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Gas generators are finding rapid popularity due to their efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
They can power both portable and standby power generators with lesser pollution and health hazards.
Benefits of Gas Generators
Some of the key benefits of gas generators are discussed below-
Eco-friendly – Compared to other means of generating power, gas generators are much cleaner and energy efficient. They emit much lesser greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, sulfur and nitrogen. Hence they are less harmful to the environment.
Easy Availability of Natural Gas -Natural gas is readily available in large cities as it is supplied by pipelines.
Reliable System – Gas generators have a greater load bearing capacity as compared to oil or diesel-fueled generators. They are very reliable and durable, with a low engine noise level.
Natural gas generators are an excellent choice for cold weathers as well.
Cost Effective – The initial cost of setting up a gas generator may be higher as compared to diesel-fueled generators, but in the long term, lower fuel costs are cheaper. For example, the price of natural gas is lesser than petroleum for an equivalent amount of energy.
Wide Range of Applications – Gas generators find their use in a variety of fields such as automotive, industrial/ chemical plants, hospitals, infrastructure, commercial units, and many more.
How Do We Know If Gas Supply At Home Is Sufficient For Generator Use?
Gas-fueled generators typically have a range of 20kW to 2200kW (Cummins series).
They usually run on two types of fuels – Gasoline and Natural Gas. The pressure rates for both types of fuels are different.
As we already know, gasoline is expensive and can punch a hole in your pocket if it is to be used on a regular interval. Also, it is highly flammable and has a shelf life of approximately one year, within which it has to be consumed.
So it is impractical (and even dangerous) to store large quantities of gasoline at home to fuel your generator during power outages. So a natural gas generator is a better choice when it comes to small-area applications, like in a house, hospital or small business.
Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons, mainly methane. It can be stored in two states – compressed gaseous state (CNG), or more commonly, liquefied state (LNG).
Before you choose the right natural gas generator for your home and start using it, it is very important to know the storage capacity of the generator and the availability of enough supply of gas for the system to work.
People in households have connections with the local utility grid from where the fuel is delivered to their homes through small pipes called service lines.
The fuel provider must not be very far away from the house; otherwise, it is useless in case of emergency.
Today, a service line is a small-diameter plastic line an inch or less in diameter, with gas flowing at a pressure range of over 60 pounds to as less as 1/4 pounds, as stated by the American Gas Association.
Household appliances are typically designed to operate at 0.25 psi (i.e. 7 inches of water column) or less, so a regulator is used to reduce the incoming pressure from the service line as it reaches the gas meter.
Since most portable generators use the standard gas pressure of 0.18-0.25 psi , you have no worries about it. Some high-power models may require some variations though.
The natural gas pipe diameter is also an important factor to consider, which is specified by the tables given in the National Gas Code, and depends on its distance to the appliance, the number of appliances being served, and the appliances’ input BTU/h required. It determines the rate of natural gas flow, which in turn is proportional to the power generated.
The unit of such power is cubic feet per hour or CFH (1 CFH=1000 BTU/h). To verify that you have a correctly sized system you should first read each data plate on the equipment that is connected to the system.
While assessing the gas requirement for the generator, we need to keep in mind that we also may need to run furnaces and other gas appliances. In that case, a larger high-flow meter can be installed or even a second meter can be set up. If the cost turns out to be high, a smaller genset – for example, a 6 kW model requires around 100 CFH can also be chosen.
All-in-all, gas generators provide a clean-burning solution to your household power needs.
Propane generators can also serve as a good choice for households when natural gas is not available. The best portable generators are the dual ones, where the natural gas is utilized for daily use, with the availability of propane during an emergency.