Electricity is fundamental and essential for existence in today’s society as bread, clothes, and habitat. Even though electric power is used for most of our daily activities, we do encounter power interruptions. It is unavoidable. In regards to electricity supply/distribution, we haven’t yet arrived at that degree of excellence.
A power loss at one of these enterprises might result in chaos and financial disaster. This precedence remains valid for any location and circumstance, with various degrees of difficulty. Power failures and blackouts are very annoying and not convenient.
This is where generators, often known as gensets, come into play. Generators are equipment that supplies backup power in the event of a power loss.
According to Generator-Review.com, the generators come in a variety of designs, with the ability to generate electricity ranging from a few kW to over 3MW, depending on the needs of an organization. The most prevalent and frequently used generators are the ones that run on diesel or natural gas.
- Natural Gas Generators
- Diesel Generators
- Final Words
- Buying a generator- see the tips to follow when choosing!
- Frequently Asked Questions
Natural Gas Generators
A natural gas generator is a popular and effective way to generate electricity. Among the most affordable and functioning nonrenewable resources, natural gas comes first on the list for power generation. It can also be used to power emergency and portable generators.
In the case of cost-cutting, the most feasible and affordable fuel option is coal. On the other hand, coal is a primary reason for pollution and has several drawbacks.
Drilling for natural gas is usually done in the same way as drilling for oil is done. The liquid is subsequently transferred to numerous locations and transformed to a gaseous state. Following that, it is provided access to the public via pipes and cylinders.
The operation of a natural gas generator is similar to that of other generators. The fuel used to power generators is, in reality, the most fundamental distinction between them. In this case, natural gas is the source of energy responsible for the ignition of the generator.
These generators are popularly in demand in big urbanized cities because gasoline is very much accessible to everyone through pipelines.
Advantages of Natural Gas Generators
- Natural gas is healthier, less costly, and more efficient than other nonrenewable fuels, which are the three most apparent advantages of utilizing it to power your generators.
- Greenhouse gases emissions (Sulfur, nitrogen, & carbon dioxide ) are significantly reduced compared to oil and coal. As a result, when natural gas is used, it is one of the cleanest fossil fuels available.
- Another benefit of natural gas generators is that they do not generate a pungent stench, which is typical with oil or diesel-powered generators.
- When utilized to power residences, natural gas generators also are cost-effective. This is because power from the primary utility source is considerably more costly.
- Natural gas is not only cleaner and less expensive, but it is also readily available in big cities due to direct pipeline delivery. Fuel storage is no longer seen as a necessity while implementing generators powered by natural gas.
Disadvantages of Natural Gas Generators
- One of the benefits of gas generators can become a detriment as well. Due to the supply of natural gas via pipeline, it is not stored anywhere, and that is why at times of natural disasters, the collection of it is disturbed. A lot of people face a lack of fuel when they need to use their generator the most.
- Aside from that, natural gas is flammable and might pose a significant blaze threat if the pipeline bursts.
- Natural gas generators have the following advantages over diesel generators:
- Running costs more, and
- Emits more carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.
- Natural gas is also a local or nonrenewable source of energy.
Diesel generators always work with diesel fuel. A diesel generator and an electrical one are the two most basic requirements of these types of machinery.
They can be utilized to power localities that are not in connection with the power grid or operated as a standby in the occurrence of a power crisis. They are implemented in ships as a source of energy as well as a system of propulsion.
Diesel generators are often used as backup generators in the event of a power failure. Diesel generators, available in single and three-phase configurations, may be utilized in big enterprises, households, and modest workplaces.
Advantages of Diesel Generators
- When it is about the choice of fuel in today’s scenario, the most significant factor to consider is the cost. Fuel choices have been a complicated matter for almost all areas with constantly growing demand and limited supplies. The real problem is to find a fuel that is both effective in terms of cost and efficient in terms of energy. A diesel generator is the best preference to fit this criterion. These generators are significantly costlier than natural gas generators as fuel costs are greater than those of gas. So while diesel is more expensive, it will give out more energy than the same volume of gas would. This proves the fuel price of diesel generators is by far the most significant benefit.
