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Propane vs Diesel Generators

Posted by Emergency Power on

There is nothing worse than a propane generator when it comes to power generation. As a fuel source, propane contains a lot less energy. To produce power, you have to use a lot more of it. Power from propane will cost you double the cost of power from diesel fuel. There's absolutely no cost savings when it comes to using propane as a fuel source.

Normal generator engines operate 1800 RPM. This is the same speed car engines run at on the highway. The lack of power from propane engines would necessitate using a larger engine. Instead, manufacturers produce smaller engines and run them at double the speed. 3600 RPM. If the engine in your car did this for hours, it would likely blow up! There is an incredible amount of heat, wear and tear happening at in those engines and at high speed. Many of those propane / natural gas engines don’t even use a radiator like your car does to keep them cool. Cheap aluminum blocks is what they have.

The air cooled 3600 RPM propane / natural gas engines seldom last more than 2000 hours and have much higher maintenance requirements. They are not designed to be used for anything but emergencies.

Excessive wear in those engines means you have to change the oil every 100 hours. The Perkins diesel engines used in Aurora home generators needs to be changed every 500 hours. During a power outage do you want to worry about an oil change every 4 running days or every 20 running days?

You can expect over 20,000 hours running life from a Perkins diesel engine running at 1800 rpm. 10,000 hours at 3600 rpm. 2000 hours from a propane generator. Why buy propane?

Look at what a generator costs to run for one day.

A $5000.00 Propane Generator / 3000 hours life x 24 hours = $40.00 a day

A $10,000.00 Diesel Generator / 20,000 hours life x 24 hours = $12.00 a day

Now add fuel. If you wanted to produce 20,000 watts of power to supply an average home, a propane generator will use about 15 litres an hour, a diesel would use 5 litres an hour.

Propane $0.96 x 15 litres x 24 hours = $345.60
Diesel $1.48 x 5 litres x 24 hours = $189.60

If you use your generator for one week, at this rate you will have spent $1000.00 more for propane fuel.

Remember you also have five times the oil and filter changes.

Finally, look at the warranty policy for the propane / natural gas generators. If they are used when normal power is available or in place of normal power the warranty is void.

The Perkins diesel engines used in our generators you can run 24/7 365.


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