Janicki Industries Proposal
September 24, 2013 07:43AM
During the Berrien Springs Annual Meet last weekend, I gave a couple of presentations, one of which made reference to a proposal I submitted to Janicki Industries for a light steam electrical generating system. After the talk I received a couple of requests to place the proposal on the website as I did not have any paper copies of the proposal with me. The document was a bit too large to attach directly to the Phorum, so it has been broken into two parts.

The proposal stands pretty much on it's own, although it does reference some prior phone conversations to which the reader will not be privy. Feel free to agree or disagree with my conclusions, it's a public Phorum. I should note that I generally stand by my conclusions of 18 months ago and am unlikely to engage in any debate on the topic; since there are almost as many opinions as there are SACA members, such debate is usually not productive.


open | download - Janicki_proposal_15_May[1].pdf (852.3 KB)
open | download - Janicki_proposal_15_May[2].pdf (411.8 KB)
Re: Janicki Industries Proposal
September 24, 2013 10:59AM
Ken, A lot of time, research, and thought went into your Janicki Industries Proposal. Thank you for sharing your papers here on the forum. It was a very interesting read and it really well outlines the important needs in designing a modern steam plant. Nice work!
Re: Janicki Industries Proposal
September 24, 2013 02:11PM

Very well written paper for Janicki Industries, with some solid and well thought out suggestions. Your expertise in the field has direct applications for anyone contemplating a modern Rankine cycle power system.

However, some questions do remain and just for fun I list them below.
1) Considering the idea is to use indigenous material for fuel, who is going to be scurrying around picking up dried camel dung and twigs to feed this steam system on a 24/7 basis? The low BTU content with such fuels means a large and constant fuel supply is demanded. Dried sewage has a big energy consumption need just to collect and dry it, beyond any rational idea of using it. Also, such areas have no modern sanitary facilities beyond a hole in the ground, let alone any modern sewer system.

2) Who is to maintain and service this powerplant, considering as I understand it, the Gates idea is to provide electric power for locations that never had it or cannot generate it with conventional IC powered gen sets? Suggesting their eventual user is barely out of the beads and rattles stage, if even that?

3) The idea of leaping from the first demonstration of concept model to production is an old failing of firms that have no experience, let alone any technical expertise in the field. The same management ignorance and rampant arrogance that caused the eventual end of the Clean Air Car program and several well known programs today, where management refuses to acknowledge their lack of expertise or will listen to their experienced consultants who try to guide them.

Quite frankly there is on the market today a much more achievable system. Considering the huge amount of design and development time this project is going to take, let alone the millions of dollars, Janiki would be a lot better off buying 75 kW generators with IMPCO gas carburetors and go to a producer gas
system. Such works very well with fluid bed gas generators. There is ample literature and expertise on just such producer gas systems.

Oh well, have fun. Just make sure the checks don't bounce.

Re: Janicki Industries Proposal
September 24, 2013 04:23PM

Excellent presentation essay, and a valuable addition to the site.

One minor addition I would make is a "materials" person with experience in various metal alloys, steam, and flue gas at the temperatures expected.
Re: Janicki Industries Proposal
September 24, 2013 06:27PM
Pat, Jim, Scott, thanks!

Jim, I actually did suggest a producer gas generator during our first phone call, I consider it to be a decent solution. As I recall, I was told there were economic reasons for the steam plant, but after a year and a half I can't recall them.

The intended use, as told to me, was a bit different than the version going around. I was told there are urban areas in Africa that are much like in Brazil, crushing poverty side-by-side with affluence. The need to prevent sewage related diseases is naturally strongest in the poverty stricken areas. The wealthier people have all the modern conveniences including electric appliances and electronics, but the equivalent of our power grid isn't always available; independent diesel generators supply power to well-heeled customers within a short area. The idea then, was to compete with these diesel gen sets using a similar capability steam plant...the plant operators would pay locals to bring their sewage in to fuel the plant since this would presumably be the cheapest fuel source if the system is set up to burn it. Anyhow, the idea was NOT to provide power in very remote areas as there is probably little demand there anyhow. I have no idea exactly how maintenance was to be accomplished although I know that telecommunications was to provide some support. I really pushed the single cylinder research engine concept; if it is good enough for GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Ricardo and so on, it is good enough for anyone. Since companies like Janicki Industries are not commercial engine suppliers, they can ill afford to do too much in-house manufacturing and need to be especially careful to refine the product extensively and engage in testing to the verge of overkill. What am I saying? You can only overkill testing when it gets in the way of actually going into production. As for drying sewage and burning it in fluidized beds...I was told they had already been involved in something similar, had data showing the idea was practical and hands-on experience verifying that. I have no real way to know just how applicable that previous project was to the steam project and simply filed it under the heading of "Not My Job".


A materials person would be good to have on hand, especially for follow-on projects which would be much more ambitious in regards to pressure, temperature, energy density and amount of system custom fabricated.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2013 06:48PM by frustrated.
Re: Janicki Industries Proposal
September 24, 2013 10:07PM

Ah yes, "economic reasons". Translates into grant harvesting, a well practiced game these days with rich; but technically uneducated people trying to build a "green" image and the entrepreneurs cashing in on their ignorance.
This has gone on and damaged light steam from at least 1958 that I remember.

Re: Janicki Industries Proposal
September 25, 2013 08:57AM
Great presentation paper Ken.

But I would like to point out that there is a once through boiler that is easy to control. The one I have posted on that was written up in the "LIGHT STEAM POWER". A mono-tube steam generator that like the La Mont boiler used a unfired chamber holding saturated liquid and steam. In this case a stand pipe. The stand pipe acted as a normalizer to a saturated steam state output. The mono-tube output went into the stand pipe well below water level. Baffles were used to increase the path to the surface above the mono-tube input entry. Superheated steam entering the stand pipe was normalized to saturated steam giving up it's super heat to the liquid as to traveled up through the water in the stand pipe. That heat would vaporize some of the water (being at the saturation temperature) producing more steam. This would lower the water level. A saturated mix of water and steam would separate the steam going to the top and the water increasing the water level. The steam generator written up in "LIGHT STEAM POWER" produced low pressure saturated process steam.

Re: Janicki Industries Proposal
October 05, 2013 10:32AM
Hi Guys,

Seems like I mistakenly posted the next-to-the last proof of the proposal rather than the one I eventually submitted. Hate to say it, but I was rewriting until the last moment. I doubt the differences are that great, though hopefully the spelling, grammar and punctuation are slightly improved. Anyhow, though I doubt there are substantive differences, I DID promise to post the proposal I gave to Janicki, so here it is however belated.


open | download - Janicki proposal 16 May (a).pdf (575.1 KB)
open | download - Janicki proposal 16 May (b).pdf (871.2 KB)
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Janicki proposal 16 May (a).pdf 575.1 KB open | download frustrated 10/05/2013 Read message
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