Generators are usually powered by fossil fuels such as natural gas, diesel, or petrol. Some generators, like backup generators, are permanently installed, whereas other portable generators can be moved and placed where needed.
If you’re considering what type of generator is the best option for your power supply, as well as portable or fixed, and what size generator you need, you’ll also be thinking about the best fuel options.
Natural gas generators can be used to produce electricity during power outages. They are available as standby generators that automatically provide power when there’s an outage in the power grid, and you can get portable natural gas generators.
Generators powered by gas produce clean-burning fuel. When a generator runs on natural gas, it produces minimal emissions. Natural gas generators are also very efficient, making them a popular choice for home and business owners.
How does a gas generator work?
Gas generators work by converting the chemical energy in the fuel (propane or natural gas) into electrical energy. The generator converts the chemical energy in the fuel into electrical energy by using a spark plug to ignite the fuel. The resulting combustion produces hot gases that spin a turbine. The turbine turns a generator, which creates an electric current.
If you’re looking to install a gas generator at home, the size of your generator and how it’s wired will determine how much of your house you can power during a power outage. Smaller gas generators are designed to power essential appliances like refrigerators, security systems, and lights.
As with conventional generators, a natural gas standby generator will need to be connected to your home or office power supply via a transfer switch, so the generator will start automatically when emergency power is required.
Unlike other fuel sources, where you’ll need to ensure a constant fuel supply, generators that run on natural gas can be connected to the property’s gas line.
Of course, as with any generator, natural gas has advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of natural gas generators
There are many benefits to using a natural gas generator, including the fact that natural gas is a very clean burning fuel. This means less pollution will be emitted from a natural gas generator than from other types of generators.
It’s cleaner – compared to diesel fuel, natural gas is much cleaner. It’s the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, so there are fewer emissions.
Save you money in the long run – this fuel is less expensive than other types.
No fuel storage required – if you use diesel or petrol, you’ll need to store it meeting regulations. However, if you’re connecting to the natural gas supply, you won’t need to worry about this.
Less noise – on the whole, natural gas generators run much quieter.
The disadvantage of Natural Gas Generators
Of course, natural gas generators have some disadvantages, so you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons against your needs and what you want to power.
Higher maintenance – compared to diesel generators which require less maintenance, the need for more maintenance can run the risk of greater costs and downtime.
Less safe – natural gas is highly flammable, so if there is a leak, there is the risk of fire or even explosion.
Disruption to supply – if you’re running your generator from the gas line and there’s disruption due to storms or accidents, you could be left without electrical power when you need it most.
Are natural gas generators reliable?
Typically you would use a natural gas or propane generator for industrial settings, as well as residential and commercial. They can be attractive because they are usually more cost-effective to operate than other generators and emit fewer pollutants.
The lifespan of a natural gas generator is generally the same as diesel, 20-25 years, but they need regular maintenance to keep them running correctly. Also, because they rely on a continuous supply of natural gas, you don’t need to worry about keeping the fuel supply topped up or running out when you need it most.
However, if that gas supply is interrupted, the generator will not be able to run. In the UK, less extreme weather conditions mean disruption is less likely, but it can happen.
Natural gas is a non-renewable fossil fuel, so its reliability in the future could have a question mark over its head. If this is a concern, consider renewable energy options, such as solar power.
Is a gas generator worth it?
A gas generator can be an excellent investment for a home or business. They are inexpensive to purchase and operate and can provide a backup power source during a power outage. Gas generators can also power tools and other equipment, making them a versatile addition to any home or business.
If you are looking for a reliable and affordable generator, consider investing in a standby or portable gas generator. These generators can power your home or business during an emergency or power outage.
Which is better, a diesel or natural gas generator?
There are pros and cons to both diesel and natural gas generators. Diesel generators are typically more expensive than natural gas generators but are also more efficient and need less maintenance. Natural gas generators are less expensive but could cost more to maintain.
Natural gas generators will smell less and emit fewer pollutants, but diesel generators are safer as gas has a higher risk of explosion.
If you’re looking for power solutions but are unsure what kind of generator best suits your needs, get in touch with the team at Solent Power, and we’ll be happy to help.
Paul is the MD of Solent Power and specialises in emergency power solutions, helping to protect your facilities from power loss. Get in touch with us today to discuss the different power brands that we can offer and how they can suit your needs.
Solent Power Ltd (Company Number 12622565) is a company registered in England and Wales. Our registered office is located at Unit 7 Mayflower Close, Chandler’s Ford Industrial Estate, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 4AR. VAT No. 363504018
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