When you use a generator you expect it to provide you with the necessary output power. However, the amount of power is not the only important factor to consider, you can decrease the necessary amount of power (removing an appliance). What is more important is how long a generator can work using a certain amount of fuel. It is important to mention that the same amount of fuel can provide with the different amount of power. If you do not want to deal with only one type of fuel, you can check various models and find the best dual fuel generators available to you.
Gas as fuel and its efficiency
This kind of fuel is very popular – it is widely available and the generators which use gas are very popular as an extra power source. Here are some pros of gas-fueled generators:
- It does not require storage (but you still can find small storage units).
- It burns clean, so it is environment-friendly.
- Gas is not expensive.
- Generators do not produce much noise.
However, such models have some cons as well:
- It is not available in certain areas (the remote ones).
- Gas is volatile and flammable so any leaking makes it extremely dangerous.
- Supply is not guaranteed during natural disasters, like earthquakes.
Another important factor to mention is the low gas generator efficiency – it has around 38,000 BTU/gallon. BTU shows how much heat is needed to raise the temperature of water (1 pound) by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Nevertheless, wide availability (except for remote areas), constant supply and reasonable price make it a good option.
Natural gas generators are usually static and they are easy to use since homes already have a gas supply. Nevertheless, if you decide to install a gas generator that outputs a large amount of energy (more than 8000 W), you may be required to upgrade your gas line equipment. This equipment replacement may cost you around $1,000. Consider getting high-class component only, since natural gas leaking is extremely dangerous due to its volatile and flammable nature.
The gas generator fuel consumption rate depends on the output power and loading. Here are general fuel consumption rates for different generator sizes:
- A 20 kW generator size solution will require around 188 cubic feet of fuel per hour at 50% of load and around 289 cubic feet of fuel per hour at 100% of the load.
- A 40 kW generator needs 333 cubic feet of fuel per hour at 50% of load and 543 cubic feet of fuel per hour at 100%.
- A 60 kW generator needs 479 cubic feet of fuel per hour at 50% of load and 798 cubic feet of fuel per hour at 100%.
The natural gas generator consumption rate may be quite high if you need much power so it would be smart to decrease the number of appliances to minimize the required amount of power