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24 comments
Associate

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 29
Good Answers: 1

biogas operated small refrigerators

12/31/2007 10:14 PM

Small individual household biogas plants are gaining popularity in rural communities in India. After meeting the cooking fuel needs of a small family there is always some surplus of biogas available. But this surplus gas quantity is too small to be amenable to electricity generation.Only one village out of 15 is said to have electricity in India at present.

We have felt that small household refrigerators can be made to work on the small biogas surplus in the villages.We are looking for guidance on designs and supply of such small biogas operated refrigerators for applications in rural India. In fact all developing countries offer great commercial possibilities in this venture. I wonder if any of our members will like to respond.

surmil

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Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: lat. 40N lon. 124W
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#1

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

12/31/2007 11:20 PM

my opinion from studying the problem a lot, is that

small natural gas refirgerators should work just fine.

the only difference between bio gas and natural gas, is usually the impurities from the production process, mostly it is just CO2. the only application that doesn't work is running it into an internal combustion engine. this is because the HS will eat the metal of the engine guts. other that it works just fine in all natural gas applicances.

it will have a lower btu content because of the presence of CO2 in quantities up to 40%. therefor all you have to do is turn the unit up to a higher setting than would be normal for natural gas.

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Associate

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 29
Good Answers: 1
#2
In reply to #1

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/01/2008 12:17 AM

Thank you very much. But where to get such refrigerators or technological collaboration to manufacture them in India?
Surmil

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Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: lat. 40N lon. 124W
Posts: 364
Good Answers: 5
#3
In reply to #2

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/01/2008 1:08 AM

i used a search engine. the best listing of brands, for you to pursue is on this ebay page.

http://search.ebay.com/water-heater-natural-gas_W0QQfkrZ1QQfnuZ1QQfsooZ2QQfsopZ32QQkeywordZwaterQ20heaterQ20naturalQ20gas

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Anonymous Poster
#4

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/01/2008 12:55 PM

Hi,

Here are some links about gas-powered fridges and a biogas support scheme:

http://www.dometic.com/enie/International-Website/International/Consumer/Dual-Energy-Refrigerators/Refrigerators/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_absorption_refrigerator

http://green.onevillage.tv/?p=189

http://www.epa.gov/methanetomarkets/grants.htm

Stay cool,

Todd,

http://greenideafactory.blogspot.com/

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/01/2008 10:43 PM

Hi, todd here's your post w/proper links [added a space at the end], please register you'll get email alerts when content is added to your favorite threads.

Here are some links about gas-powered fridges and a biogas support scheme:

http://www.dometic.com/enie/International-Website/International/Consumer/Dual-Energy-Refrigerators/Refrigerators/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_absorption_refrigerator

http://green.onevillage.tv/?p=189

http://www.epa.gov/methanetomarkets/grants.htm

Stay cool,

Todd,

http://greenideafactory.blogspot.com/

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Power-User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore, India
Posts: 131
Good Answers: 1
#6
In reply to #5

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/01/2008 11:22 PM

Just extending the same logic, can we have bio gas plant on ETP and link it to VAM (by steam) - chilling system as on augmentation. If so can I have the link for the same.

If possible we would like to use bio gas generated from ETP to be used as augmentation to existing steam operated chilling system.

+91-80- 9845756340

shivaram.prasad@ap.csplc.com

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Associate

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 34
#7

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 1:17 AM

Adsorption type refrigerators which have no compressors can very well run on bio-gas. In fact it requires small heating to keep the refrigerant gas moving , and this heating can be by electric heating elements or kerosene lamp or any other means . Heating by bio-gas can therefore be a suitable method of heating for such refrigerators . Previously Electrolux/Himalux used to make such refrigerators in India and were very popular as the initial cost was low but it being heavy on electricity went out of existence as the cost of electricity rose by leaps and bounds .

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Associate

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 29
Good Answers: 1
#8
In reply to #7

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 2:57 AM

Dear Arunav ji, Many thanks for your interest.

I have tried to contact Electrolux. There has been no response forthcoming from them.Himalux dont deal in refrigeration any more. So how do we go about in India?

Any ideas

surmil

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Associate

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 34
#9
In reply to #8

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 3:20 AM

Dear Sir,

I have got full schematic drawing and working principle of adsorption type refrigerators. You need to have manufacturing facilities & capability and qualified people to manufacture them.