- One of the other significant benefits of owning a diesel generator is that the power supply is always consistent. This is especially critical in hospitals, where most equipment requires continuous power, and a short power outage might imply the difference between life and death.
- The diesel generator is far more efficient than a gas one in numerous criteria, including the points given below:
- The newer diesel generators are vastly enhanced versions of older ones that were a problem owing to loud sound and high functional expenses.
- Diesel generators are seen to last for more than gasoline ones.
- In terms of durability, diesel generators have a better life expectancy than gas ones.
- Lastly, as other fuel sources are much more combustible than diesel, these generators have the upper hand in safety rating. Furthermore, the lack of spark plugs diminishes the happening of freak fires.
Disadvantages of Diesel Generators
- One of the biggest detriments of diesel generators is that they are more expensive in terms of cost than any other generators in the market. On the contrary, the cheap operating expenditure compensates for the initial payment.
- When it comes to diesel generators, sound has always been a concern. Even though the newest versions are meant to be quieter, older generations may still be rather noisy. This implies that if the generator is utilized in densely inhabited regions, inhabitants may complain about noise pollution caused by your generator.
- Another disadvantage is that diesel generators are vast and weighty, with a lot of moving parts. Hence, they are not considered the most dependable portable device over other modest and lighter generators.
- Lastly, diesel is now considered a severe contaminant, given the new environmental consciousness trend.
Generators have improved fuel efficiency, ease of maintenance, quietness, and environmental
friendliness over time. Modern generators may even take over power distribution tasks in a power loss, ensuring that activities remain uninterrupted.
Choosing a good generator may appear to be a complicated process unless you clearly understand your tastes and needs.
A diesel generator would be appropriate for an extensive industrial facility located in a distant region because of its longevity, constant functioning, and capacity to offer higher electrical power output.
On the other hand, a natural gas generator would be a better solution for a modest firm functioning in an urbanized setting where pollution and sound are more important problems than power interruptions.
One of the essential characteristics and specifications is the generator’s fuel since its functioning, applicability, and usefulness may all be affected by this one parameter.
Although both natural gas and diesel generators have pros and cons, the introduction of bio-diesel, which is significantly more ecologically benign, might make diesel/bio-diesel generators highly prominent.
Buying a generator- see the tips to follow when choosing!
As the market gives you several generators, it’s essential to gather some basic information before shopping. Keep reading for the details.
Buying a portable generator
- Dual-fueled generators are great as a backup power source. These models can run on both gas and propane and are versatile. Propane is less expensive than gas and easy to store, so it’s a good idea to buy a model that runs on two types of fuels.
You will need a fuel stabilizer to store the generator with the gas in the tank for more than a week.
Portable generators are used on job sites a lot and use a lot of power. Don’t go with a unit with less than 6,000 watts of power.
- If you’re renovating parts of your home, the portable model is the way to go. Portable generators are strong enough to power construction tools and help renovation work go easy. Look for a generator that can run several machines at once.
- To identify the appropriate size of your generator, you need to add up the wattage of the appliances. Make a list of everything you need to power during an outage. Devices present a label that specifies the wattage of the machine.
Put down on the list appliances like the microwave, fridge, microwave, and air conditioner. When the list is made, add the wattages and multiply the result by 1.5; your appliances need extra power to start up.
You will find the labels on the door of the appliances or the back. For example, if you want to run the refrigerators and several lights up during an outage, a 4,000-6,000w generator will be a good choice. If you also want to power major appliances like the water heater or the AC, look for a model of at least 10,000w.
Here are the wattage requirements for the most important appliances in your home:
- Microwave: 600-1,200 watts
- Freezer: 500-1,000 watts
- Refrigerator: 700-1,200 watts
If you want to use them during an outage, you add the numbers, multiply the results by 1.5. 4,200 is your number, so look for a generator with at least 4,200 watts.
