Those purchasing a standby generator must choose a fuel type, and the four main options out there are gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and propane. Each of these fuel options has different advantages and disadvantages that buyers need to evaluate according to their unique needs.
A gasoline generator offers the advantage of running on a fuel that is readily available. In comparison to natural gas and diesel, gasoline is easy to come by and affordable.
However, gasoline is also highly flammable. This can create a safety hazard in certain environments. Another problem with using gasoline as a fuel for a standby generator is that it has a relatively short shelf life. Gasoline will only keep for about three months in storage. After this time, it may not work properly as a fuel source.
It's typically important that a standby generator can remain in storage for a long time and still work properly when needed. Some of the other fuel options mentioned below have longer shelf lives.
The biggest advantage of diesel is that it is the least flammable of all standby generator fuel options. This means that diesel might be the best fuel if a generator is going to be used in an environment where it may be near fire hazards at some point.
Although diesel also has some storage life limitations, it lasts longer in storage than gasoline. It is generally accepted that diesel can be stored for a period of between six months and twelve months.
Natural gas generators
Natural gas is advantageous because it is a clean-burning fuel that does not pollute the air like gasoline, propane and diesel. Also, natural gas can be produced in such a way as to make it qualify as a renewable, unlimited fuel source.
However, it's not always easy to get a hold of natural gas. Often, a standby generator that runs on natural gas will be more difficult to install than a generator running on gas, diesel, or propane. Another disadvantage of natural gas is that it has a lower power output than some other fuel options. Natural gas offers a power output of 1,030 BTU per cubic foot. In comparison, propane provides a BTU of only 2,516 per cubic foot.
The biggest advantage of propane is that it offers a long shelf life. If you are looking for a standby generator fuel that will keep for a long time in storage, propane is probably the best option for you. Propane can be stored indefinitely.
One slight drawback of a propane system is that it is typically more complex than a generator system running on gasoline and could be more prone to breaking down. For more information about standby generators, visit Anderson Water Systems.