So, I'm trying to simplify my business due to all these supply chain issues emerging around the world.

The Kon-Tiki 'Essential' is a more affordable, supply chain hardened biochar kiln with all the core functionality of the Kon-Tiki 'Rolls' for Carbon-negative 'regenerative' food and medicine production along with hundreds of other applications.

Here are the tech specs for the new Kon-Tiki 'Essential' biochar kiln:
-1.2m rim diameter 3mm 'Redcor' HW350A inverse truncated cone (weathering and watertight) with flat (no drain) or dished (with drain) bottom
-cone reinforcement ring at cone rim with 50mm gap
-1.6mm 'Redcor' CW300A rolled 'quad heat shield' (weathering, 4 pieces for easy attachment & removal) with 150mm height above the cone rim for safety, greater energy conservation, higher temperatures for higher surface area and toroidal convection loops for cleaner pyrolysis
-3 screw in legs for smoother logistics from A to B, especially with multiple units
-bottom heat shield, welded 10mm below the base, for greater energy conservation
-optional drain (an additional AUD$200, for water and nutrient, mineral etc conservation using the bottom quench method and input reuse)

The initial price will be around AUD$2,000 - significantly cheaper than the KTR@$3200 - which is still a great alley cropper agroforestry kiln and more or less perfected after 3 prototypes.

 

The idea is the kiln cone is a kernel for the KTR but can also independently operate without a cradle (wheels and tipper).  The optional drain with a dished base (which will cost around an additional $200) could be selected if water conservation is a big issue (plus you can 'hot charge' nutrients, minerals etc and reuse them but not microbes) but you would still need to get a pump, ag line and water tank/IBC/bladder to store the quench water.

Water, agricultural resource input, tech/tools and their availability, skillsets, accessibility, cost and probably other factors too. There's always the 'Lu'au' pit but still faces similar constraints however this is probably the cheapest way to make small to medium batches of biochar but requires more labor, soil and is less ergonomic than the Kon-Tiki biochar kilns. No drain too. Could be an interesting option for Terra Preta making which I intend to test in the KTE. Ultimately, it depends on what you want to do with the biochar and how you integrate the biochar into your growing system(s). Every design choice is imperfect but I believe the KTE will cover most bases for small-scale biochar research and development and provide versatile hardware for the 'Charista' well into the future - weathering steel and as the biochar firmware integration with other system hardware eg. Zai pits and swales, improves.

 

 

The eventual goal is to make Kon-Tiki biochar kilns all around the country. I believe the key to success will be installing roughly USD20k fibre optic 1000W 2D laser cutter (as far as I know there are no Oz manufactured laser cutters), with possible Government subsidies, at small to medium sized fabricators in agricultural regional towns, possibly an industrial area in some cases. This would be good for making other machinery and parts too.

Note that StyleCNC offers spare parts for their laser cutters and are leaders in their field. Note that if it is assessed that the supply chain risk is too great for imported laser cutters, the sheet metal can also be cut with a plasma cutter (less parts but probably still imported) but will take more time, less energy efficient, less accurate eg.possible rough edges, which depends on the tech and cutter, and a plasma cutting skill set but affordable to many more fabricators. For eg, you could spend AUD$800 at Bunnings to get a plasma cutter - but would still need access to the other equipment eg. roller, welding gear, or use multiple fabricators which is less efficient.

The laser cutters could probably be powered from a standalone power bank with solar PV panels either ground mounted or on top of the workshop roof.

Here's a couple of links for further research:

Bluetti Power: https://www.bluettipower.com.au/

StyleCNC: https://www.stylecnc.com/fiber-laser-cutting-machine/fiber-laser-cutter.html

 

KTE as a biochar maker, Permafert maker, firepit and outdoor sculpture - 4 in 1
The advantage of the top quench (for the KTE without a drain) is greater observed steam activation than bottom quenching, though it will use more water (which may not be such an issue for stationary use with an available and abundant stationary water source) and if nutrients/liquid kelp are added, they can't be reused in subsequent quenches but still enables you to 'hot charge' (but no microbes). For making biochar core aquifers (see 'RAS' and 'TPS' pages) with no nutrients etc. the top quenching could be ideal as the assumed increased surface area will hold more water once placed in the cores or Permafert (see 'Permafert' page).
The additional surface area is good for Permafert too and should be fine for 'cold charging' (great for microbiology) the milled biochar with nutrients, minerals, bacteria, fungi etc. in the bottom of the KTE. So, the KTE cone (without the heat shield) could be used to make Permafert after the kiln has been emptied after a burn, biochar has been milled either in a mechanical mill or with a sledgehammer in a 20 litre ss bucket, added back into the cone base with initally all the ingredients apart from loam and mixed then soaked overnight. The next day, the loam or soil can be added to the cone and mixed in. No pump (which I seem to break), drain, ag pipe needed. Still need a good water source though, preferably gravity fed.
The KTE should also make a great firepit and outdoor sculpture too!

 

The lower cost opens up the market for more punters wanting to enter the Biochar Revolution and produce the most future proof material on the planet!