Diesel Generators : How they Work and Key Benefits over Other Types

A generator is a machine which through the phenomenon of ‘electromagnetic induction’ converts electricity from mechanical energy.

This energy is provided to the generator through the engine in the form of fuel which can be natural gas, liquid propane, gasoline or diesel.

Diesel Generator and its Functioning

A diesel generator is a generator that produces electricity with the help of an alternator (electric generator) and a diesel engine. The engine uses diesel as a fuel to operate. A diesel engine is what is known as an internal combustion engine.

Diesel generators, therefore, produce electricity by burning diesel fuel.

The power produced in this way is distributed to various appliances, buildings, houses etc. Diesel generators are the preferred type of generators in hospitals, offices, construction sites for the extensive and longtime use.

Benefits of Diesel Generators over Gasoline and Propane Generators

Here are the key advantages of operating diesel generators

It is economical

Operating gasoline generators are expensive because the fuel they use (gasoline) is costly, especially during an emergency with its availability issues. It is easy to spill, and there is always a risk with gasoline around due to its flammability.

Add to that its short shelf life and the inability to store it for more than a year.

Efficient in terms of power generation

Propane generators are not as efficient as gasoline generators and diesel generators. It cannot be used in cold weathers either. On top of that, it has a complicated fuel system and so if it fails it will be very difficult to fix it by yourself.

Less dangerous in times of disasters and accidents

It can prove extremely dangerous if the fuel lines are broken. It requires three times the fuel consumption as compared to diesel.

However, diesel generators have a lot to offer, such as:

It is the least flammable fuel source as compared to gasoline and propane. So there is a reduced chance of danger.

It is not difficult to obtain during natural disasters such as storm and earthquake since it is an important fuel for industries, farming operations and military.

It is less expensive to operate. As diesel isn’t a costly fuel and so diesel generators are cost effective.

Can take large loads and run for longer durations

Diesel engines are engineered to produce electricity under heavy load for a long time. It is the perfect generator for off the grid sites where reliable power is required for an extended period of time.

It can also be used in place of an Uninterrupted power supply (UPS) i.e. if a power grid for some reason has gone down it can provide sufficient power in the meantime.

Allowing, hospitals to use their devices, airports to continue working their systems, transport ships have access to electricity for navigation etc. this is because diesel generators operate best under heavy loads.

It is the ideal backup for power in large homes and buildings and construction sites. In fact, any organization that controls mission-critical applications can benefit a great deal from diesel generators.

Low maintenance

A heavy duty diesel generator requires lower maintenance as compared to other types. This saves both time and money.

And now that we have seen the advantages of diesel generators over gasoline and propane ones. Let us move to see some examples for better understanding of their features and operation as well as uses.


Diesel generators are used around the globe for various purposes and applications. From providing power to remote locations which have no electricity to be a reliable backup for some towns. From large ships, aeroplanes to industries and farming operations they prove to be a versatile machine.

Portable diesel generators can be easily carried to a place off the grid like a construction site or a rural area for providing electricity. If you do not want to have a pure generator, go for dual fuel or tri-fuel generators.

Moreover, they have various advantages over gasoline and propane generators. So if you have a requirement of a strong, durable generator that can take the pressure of a heavy load and for a long period, a diesel generator is the one you’re looking for.

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  1. I liked what you said about how a heavy duty diesel generator requires lower maintenance as compared to other types. My younger brother is looking to get one for his business. Thank you for the information about how the lower maintenance will save you both time and money.

  2. That is nice that generators can take large loads. It would be nice to have something that could take large loads for longer times. Maybe it would be good for a construction crew to have a diesel generator.

  3. It got me when you said that diesel is low maintenance which is why it saves both time and money. With that in mind, I will pick this for the heat source of our RV since we are on a limited budget for this trip. We have spent almost all of our savings to buy the RV, so this tip has helped me choose the right fuel to use when we buy a generator for it.

  4. That is nice that a generator could produce electricity by burning fuel. Maybe it would be good to get a generator that I could burn fuel with sometime soon. Then I would be able to have something to generate power in case there was a power outage.

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