Clean Energy Ministerial in San Francisco, the implementation-focused follow up to the COP21 Climate Accords in Paris last December, at which APL also presented.  That makes APL the only company in the world to exhibit carbon-negative technology at both events.

We then flew over to Hawaii to help power a microgrid running the first VERGE Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit, getting help from Governor David Ige to refill a Power Pallet operating on locally-sourced macadamia nut shells.
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We then powered the dining tents during the Social Capital Markets SOCAP conference in San Francisco, and went straight from there to Santa Clara, the heart of Silicon Valley, helping power the microgrid at the VERGE conference and participating in their startup showcase.  We wrapped up our tour at the International Off Grid Renewable Energy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, contributing to the “Emerging technology solutions for off-grid renewable energy systems” session, and are now home getting ready for our biggest event of the year–unveiling our new Powertainer.

Powertainer demonstration coming this fall

APL is preparing to publicly unveil our new 150kW Powertainer, designed to help address forestry waste management as well as clean energy and climate solution needs. If you are interested in the Powertainer and attending our upcoming live demonstration, please let us know.  Space is limited, so email your interest to info@allpowerlabs.com with the words “Powertainer Demo” in the subject line, so we can hold a spot for you and let you know event details.

 

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You’re invited: Creating an Ecosystem for a Carbon Balanced Planet, October 18th in San Francisco

Join Nancy Pfund of DBL Partners, Jim Mason of APL, and Noah Dietch of the Center for Carbon Removal for an interactive workshop that brings together leaders from across disciplines to create tangible projects for the development of innovative carbon solutions. This workshop will explore how Bay Area business, policy, and NGO leaders can partner with local carbon removal solution developers. Workshop attendees will participate in a design charrette with the goal of identifying measurable projects. Together we will advance the development of a carbon balanced planet. More details and registration info here.

 



Two years in the field-and counting

Two years in the field and counting — APL technology passes key new product milestone

As world leaders gather in New York this week to celebrate Earth Day, and to sign the COP21 Paris Climate Accords,  here at APL we’ve been doing some celebrating of our own.

If you have been in the renewable energy field for a while, you know that new technologies don’t come along that often, and rarer still are the ones that pass two years of service in the field.

That is why we’re so pleased to announce that our v5 Power Pallets have just done exactly that.  For two years now, even through the Ebola crisis, the BWI Renewable Energy Center in Kakata, Liberia has been making free energy for their school from biomass (in their case using expired rubber tree chips as fuel) via three of our Power Pallets.

To celebrate this key product validation milestone, last month we held an Open House at BWI. Our local staff showed off their work to local dignitaries, NGOs, and business leaders, and as a result of their successes negotiations are now underway to expand the project.

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This project was originally sponsored by USAID and organized by EcoPower Liberia. Since then, we’ve been managing the facility’s operations and using BWI for an intensive R&D facility, intentionally running parts to failure in the toughest conditions we could manage.

We’ve learned a lot over the last few years and have integrated that knowledge into everything we do here in Berkeley. Congratulations to everyone on the APL Liberia team for your successes– you’re proving every day just how valuable energy from biomass can be.

When “renewables” aren’t renewable- tough choices ahead for policy planners
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Last week the New York Times published a story about the impact of climate change on hydropower in Zambia. It highlights a topic that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, namely how a changing climate can affect the production of renewable energy.

As our weather changes, there will be times the sun doesn’t shine, the wind doesn’t blow, and the rain doesn’t fall. This in turn highlights one of the important features of using small scale biomass energy—it can be used rain or shine, day or night, and since it uses existing waste as fuel it’s all but impossible to run out of energy.

We hope this article sparks a broader conversation about resiliency issues in renewable energy, as we all work to address the twin challenges of energy access and climate change.

In Addis Ababa this week? Stop in to see Jim Mason at the Africa Climate Resilient Infrastructure Summit

Speaking of resiliency, if you are in Addis Ababa this week at the Africa Climate Resilient Infrastructure Summit, please make sure to meet up with APL’s acrisCEO/Founder Jim Mason. He’s there meeting with other technology companies and clean energy advocates to help map out how Africa can address rising energy demands in a world newly focused on sustainability and dependability in energy systems.

We’re Hiring: Engineers and Sales

APL is looking to make some immediate hires in our engineering and sales departments, across a wide range of interesting and challenging positions. The best people we end up with come from referrals from people familiar with our work, so feel free to share these openings with your networks.

Down the trail: saying goodbye for now to Brenna Sheldon

BPIMG_2244APL is blessed to have a team of incredibly talented, dedicated people working here. It’s a pretty tight knit group, so we’re certainly going to feel the absence of one who is leaving us. But that sadness is offset by happiness for the reason she’s leaving: to take the adventure of a lifetime.

Brenna Sheldon answered an ad for a position here a year and a half ago, and we immediately hired her–she has a radiantly positive attitude, a can do spirit, and appetite for learning and trying new things.  She quickly jumped into a big role in our sales department, and was key part of our outreach at the COP21 climate accords in Paris. (At R, with Sara Norris.)

But like we said, she likes a challenge–and she just took on one of the biggest. She won a coveted permit to hike the grueling 2,659 mile Pacific Crest Trail, and later this month will start her solo hike from the border of Mexico, all along the spine of the American west, to the border of Canada.

We’ll be heading out to meet her along the trail when she passes near here this summer, and know you’ll join us in wishing her a safe and rewarding journey.

Thank you for your continued interest in All Power Labs. Please contact us with any questions or to discuss your project, at info@allpowerlabs.com.