Thanks

AM

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Power-User
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#10
In reply to #9

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 8:03 AM

Look at suppliers of recreational vehicle equipment. They sell small refrigerators that operate on your choice of propane, 12V DC, or 120V AC current. I assume that they are adsorption type devices and they give you a choice of three options to provide the heating.


Good luck on your search.

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Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2007
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#12
In reply to #10

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 10:46 AM

hello everyone,

i just wanted to pass on, what i think, are the conditions in which these units would be used.

first of all, the research and implementation of bio-gas was for the benifit of the poorest people in the country. primarily villages that are totaly off grid. without the benifits of almost all of civilization. the driving force for bio-gas was the blindness resulting from burning cattle dung for cooking.

so this is where most of the bio gas units are located. therefore, any refrigeration units will need to be produced and implemented at the lowest possible cost, or it will never be implemented.

so, what is needed is a license to produce an extremly low cost natural gas refrigerator. this needs to be produced in india, where the cost of labor is low. no other option is practical. without a license to produce a refrigerator. the next step would be to design their own, by reverse engineering someone else's design.

even with all of these cost cutting and economies, it still may not be practical because of the extreme poverty of the people that would be the intended users.

but, that is what is needed.

now, i realise that i am in america, only working on information i have learned from my investigations of bio gas research in india. i have to assume that what they say is true. so, if you have challenges to this concept, don't aim them at me. i am just the messenger. more knowledgeable people than i are welcome to modify, this point of view.

joe :o)

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Guru
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Brecksville, OH
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#14
In reply to #12

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 11:17 AM

Hi Joe,

I suspect your evaluation is fairly close to correct. Unless the refrigerators are either "free" (being provided by outside funding from charities) or be extremely low cost, not many people in the very rural villages would be able to afford them even if the fuel to operate them were freely available.

Another comment: If such units were available, what is the practicality of a communal refrigerator; it seems that it may have the advantage of scale?


While refrigerators are desireable appliances to have, I question their necessity. I come from the generation when true "ice boxes" where still in use. Sometimes it is better to learn to walk before we run; maybe the development of a central ice manufacturing facility would be of more use, but then maybe I'm far out in left field.

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Power-User

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 11:46 AM

hello everyone,

it is my impression that in the rural villages, refrigeration is almost non-existant.

they live on dried and fresh food. that is it. yes, in that invironment, refrigeration would be a luxury, but it would still be nice to have. imagine, being able to have cold milk, ice.

just having bio gas is life changing.

so are all other luxuries.

life changing events for the better, gives hope to the world.

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Member

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 5
#16
In reply to #15

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 1:08 PM

A very important need for refrigeration is for life-saving medicines - vaccines, antibiotics, and other drugs that remain potent and effective only if they are refridgerated. In addition, refridgeration also provides business opportunities which also benefit the community. I was a fisheries extension agent in the Peace Corps, stationed in Tanzania. A fish farmer with a refridgerator, or who sold his or her fish to someone who had a refridgerator, could sell fish not only on the day of harvest, but for several days, thereby increasing sales and increasing revenue. The same goes for milk - sell it all in one day (limited shelf life) or extend the shelf life with refridgeration. Luxury? Or life saver and economic driver?

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Participant

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
#20
In reply to #9

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

04/25/2008 7:22 AM

Do you have manufacturing drawings for some one who is interested in investing and manufacturing. Please confirm and provide your contact details.

Regards

Naresh

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Participant

Join Date: Mar 2008
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#19
In reply to #7

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

03/26/2008 5:46 AM

Dear Arunava Mukerji,

You seem knowledgeable about adsorption systems and former commercial products. I am myself studying this technology these days.

-Are you talking of adsorption or absorption systems?
-Do you know if Himalux still exist?
-What was exactly the reason for stopping the production of these systems by Electrolux in india?
-Do you know if any commercial conpany manufactures such systems in India (there are several in US and Europe) ?

Thanks for your help.

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Associate

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 34
#21
In reply to #19

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

04/25/2008 8:42 AM

Absorption and adsorption processes are quite similar yet different.

