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Portable generator: gas vs. propane


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11-09-11, 07:04 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Portable generator: gas vs. propane

a quick comparison between gas and propane generator yield that gas generator are cheaper than their counter part of the same wattage.


lets say that a genny xyz, has 8 hours run time at 1/2 load on 5gal/20lbs of propane fuel @ $18 a bbq size tank

and

genny abc has 8 hours run time at 1/2 load on 4gal of gas @ $3.50/gal

So the q is :

What would be the advantage of spending $300 to $400 more for propane?

 
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11-09-11, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)  
What would be the advantage of spending $300 to $400 more for propane?
For advantages of a propane powered generator, the first thing I think of is propane is a more stable fuel that does not get stale or go bad when stored more than a few months as gasoline does. Gasoline must be kept fresh and regularly replenished. Storage of gasoline can be a problem. Also, a propane powered engine requires less maintenance.

 
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11-09-11, 07:33 PM   #3 (permalink)  
What would be the advantage of spending $300 to $400 more for propane?
In parts of this great country we live in, there are beutiful areas were people live that are very isolated. To take a ride to get gas may take some time. Gasoline does not store well. So you cant keep it in the barn and wait for the power to go out.


Propane and an infinite life span. Most rural homes have very large propane tanks for there homes. Heat, stove, etc.... Makes it convienent.

Even if your not isolated though propane or NG makes more sense IMO.

Gasoline + carburators = issues for stuff that aint run much......

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11-09-11, 07:42 PM   #4 (permalink)  
You may be able to convert a gasoline generator to propane for less then the $400 though you'd probably void the warranty. Here is one company that provides kits. Honda Generators Propane and Natural gas Kits.


I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

 
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11-09-11, 11:26 PM   #5 (permalink)  
That same company Ray linked to is an authorized Yamaha dealer and sells Yamaha generators with tri-fuel capability that includes the full factory warranty.

Understand that an 18-20 pound bbq tank may not be sufficient to run a larger generator with any appreciable load in cold weather. Portable Propane Generator LP Kit

 
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11-10-11, 12:07 AM   #6 (permalink)  
I also heard that propane burns much cleaner than natural gas. Carbon monoxide emissions range between 20 and 40 percent lower than with the same amount of gasoline, with particular matter being reduced by 80 percent

if you have a green side....

 
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11-10-11, 04:26 AM   #7 (permalink)  
You don't need another opinion, obviously, but I have a dual fuel Kubota and only discovered the propane hose just before Ivan hit our area. Major "duh" factor. I had to refill the gas tank every 2 hours or so to ensure it would stay running. With the propane hooked to a 200 gallon tank, I cranked it and forgot about it during the storm's outage. Used very little fuel, too, in comparison to gasoline and the PITA the gas caused. It ran much, much smoother, less smell, which would obviously cater to Giorgio's green side......wifey's too.

 
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11-10-11, 04:50 AM   #8 (permalink)  
Thanks to everyone for the input, As i understand it, its more about convenience than anything else.

I will do more resource on the conversion kit of gasoline to NG.

 
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11-10-11, 09:36 AM   #9 (permalink)  
Actually, gasoline is the most convenient. Gasoline is available everywhere and all you need to do is pour it into the tank. Gasoline also has the most problems associated with it for standby usage.

When I connect my generator I have to go through an additional step of connecting the gas hose between the generator and the natural gas connection on my house. Takes maybe an additional minute or two at the most but it IS an additional step. I had a brief power outage recently where I dragged the gennie out, connected it and turned the starter key. It started right up even though it hadn't been run for almost a year. Maybe it would have started that fast with stale gasoline but I doubt it. Total time from power going out until generator running was eight minutes and that included waiting two minutes to see if it was just a power bump AND manually opening the garage door to drag the gennie around the side of the house.

As long as my natural gas service is operational I'm good with my gennie. If I lose natural gas I can't stay at home anyway as I use it for space and water heating.

 
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11-10-11, 09:55 AM   #10 (permalink)  
If your generator runs a lot and you're burning up the fuel, gasoline would be less maintenance than if it only runs occasionally. In the former situation I'd think about gasoline but in the latter I'd only be considering propane (all statements based on the assumption natural gas is not available).

 
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11-27-11, 09:54 PM   #11 (permalink)  
Actually, in wide spread power outages, gasoline is the least convenient. Gas stations pump fuel out of the ground with motors that require electricity, if the power is out, no gas. You can easily use 5-10 gallons of gasoline a day, and you can't wait until you need it to have it on hand which creates a storage/usability issue.

Propane is stored locally, has no shelf life and you can buy it during the year when prices are lower (usually in the summer). Natural gas uses lines that run underground near tree roots or across bridges. I know the local supplier shuts natural gas service off to the island when a hurricane is coming because the pipeline runs under the bridge and if the bridge goes during the storm you've got a major gas leak.

 
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01-01-13, 07:16 AM   #12 (permalink)  
It all depends on the market. As you should know by now, gas prices are unstable, and may be hard to get to during a disaster. Propane doesn't come with these issues.

But I don't think you should let propane or gas determine which type of generator you buy. I think you should first check all the appliance in your home, calculate how many watts you will need to power with your generator. Then do a search, and find a generator that fits your needs. I recommend reading this****on things to consider when purchasing a generator.

Nowaday their are what we call hybrid generators on the market, so propane or gas can be used.


Last edited by Shadeladie; 01-01-13 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Link removed.
 
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01-01-13, 07:36 AM   #13 (permalink)  
Nowaday their are what we call hybrid generators on the market, so propane or gas can be used.
I've never heard or read of multi-fuel generators referred to as "hybrid". Multi-fuel generator sets have been around for many years, nothing at all "new" about them.

 
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01-01-13, 08:09 AM   #14 (permalink)  
Sorry about the incorrect terminology.

What i'm referring to is in **** video.(The Tri Fuel Kit)
By reading this thread it seemed as if you guys were unaware of it.


Last edited by Shadeladie; 01-01-13 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Link removed.
 
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01-01-13, 08:27 AM   #15 (permalink)  
Welcome to the forums. (I should have welcomed you in the first post.)

Yes we are definitely aware of those conversions. See the links in posts #4 and #5. I have a kit from them that I installed on my Yamaha a few years ago although mine is a straight gaseous fuel rather than a gasoline/gaseous fuel conversion.

 
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01-01-13, 09:46 AM   #16 (permalink)  
I will restore the video regarding tri fuel. Its from a legit source. Also shows some Lister machines at the original source ( vegetable and diesell) which I brought up in another forum regarding getting off the grid.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O7cWYWAD4Q&list=UUgcDzmsW4l3k_mC5tSW7ZUQ&index=5
Here is the original source.

Lister Type Diesel Generator - YouTube


Mike NJ




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