Step 15: Solid Fuel Auger - Not Used In Current Design
We built several solid fuel augers, but soon discovered that it is a difficult engineering problem when you want to run an auger up from horizontal, or in our case, about 45 degrees. We currently run the vehicle with the typical top-mounted gravity-fed GEK hopper, which is simple and reliable. We hope to get the auger working eventually but for now you can refer to our prototypes and hopefully learn something about all the ways that auger can not work.
We built and tested 2 different auger designs. Generally, they would work for certain fuel size and shape, but when the particulars changed, they would either jam or fail to move/lift the fuel. The GEK reactor will run on a wide range of solid biomass as long as it is chipped or chopped into chunky bits from about 3/8" to 1.5". All diagnoal designs we tested were much more fuel sensitive than the gasifier itself.
Here's a video of one of them running: