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APL in the Field: Indonesia Report

Yoav and I just returned from a trip to Indonesia to help with the set up and operational instruction for 2 Power Pallets there.

They are being integrated into a pilot stage “Village Hub” project. This pilot is located next to a palm sugar factory run by the Masarang Foundation (http://www.masarang.nl/). The factory uses waste geothermal heat from a 35 MW geothermal plant to dry and prepare palm sugar. This sugar is prepared from the sap of the Arenga Palm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arenga_pinnata), a species studied by Willie Smits who studied forestry in the Netherlands (and gave a great TED talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest.html). The sap is collected by bruising the fruiting branches, which release the sap, up to 100 liters per tree per day. It can be processed into sugar and ethanol. The Arenga palm can grow on poor soils, allowing deforested areas to be reforested, acting as a nurse tree to re-introduce more diverse species (see Willie’s TED talk above).

The Village Hub concept is to create smaller scale plants that can operate with zero external inputs and zero waste. These would collect sap from a collection of local farmers allowing economic opportunities to stay and protect reforested areas. The Hub would provide extra electricity to the villages and a medical office with internet access for doctors. The Power Pallet would provide electricity for plant operations and other uses.

We successfully installed and operated the Power Pallets and provided training to the workers at the facility, who were quite excited to be involved and learn about gasification and the equipment.

A view of the pilot factory – designed to be zero waste – the sugar operation (upper left) makes sugar/alcohol/distilled water, wastes feed pigs, pig and human waste feeds a biogas digestor (lower right), CO2 from alcohol fermentation feeds algae in pond. Algae feeds pigs. Remaining nutrient rich water into rice field (lower).


Going over the 20 kW control panel and startup check list.

Sticks for firewood are often set by the side of the road. These come from a leguminous tree species, native to central America. It grows fast and can be coppiced (cut high, it then resprouts new branches) – Calliandra calothyrsus – http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/agpc/doc/PUBLICAT/Gutt-shel/x5556e09.htm
Given the long rains and >30% MC fuel, we primarily used crushed coconut shells which worked great.

Chipping wood with a mill, consideration of fuel moisture in the humid tropics is key.

Preparing a 10 kW Power Pallet for operation.

A happy team with a running 10 kW

Cheers,
Bear Kaufmann
All Power Labs

13 comments to APL in the Field: Indonesia Report

  • Djeni Tanumihardja

    Glad to meet the web site in gasifier specialy to your project apl in Indonesia.
    I’m an engineer at Palm Oil extracting in Bangka Island and want to know more about gasifier and maybe the posibility using gasifier from palm fibre and nut shell as waste product from palm oil extracting
    Please send further information about it.
    Thank you very much.

  • jefri lim

    hi,
    I am Jefri from Indonesia and live at Balikpapan, a city at borneo island.
    I check this website regularly, it is interesting to find out that there is aplication of biomass electricity here at Indonesia.
    In my area,I think we need these system.
    Can we talk about it ?
    tq

  • Robert Kana

    Finally guys, you have come to land of biomass. As expected, you have done a good job, again… For me I always wanted to come and visit you and attend your work shop. There is so much to learn and share info. Here we have done gasification from wood chips, rice husk, chicken waste and so on. FYI, palm fiber is hard to gasify unless dried, drying needs so much energy, unless dried by sun. Most companies don’t even burn EFB. Nut shells (Changkang) would gasify better than wood chips ( similar to hazel nut or walnut shells), we are planning to try that soon. Shells already sell as biomass fuel for a good price, most palm oil factories burn them in boilers, I am against that, if they are gasified would bring more energy. Some info, palm shells 450 rupiah ( 0.05 cents) per kg hard to find, usually sold by long term contracts, coconut shells 750 rupiah per kg ( 0.083 cents) available everywhere in Indonesia. Fire wood is 150-200 rupiah per kg ( 0.016- 0.022 cents) available in every village.
    Indonesia can use another 1000 power pallets, so much need here. Good job, welcome and come back soon. We would love to see you guys here more often. Thanks for your contribution green power. Best wishes to you all. Robert

  • Marina

    wow looks great!
    Is this machine only capable of wood pallets, coconut shells, nut shells?
    What about market biomass waste such as: vegetables, leaves, etc? Or do you recommend more biogas plant for these materials?

    Keep up good work!

  • Dear Bear.
    I am an engineer who working for energy technology center in Indonesia. Part of my tasks is giving recommendation of energy technology to be apply in Indonesia to support the distributed electricity system programs for remote areas.
    It is interested to learn yours integrated gasifier system. Sound to be a handy system that might be able to provide electricity in a remote area where biomass resources available.
    Anyway, do you have a technical performance data base on your field running test? If you have any information on that matter please send me for references basis.
    Thank you very much for your attention.

    regards
    Riyanto

  • dusty @ ALL Power Labs

    @ Marina: Yes our gasifier / Power Pallets are set up for chunky woody biomass-10mm-50mm in size.

  • Ssngoi

    Would love to learn more abt this capability. Definitely a boon to many villages that needs electricity. Thanks

  • For all interested in biomass gasifikasi in Indonesia. APL team installed a gasifier (10 kW power pallet – gasifier + gasengine and generator) in Yogyakarta at Institute UMY (Universitas Muhammadiya Yogyakarta). This gasifier is intended as a demonstrator for all those that are interested to see such system working and even to do research with your own feedstock.

    (Untuk semua tertarik pada gasifikasi biomassa di Indonesia. Tim APL memasang gasifier (10 kW pallet – gasifier + gasengine dan generator) di Yogyakarta pada Institute UMY (Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta). Gasifier ini dimaksudkan sebagai demonstran untuk semua orang yang tertarik untuk melihat sistem tersebut bekerja dan bahkan untuk melakukan penelitian dengan bahan baku sendiri.)

    The gasifier was sponsored via Dutch government and part of a collaboration project from Eindhoven University (TU/e). Myself i was contractor for this project. For visiting the gasifier in Yogya, please contact us via:

    patrickvanschijndel@gmail.com

  • Patrick van Schijndel

    for those interested to visit the APL gasifier in Yogyakarta, please contact me:

    patrickvanschijndel@gmail.com

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