Natural gas isn’t mentioned as a generator fuel because it’s normally delivered by pipelines to homes, and many parts of the country aren’t connected to a natural-gas system. Although I had natural gas when I lived in Huntsville, I don’t have it now in Montgomery County. As a result, propane is my preferred fuel.
You can convert your generator to burn gas and propane or gas, propane, and natural gas with the help of conversion kits. A standard kit will cost around $200 and include everything you’ll need for the conversion.
I looked up conversion instructions online and watched YouTube videos of the process, and it appears that someone with a basic understanding of mechanics could complete the task with a few standard shop items.
Because you’re moving from gasoline to propane, start by cranking the generator and then closing the shut-off valve on the gas tank until the fuel in the line is depleted. Because there will be a small amount of gasoline left in the carburetor bowl, you can remove it and dump it.
The air cleaner must be removed first, and an adapter (venturi) with a propane fuel inlet must be installed on the bolts that link the air-cleaner base to the carburetor. Remounting the a/c will normally necessitate the use of a pair of bolt extender (included in the kit).
Is propane safe to use in a natural gas generator?
When propane is a more convenient fuel source, just connect your generator to a propane tank using the supplied 6-foot propane hose with built-in regulator. When you utilize a 20-pound propane tank, your generator may run for up to 5 hours at 50% load.
Propane refills are more difficult to come by than gasoline stations, but they aren’t impossible to come by. Near parks and campgrounds, propane refills are prevalent. You’d need gas refills anyhow, but with a generator, you’ll need them more frequently. Go to Google and type in propane zip code (wherever you are) or propane town (wherever you are) (wherever you are). If you’re travelling to Rockhound State Park in New Mexico, for example, a search for propane Deming NM yields eight results.
Lower Energy Output
Consider that a 30-pound propane tank contains about the same amount of energy as a 5-gallon gasoline container. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, which compares a variety of fuels, propane produces only approximately 73 percent of the energy that gasoline does. When you use propane to power your generator, it will produce less electricity. You may need a larger generator if you’re utilizing propane rather than gasoline, depending on what you’re running off your generator. Because running a propane generator at 75% is similar to running a gasoline generator at 50%, you may require a 3,000-watt generator instead of a 2,000-watt, or a 2,000-watt generator instead of a 1,000-watt.
You could also require more propane tanks than the two 30-pound tanks that come standard with most trailers. A full 30-pound propane canister weighs roughly 55 pounds, whereas a full 5-gallon gasoline can weighs about 32 pounds. A full 40-pound-capacity tank weights 72 pounds and stores more than 9 gallons. Only you know if you canor want tocarry the extra weight. A extra 20-gallon propane tank the size of a grill might be kept in your pickup bed without taking up much room.
You may spend more for propane than you would for gasoline since it provides less energy. You will pay less if gasoline prices climb. A gallon of propane and a gallon of gasoline are nearly the same price right now. That means you’d pay around 36% more for energy in the form of propane than you would if you bought gasoline. The lack of stabilizers and lesser maintenance expenses help to offset this.
You’ll probably have to visit propane sources more frequently, not because propane is less efficient, but because you’ll use more of it while fuelling not only a generator, but also appliances.
When you consider the safety and ease of storage of propane over gasoline, the inconvenience of more frequent refills may be offset. You also gain some convenience by not having to use stabilizers. There are no negative consequences of cold weather on propane, which is an issue with diesel.
Shorter Generator Life
Propane-fueled generators are more likely than gasoline-fueled generators to require replacement sooner. Both would most likely need to be replaced sooner than a diesel-powered device. In any event, they’ll last for years if properly maintained.
Is it necessary for me to switch my generator to propane?
Propane generators are inefficient, producing less BTUs per gallon of fuel than gas generators. Propane, on the other hand, burns cleaner than gasoline, making it better for the environment as well as your generator.
How long can a 20-pound propane tank keep a generator running?
A 20-pound propane tank will last roughly five hours when used to power a generator. This size propane tank can typically hold 4.6 gallons of propane. As a result, the working times may vary depending on the overall weight of your propane cargo.
Is it cheaper to use propane to power a generator?
In times of crisis, power generators can be quite useful. The most popular options are propane and gas generators, but which is better?
You most likely live in a house that is powered by electricity. Lights, refrigeration, heat, and television are all powered by the electric utility. While some things, like as live football, may be done without, other electrically driven goods are more necessary. If your major energy system fails, having a generator on standby might be highly beneficial. A generator is also essential for preppers who live off the grid or have a pre-determined bug-out destination.
When looking for a generator, there are two primary varieties to consider: propane and gas. We’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages of each choice to see which is the best.
Propane generators work similarly to other generators in that they transform energy produced by propane burning into electricity. Propane is a by-product of the natural gas and petroleum refining industries. Propane generators are available in both standby and portable models, and can be used to power a variety of appliances and machinery.