- For more accessible transportation, a model with wheels is best to buy. Should you have difficulties lifting heavy objects or back issues, a portable generator with wheels eases out the transportation. 45-50 pounds is the medium weight of a generator, which is still a lot for lifting or carrying it around.
- A generator with an electric and pull start mechanism is ideal. You want to be able to use the generator as quickly as possible. Sometimes, the generator battery dies suddenly, so machine with a pull start option is ideal. Yank the cord in an upward motion a couple of times to pull start the generator. You can also do it until you hear the engine turn on.
Buying a standby generator
If you deal with frequent outages, you should buy a standby generator. Home standby generators are strong enough to run the entire house right after the power outage. Since they turn on automatically, the standby generators are efficient. Once the power is restored, they also switch off on their own.
You cannot carry around the standby generator wherever you need it, so you only need to concern about the power outage. These generators are expensive and can cost you several thousand dollars- the unit and the installation.
- You want a relatively quiet model, so look for a generator with advanced technology. Standby generators tend to be loud when operating, which can affect your comfort inside.
Generators with advanced technologies aren’t loud and have self-diagnostic functions as well. These models are some of the priciest models. Expect to pay anything around $15,000 for such models.
- You might want to consider a liquefied petroleum gas to power the generator. If you live in cold-weather places, petrol isn’t the best fuel source. To improve the generator’s flexibility, you should also buy an LP conversion kit that lets you run the unit on LPG or petrol. It’s an excellent way to reduce fuel costs during the warm months.
- Hire trained professionals to install the generator. The technician will set up the generator outside your home and connect it to your home’s breaker box. He will also install the unit so it automatically turns on once the outage takes place.
Take the installation costs into consideration; they can add around $1,000 to the generator’s price.
Never try to install the generator on your own. Should your budget be tight, you might want to consider a small generator instead.
Buying an inverter generator
For your outdoor activities, the inverter generator makes for the most appropriate option. When you love camping or RVing, the inverter generator is the best investment to make. The units are lightweight and quieter than the duel-fueled models. Both propane and gas models are available. You can find inverter generators for $300, but the more you’re willing to pay, the more wattage you can benefit from.
- A parallel connector will allow you to use two inverter generators at the same time so that you increase the amount of power you use. Don’t worry about the level of noise, because machines are reasonably quiet.
- You can use the inverter generator to power up small appliances. The inverter generator is dependable and ensures consistent performance. Additionally, it doesn’t develop power surges or lags that big generators can present. Computers, smartphones, and various small devices are sensitive to power surges and lags.
- It’s not recommended to run the inverter generator in an enclosed space or store it in your home. They generate carbon monoxide and run outside for safety reasons.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you run your gas generator?
Running the gas generator under a load for an actual amount of time reduces the risk of moisture buildup and stacking. Operate the generator without a load between once a week to once a month. You should also give it a run with a load once a month or every three months.
So you’re using the generator for your RV. Is it safe to run the generator all night long?
If you keep all doors and windows closed, running the generator placed outside the RV is entirely safe. Most generators can run from 8 to 10 hours on 1-2 gallons of fuel, which is enough to keep you cozy and warm throughout the night.
Is the diesel generator able to power a house?
Many homeowners install home backup generators for their homes. Standby diesel generators are used to give heat, light, and power to the appliances. They can also help with keeping the houses safe and the internet running. Over the last ten years, standby generators made for high-end properties have doubled the numbers.
Is running the generator more affordable than electricity?
You don’t have to run any numbers to know that grid power is a lot cheaper than the daily spending of running a generator (no matter the fuel). Most of the time, the comfort of using energy from the grid and lower costs are the main reasons it’s more practical than using a generator daily.
How long will a generator last?
Most of the time, a generator can run for anywhere between 20 and 40 years. How often you run the generator and how you keep up with maintenance are factors affecting its durability.