Which Is the Best & Efficient Fuel for Your Generator?

Last modified on May 11, 2022
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If you are willing to buy a generator, you need to know about the fuels used in generators. There are mainly four types of fuel available in the market such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, and diesel. While choosing the best generator fuel, you need to look at the factors such as cost, efficiency, and availability. After you have decided on the fuel you want for your generator, it becomes easy to select the generator.

These are four very common types of fuel that you can get for your generator. The types are natural gas, Gasoline, Diesel, and propane. They all have some pros and cons when using them in your generators. Thus, you will get to know all the details of all four types of fuel options for generators to know which would be best for your use. Knowing the pros and cons of fuels will help you get a better backup generator for your house.

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Diesel

First comes up Diesel; you surely have used it in your vehicles as they are the most common type of fuel on the market. However, diesel generators are preferable for your home if you have a high-power energy requirement. As it is more suitable for appliances with high kW, and that is why it is best for commercial purposes. They are also used to keep a steady power supply without interruptions during emergencies in hospitals and call centers.

Pros

There are many reasons why diesel generators are preferable to other fuel types. Some of them are given below:

  • It is cheaper to use
  • Efficient
  • Best for long term use
  • Reliable for commercial uses with onsite fuel delivery
  • Less flammable fuel than any other fuels
  • It can be used in subarctic conditions
  • Impressive life expectancy if you maintain and services them regularly
  • Long-term operation costs less money than Gasoline-powered generators.

Cons

  • However, if you use diesel fuel in your generators, you know that they have a shelf life of 18 months.
  • It also produces more noise than other fuels. Thus, they are not preferable if you want a quieter environment at home or office.  
  • They need more care and maintenance.
  • They are not for use in low and cold temperatures. 

Gasoline

The next fuel which you can use is Gasoline. It is available very easily in the market. They are preferred for houses with generators having power of less than 150kW. They are the common fuel for all types of residential generators but have a high risk to safety while storing them or using them in the generator.

Pros

  • First and foremost, it is easily available everywhere
  • Easy fueling process.
  • It is preferable for portable and small-sized standby generators

Cons

  • They last for only 12 months
  • You cannot store it in large amounts as it is prone to encourage fire and thus are highly flammable.
  • Are not fuel-efficient
  • It can be expensive during times of emergency due to an increase in demand.
  • Not suitable to use in low temperatures

Natural Gas

Natural Gas is one of the frequently used fuels for generators or power stations to light up the town or for businesses. Natural gas is distributed to the local power grid instead of fueling it onsite. The houses in the town that are connected to the grid are supplied power through these generators in situations like a power outage.

Pros

  •  no more checking up for refueling as it does not require it
  • It does not produce noise
  • Convenient fuel source
  •  clean-burning fuel source
  • Common for usage during a power outage
  • Natural gas generators are long-lasting than other fuel options
  • Environment friendly
  • cheaper, hence less burden on your budget
  • units are less expensive

Cons

  • Power output is not so good as compared to other fuel options
  • You would need more gallons of natural gas. It has a high consumption rate and is almost three times more than Diesel
  • They are not easily available in remote places
  • A high consumption rate means more money you will spend on fueling the generator.
  • Natural calamities can block natural gas supply chains, leading to power outages for days.
  • Have safety issues in case lines are broken  

Propane

You would see propane in heavy industries and commercial places. In addition, propane is not easy to handle and care for and thus can create complexities while using them regularly. But propane generators especially the dual fuel generators give you a lot of options and extended runtime.

Pros

  • Unlimited shelf life
  • Burns clean without leaving any residue
  • Can be stored near the site or onsite to refuel generators
  • You can get the supply in the situation of power outages
  • Generates less noise
  • More emissions when compliant with fuel
  • Units are less expensive
  • Home delivery of large volume of propane

Cons

  • More consumption rate means more burden on the cost of refueling
  • Complicated fuel system and hard to install
  • The cost of installation and maintenance is higher than other fuel generators.
  • Shorter life expectancy than a Diesel engine
  • Safety issues when lines break

What Is the Most Efficient Fuel for A Generator?

Diesel is the best fuel for your generator because it is a liquid fuel that doesn’t evaporate as quickly when stored. Diesel generators are also more efficient as fuel and air are introduced separately in the engine, which only compresses air. Therefore, it is the best fuel-efficient option, with 138700 BTUs per gallon.

Summary

As you saw above, every fuel option has its features and risks associated with its use. Thus, if you buy a generator, spend a minute thinking about how you will use it. For example, you can prefer less powered generators with better life expectancy for you house. Whereas if you want it for your business and factory, you should go for the generators suitable for large-scale energy production like diesel generators.