Propane, when used as a generator fuel, can provide a number of critical advantages not seen in other types of generator fuel. Propane is a clean-burning gas with a long shelf life. A propane tank with a capacity of less than 100 pounds has an average expiration date of 12 years from the date of manufacturing. Once the tank has reached its expiration date, it must be replaced or evaluated to see whether re-qualification is possible, which might extend the tank’s life by another five years.
Another significant advantage of employing a propane generator is that the supply of propane will not be disturbed in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency. While you might expect the gas pumps to stop working within a short period of time, the propane supply should last considerably longer. Propane is kept in cylinders, making it not only easy to access but also to store for lengthy periods of time.
You can plan for the future, but you never know when or if you’ll need to use your generator. This means that your fuel could sit unused for years before you have a need for it. The fact that propane does not decay provides it an advantage over other fuels like gasoline and diesel. It will not become polluted if kept in its original tank. This enables the storage of bigger amounts of fuel without risk of it deteriorating or being polluted over time.
Propane is a low-noise fuel that is both clean and environmentally beneficial. The fuel burns cleanly, which means it creates less carbon monoxide (CO), which can cause suffocation in excessive volumes. Plants and other living animals can be harmed by carbon monoxide. Propane is significantly less damaging to individuals and the environment because of its low CO content.
Propane is often stored in bulk cylinders or safe tanks to avoid waste or spillage during storage and fill-ups. Propane is a safer alternative to gasoline, which is highly flammable and dangerous to store near a home. Propane, of course, should never be kept indoors. It should ideally be stored outdoors, away from any source of ignition, on a flat, non-flammable surface such as concrete.
While propane generators are one of the most environmentally friendly and long-lasting alternatives, they do have some drawbacks. Propane generators are more expensive than gasoline generators, which are more economical. Furthermore, propane generators are reported to produce up to 30% less heat than gasoline-powered devices. Propane generators are also larger than gasoline generators, which makes them more difficult to maneuver.
Due to their effectiveness and cost, gasoline-powered generators remain one of the most common types of generators. An internal combustion engine drives a rotating shaft to turn an armature in a gas generator. The armature generates electromagnetic induction, which aids in the operation of the gasoline generator.
There are several advantages to using gas generators rather than propane generators. The cost of petrol is one of the most prominent reasons people pick it. Purchase and installation costs for gasoline generators are often substantially lower. Depending on the type and features, basic portable generators for usage at home or at camp sites can cost anywhere from $500 to $4,000 or more. It’s critical to pick a generator that can power all of the equipment you’ll need in an emergency.
A standby generator will cost between $300 and $500 per kilowatt, including installation. If you simply need a smaller unit, you should budget for a 12kW unit, which can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000. You might expect to pay up to $20,000 or more for a larger 75kW unit.
In addition, gas generators produce more heat than propane generators, roughly 30% more for the same amount of fuel. Unless you reside in a location where propane is significantly less expensive than gasoline, a gas generator will almost always be less expensive to run. Gas generators are also more portable due to their smaller size. Unlike propane generators, which have tanks on the outside, gas generators have tanks on the inside, making them easier to maneuver.
Of course, there are some disadvantages to using a gas generator rather than a propane generator. When kept in a generator tank, gas, unlike propane, degrades with time. To maintain the fuel’s quality, it must be refilled on a regular basis. If you want to keep gasoline fresh, you should replace it at least every six months if it’s left in a generator or other tank.
Gas is also less environmentally friendly than propane. It has greater negative environmental consequences because it is a dirtier fuel. Before deciding on a fuel, this is a crucial factor to consider. In addition, gas generators are less convenient than propane generators. You will need to go to a gas station to purchase fuel for your gas-powered generator, as opposed to propane, which can be connected to a propane tank and is ready to use at any time. It may be difficult to locate and purchase fuel in the event of a crisis that impacts companies such as gas stations.
Choosing a Generator
Consider which elements of the fuel are more important to you when selecting a generator. If you’re on a limited budget and don’t mind replacing your fuel every now and again, an inexpensive gasoline generator might be the ideal option for you. A propane generator may be the best option if you like a fuel that does not degrade over time and are willing to pay a higher price for it.
Aside from deciding between a propane or gas-powered generator, there are a few more aspects to consider. These are some of them:
- Automatic Start If your generator has an automatic start, it will simply start when the electricity goes out. This is especially useful if you rely on your generator to keep vital machinery running at all times.
- Electric Start If automatic starting isn’t required, an electric start can be a very useful option. Your generator can start working with the push of a button if it has an electric start.
- Fuel gauge Being able to see how much fuel is left in your generator can be a useful feature, especially during longer blackouts.
- Numerous Outlets – Even if you don’t think you’ll need to plug in as many things as you think, having multiple outlets on hand can be handy if the need arises.
- Removable Console While not required, a removable console can be an excellent safety feature. You can plug in appliances without having to run extension cords outside thanks to a retractable console.
When the electricity goes out, having a generator on hand can help keep your home cool or warm, allow you to continue cooking, and keep vital equipment operating without interruption. Because no two generators are alike, it’s crucial to weigh all of the options and features to figure out which is the best fit for you. While there are various different types of generators, the most prevalent are propane and gas generators.