Adsorption, the binding of molecules or particles to a surface, must be distinguished from absorption, the filling of pores in a solid. The binding to the surface is usually weak and reversible. Just about anything including the fluid that dissolves or suspends the material of interest is bound, but compounds with color and those that have taste or odor tend to bind strongly. Compounds that contain chromogenic groups (atomic arrangements that vibrate at frequencies in the visible spectrum) very often are strongly adsorbed on activated carbon. Decolorization can be wonderfully efficient by adsorption and with negligible loss of other materials.

The most common industrial adsorbents are activated carbon, silica gel, and alumina, because they present enormous surface areas per unit weight. Activated carbon is produced by roasting organic material to decompose it to granules of carbon - coconut shell, wood, and bone are common sources. Silica gel is a matrix of hydrated silicon dioxide. Alumina is mined or precipitated aluminum oxide and hydroxide. Although activated carbon is a magnificent material for adsorption, its black color persists and adds a grey tinge if even trace amounts are left after treatment; however filter materials with fine pores remove carbon quite well.

I don't know if Himalux still exists or not but I know the person who owned Himalux.

He is Mr. vinay Nevatia ( e mail :acsales@vsnl.net) . This is upto best of my information & I may be wrong . Don't disturb Mr Nevatia unnecessarily if he declines to help .I hope you may get some information

Regards

Arunava Mukerji

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Guru
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#11

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 9:06 AM

I would think that the burners on current adsorption propane burning refrigerators could be modified relatively easily by a good gas fitter with a supply of the bio gas in question, its merly a question of an air/ gas mix problem at a designated pressure.

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Power-User

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#13

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 11:12 AM

Hello Surmil, for years my parents had a natural gas refrigerator manufactured by Servel. Except the rubber door seal begining to fail after 25 or so years, the refrigerator never needed any maintenance.

I Googled "Servel gas refrigerators" and this site came up www.gasrefrigerators.com .

Servel is still in business and manufacturers refrigerators which operate on natural gas, propane, methane, kerosene and other fuels. Hope this helps. TK

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Anonymous Poster
#24
In reply to #13

Servel Refrigerators

12/04/2009 7:25 PM

The newer refrigerators with the Servel name are made by Dometic, not the original Servel company.

The older Servel's are better built than the new ones, and are perfectly safe when operate and maintained properly.

I have a website for people interested in the vintage Servel's, which includes sources for parts, service, and manuals:

http://vintageservelrefrigerators.8k.com/index.html

Hope it helps someone.

Todd W. White

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Guru
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#17

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 10:55 PM

Just an idea for a back up heat source.

A small parabolic mirror or Fresnel lens of the right size and a way to time the heat phase would make an emergency back up with sunlight if issues with the gas, pilot light, etc. came up. (thinking of the medical)

The unit is sealed so the cooling unit properly made will last a long time. Even life times.

Just a crazy thought

Brad

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Anonymous Poster
#18

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

01/02/2008 11:18 PM

I don't have a good knowledge on the subject being discussed. But would cheer the participants to contribute to the need for a cause with good.

Mr.Surmil - Wishing you all the best for your endeavour.

Yours

MR.Idiotalways

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Commentator

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: kolkata
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#22

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

06/06/2008 3:04 AM

dear Surmil,

I do agree with you about the opportunities of these refrigerators. Particularly for safekeeping Vaccines and medicines in Rural areas , where there is no elctricity. Biogas is there at few places. For want of lifesaving drugs many people die. Some people have approached me also to locate makers of such refrigerators. Since you have been corresponding on this , please let me know if it is feasible to get it or make ?

Chakraborty ranabir

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Anonymous Poster
#23
In reply to #22

Re: biogas operated small refrigerators

08/11/2008 12:46 AM

Dear Sir,

We are China based gas refrigerator manufacturer. If you have any technical questions, please feel free to email me.

Kind regards,

Marco Jiang

www.dellware.cn

skype: marco_jiang

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Users who posted comments:

AeroJ (1); agua_doc (1); Anonymous Poster (4); artbyjoe (4); arunavamukerji (3); chakraborty ranabir (1); garth (1); Garthh (1); Greg (1); Naresh41 (1); shivaganti (1); surmil (2); taejonkwando (1); The_curious_one (1); U V (1)

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