The Ins And Outs Of Diesel Generators

The Ins And Outs Of Diesel Generators


Generators are used for electric power generation.
Two categories of diesel generators are basically available in market- one is portable generator and the other is standby generator. Diesel Generators are mostly used to make sure that electric appliances can be run when there is a power failure. Standby diesel generators are mostly used in homes and offices and installed outside the house or office building. These are plugged in home wiring or electric power circuit. These can automatically detect power failure and start supplying power with in moments. Portable diesel generators are used on sites where there is much less supply of electric power and they can only run few small appliances like refrigerators, televisions and turnaces.

Diesel generators use comparatively less fuel and thus are more fuel efficient than power generated by gasoline or natural gas. For every liter of fuel consumed, diesel generators can run 2 to 3 times more efficiently than natural gas engines. There is no need of frequent maintenance for diesel engines, but gasoline engines need more frequent maintenance. Most diesel engines designed with water-cooled engine up to a speed of 1800 rounds per minute. This makes sure that the engine is durable, and makes it most dependable of all generators.

Unlike other natural gas generators and gasoline generators, diesel engines are very safe to use because they work on direct injection principle and they do not have any spark plugs. The unavailability of spark plug keeps them safe from fire. Diesel generator has a better shelf life. This is the least flammable source of fuel, hence can be stored for more time.

The fuel for the diesel generators is available at all gas stations and can be collected in comfortable cans. Main problems in case of diesel generators are: it is very hard to start them in cold weather, they are noisy and emit more smoke. Home diesel generators may cost $ 800 for 4 kilowatt to $10000 for a 15-kilowatt depending upon the rating, voltage consumption, quality and brand name. Diesel generators can also be used in industrial purposes. For industrial purpose they are available in range of 500 kilowatt to 2000 kilowatt.

Fuels such as diesel, gasoline, natural gas, or propane can basically power home generators. Some models of diesel generators also designed with multi fuel capabilities. The fuel choice of will depend on availability of fuel during emergency times.

Backup Power Home Energy Generator and Sustainable

Backup Power Home Energy Generator and Sustainable

Generator lifted into equipment dock.
Source: Flickr

How Well Do You Know Your Generator?

Back up power is important not only in business establishments but also in homes. This is especially so if people are experiencing man-made or natural calamities and have no way of preventing power shortage.

During these unfortunate times, people need a source of energy to power up appliances or furniture that is important in running their household. Examples of these are heaters to warm the home in winter times, air conditioning for summer times and of course, oven and other cooking appliances for food support.

Generators are important because people have no way of determining how long the power will be down. If you want to make sure that your home will remain in a good and stable condition, you should have back up energy in order and ready to use at any time.

What are the two types of back up generators?

1. Portable generators.

This is the most economical generator that is capable of supplying back up energy. Portable generators are the most commonly used in homes or household. Appliances that needed power supply are plugged directly into this generator. This is done using wires and other cords that are applicable to the appliances.

Many of these type of generator already has advance features like the stop or start button which people can use to be able to save up on the energy they might be needing for some time.

Portable generators also have different types depending on the volt specification that you are using in your home. You will be able to choose from 120 up to 240 volts capability.

One of the widely used portable generators is the one that is gasoline-powered. People choose this type of generator because it costs less compared to the other type. There are even those that run on diesel or a combination of both.

One of the downside to this is that it cannot be used for longer time. People need to refill and refuel this generator often to be able to extend its power support. In addition, diesel powered generators are much more expensive. Although it is more efficient and with supplies that are easy to find, you may find it hard to start in cold seasons.

2. Permanent generators.

Permanent generators are programmed to be turned on automatically within the specified time after power loss. These generators are connected to the wiring system inside the house. This is why it will start on its own whether there is nobody present in the house during black out. It also has the capacity to shut down on its own once power is restored.

This type of generator is powered by natural gases. The kind of gas that you are using to power some of the appliances at your home can also be used to power this generator.

The choice of permanent generator will depend upon how the homeowners plan to use it. If you need to power up more than the required appliances, then you can opt for permanent generators that have more than 17,000 watts capability.

These types tend to be more expensive than portable generators. But with all its capacity, the initial money spent will be worth it once you see the kind of back up energy it will provide when you need it the most.

Are generators hazardous?

Portable generators are more hazardous than permanent generators. This is because they are making use of gasoline and diesel and is more capable of burning up when overheated.

This kind of generator is like your car. They tend to overheat when used extremely for a long period of time. This is why you need to check regularly and rest it for a while to prevent any damage to you, to the generator and the appliances that it is powering.

Poisoning is also another hazard caused by portable generators. Since it is running on gas, carbon monoxide is being released into the air. According to studies, many people die of carbon monoxide poisoning. One of the reasons for this is that they are not aware that they are inhaling carbon monoxide.

To prevent this from happening, the generator should be placed in locations where it is properly ventilated. Consider placing them outside your home where there are no chances of people to be suffocated from the carbon monoxide it gives off.

Consider these things when you are in the process of buying a back up power for your home. Together with the necessary power supply is the need to make sure that you will encounter no health problems when you are using them already.

Why you should fuel your generator with natural gas

Why you should fuel your generator with natural gas

For those people who have invested or thinking about investing in a power generator for back-up power needs, extra electrical needs, or portable electrical needs, a big consideration should be the type of fuel that is used. There are many sources of fuel for providing electrical energy from the generator including gasoline, natural gas, diesel, solar, wind, and a few other fuel sources as well. The type of fuel selected for a generator can have big impacts on everything from the environment, cost, and electrical output. Sources like gasoline and natural gas are non-renewable where as solar and wind come free and are renewable. For continuous, high energy output, gasoline and natural gas are better fuel sources. These are just a few of the considerations. Natural gas, however has some major points over the other fuel sources and is recommended in this article.

Why is natural gas a good fuel source for generators? Well first of all, a lot of homes use natural gas to fuel stoves, ovens, and even fireplaces. Those who have paid the gas bill will often find it is much cheaper than the electrical bill. For those unlucky people with electric ranges, electric water heating, and other electricity dependent heating, the high price of electricity is a big cash vacuum. The price of natural gas is very good compared to other fuel sources as well. The energy output provided verses the cost is better than that of diesel and gasoline.

When it comes to generators, most backup generators work better with natural gas because the supply is already coming to the location. Most homes have a pipeline for their natural gas that can be harnessed by backup generators to supply electricity when other sources are not working. Automatic transfer switches can determine when there are blackouts or other electrical problems and supply electrical power produced from the location’s natural gas source. This means that there is no need to purchase any additional fuel for the generator as it is already pulling from a decent costing fuel source in natural gas. This can not be achieved with some of the other fuel sources as well.

Another reason natural gas should be used in power generators is it’s energy production which is comparable to that of gasoline and diesel. For people who have natural gas products, the energy output is not even noticeable but the cost is. Natural gas makes the energy to cost ratio efficient. For portable generators, the same output can also be achieved as natural gas can be supplied to the generator much like how a barbecue grill is supplied. This makes supplying fuel to portable units easy as all that is needed is a canister of natural gas that just needs to be plugged in to the fuel line.

Natural gas is also cleaner than both diesel and gasoline. Natural gas will cause less engine buildup and lead to longer lifetime of a costly generator. There are also natural gas conversion kits for many types of generators that allow changing the fuel type. These conversion kits can help extend the usefulness of old generators by using natural gas as the fuel type instead.

Natural gas is not only a good energy source for homes but also a good one for portable or emergency power generators as well. They provide high, continuous amounts of energy at a very efficient cost to both residential and business users.