Some portable generators can run on both gasoline and propane, combining the affordability of gasoline with the convenience of propane. When faced with a crisis, though, having any option can be lifesaving.
What is the maximum time a natural gas generator can run continuously?
A backup generator can power a medium-sized home for up to 3,000 hours on average, while it is not suggested to run a generator for more than 500 hours continuously.
Propane is another alternative for fueling your generator. Propane, which is also known as liquid petroleum gas (LPG), requires a separate tank from the generator. These tanks can be the same ones used to fuel heaters and grills, or they might be a bigger, fixed tank that needs to be refilled by a service vehicle on a regular basis. Because propane, unlike gasoline and diesel, does not decay in storage, it is a suitable option for persons who only use their generator occasionally. Propane, on the other hand, is less efficient than gasoline and diesel, at 91,300 BTUs per gallon. Camping, RVing, and even emergency backup are all popular uses for propane generators.
Gasoline is the preferred fuel for most households that require a generator for emergency or backup purposes. Gas generators are generally less expensive than other types, and fuel is usually readily accessible. However, regardless of the weather, gasoline-powered generators must be refueled on a regular basis, and gasoline may be difficult to come by in the event of a power loss or natural disaster.
Gas generators demand more maintenance and attention than other types of generators. Because gasoline has a lower flash point temperature than diesel, it is slightly more harmful to store. Gasoline has a short shelf life, and most mixes start to break down or absorb moisture within a month. Even old gasoline is usable, but it may include substances that cause engine parts to break down or wear out. Consider installing a fuel stabilizer or switching to a different type of fuel if you only plan to use your generator occasionally. Also, be in mind that significant power outages often affect local gas stations, making refueling difficult. There could possibly be fuel shortages in your area due to strong demand. Gasoline, with 125,000 BTUs per gallon, is a more efficient fuel than propane or natural gas, although it is less efficient than diesel (enough to heat an average sized room for 5 to 10 hours).
Diesel generators are more efficient and require less maintenance than other fuel types. They are frequently chosen because of their efficiency and low maintenance requirements. Diesel generators typically provide more horsepower per gallon of gasoline than gas-powered generators. They can also go for years without needing to be serviced. Although diesel generators have a reputation for being more robust than gas generators, they are more likely to break down if they are not used on a regular basis. Diesel generators are more expensive than gasoline generators, but they are safer to store because they require a higher temperature to ignite. Diesel has a longer shelf life than gasoline, lasting for several months before degrading. Diesel, like gasoline, will burn even after years of storage, although it may deteriorate your engine’s performance. The most efficient generator fuel is diesel, which provides 138,700 BTUs per gallon of fuel (enough to heat an average sized room for 6 to 12 hours).
Is it possible to convert my predator generator to run on propane?
Predator Power Generators can be converted to run on gasoline, natural gas, or propane with these conversion kits.
* These kits come with everything you’ll need to convert the generator you’ve chosen. The pictures and information about generators on our conversion kit pages are only for identifying purposes. The generators themselves are not included.
Is it true that propane generators are quieter?
It’s critical to keep costs and distractions to a minimum on any job site. That is why noisy, expensive diesel generators can be a nuisance in the workplace. Remote electricity on construction sites is a must, especially in cold weather. Generators provide the necessary energy to keep a workforce functioning smoothly from beginning to end. Traditional diesel and gas generators, on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired. They’re loud, filthy, and ineffective. Propane-fueled generators, on the other hand, are more cleaner, smaller, and quieter, making them an excellent choice for remote electricity on a construction site.
Propane is a cost-effective fuel, often costing 30-40% less than other types of gasoline. Propane also burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, lowering the carbon footprint of a corporation. Furthermore, propane generators are silent, so there’s no need to be concerned about disturbing your neighbors if you’re working in a residential area. Furthermore, without a noisy generator to cause distractions or miscommunications, the job site might be a safer place to work.
On their job sites, McBride & Son Homes, one of Missouri’s major homebuilders, has shifted to propane generators solely. Efficiency is a top focus for the company, which constructs 800-900 homes per year. Sales managers are frequently stationed in trailers in a community before beginning construction on the first home, so having power on hand is essential. Before switching to propane, the company relied on noisy and inefficient diesel generators. With propane generators, the company saves roughly $350 per week and no longer has to deal with clouds of black smoke.
The EverGreen 4 generator is used by McBride & Son, which is manufactured by Energy Tree in St. Louis. This 44-foot generator is lightweight and portable, and it provides another useful choice. Each one comes with a replaceable power panel on each side, allowing one side to power a trailer and the other to power equipment. Having this kind of on-site electricity can help a company save time and money on a project, making it more efficient and profitable. Furthermore, because the generators are so quiet and efficient, McBride & Son frequently leave them running all night, especially during the winter.
When you don’t have access to electricity, propane is a great alternative. It enables a construction site to become self-sufficient without adding a significant cost to the project. Propane generators have helped one of Missouri’s largest volume home builders save thousands of dollars in fuel costs each year.
Contact MOPERC today to learn how switching to propane power can help you save money on your job site.