Propane Generators : How they Work, Benefits and Limitations

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.

Propane Generators and their functioning

Propane is a gas, the by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining and one of a group of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). A propane generator is a machine that works on the same principle as any other generator; to produce electricity by converting the energy produced from the combustion of propane.

Therefore, the only difference lays in the usage of specialized carburetors that are designed for the purpose of burning propane.

Basically, if you start your propane generator it functions by burning propane which results in the production of energy and heat.

A proportionate mix of water and ammonia which is already present inside the generator, due to the increase in the heat, reaches its burning point and leads to the production of ammonia gas which flows through the generator.

Propane generators can be both portable and standby generators. Depending on the number of appliances that you consider vital for running or the duration for which you want them running you can pick between the two.

Benefits of Propane generators over diesel or gasoline ones

Propane as a fuel type has various benefits on its own as compared to gasoline and other fuel types such as its long shelf life, and clean burning.

Propane generators are becoming more popular due to the advantages it has over other generators ranging from environmental impact to maintenance cost and ability to store for a longer period of time.

Let’s understand how the propane generators prove to be beneficial.

Supply not disrupted in times of calamities

In times of natural disaster or emergencies, there wouldn’t be a problem even if gas pumps aren’t running as it is usually stored in cylinders.

Does not deteriorate like gasoline and diesel

Unlike other fuel types, it doesn’t get deteriorated and has an infinite shelf life. So the owner can store it in larger volume. And because the larger fuel supply ensures less running out under load it results into longer and efficient life of the generator.

It doesn’t get contaminated and so the generator will be contamination and carbon deposits free even if it hasn’t been used for a while or so.

It’s a clean and environment-friendly fuel with lower noise levels

It burns clean i.e., it produces a very low amount of carbon monoxide (CO) which is a harmful gas which causes suffocation, is poisonous for plants and can prove to be fatal for human beings. Since the production of CO is low it causes lesser harm to both environment and humans around.

Easy to store

It is stored in safe tanks or bulk cylinders and so there is no risk of spillage or waste during fill-ups.

Gasoline is highly flammable and has a short shelf life and storing it can be hazardous, unlike propane. Also, availability issue during an emergency render it inferior t propane and it’s costly as well. Diesel too can be stored for 18-24 months only and installing large storage tanks raises its cost.

Summary

Propane generators are one of the most helpful devices you can purchase. They can prove useful in any situation owing to their various benefits. Make sure you are aware of your needs and requirements before you purchase one. In case you need to have diesel too, you can go for a dual or tri-fuel generator.

If you are looking for a generator that you may be able to use after any period of time propane generators are the ones to go for.

In times of natural hazards, you can rely on the availability of the fuel as it can be stored indefinitely.

It causes lesses harm to the environment or your body with toxic gases like carbon monoxide. It also stays free of contamination and therefore will never affect the efficiency or functioning or durability of your generator.

Propane generators are becoming popular for a number of reason the topmost being the increasing black-outs and power outages. To prepare for the next one make sure you’ve got a reliable backup.

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3 Comments
  1. Reply Avatar
    Ridley Fitzgerald May 8, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Propane generators seem like the best option. We really want one for our house, so I’ll look into buying one of these. It’s just great that propane has an infinite shelf life, so we never have to worry about replacing the tanks we buy.

  2. I had no idea that there are so many benefits of propane gas and we are thinking of getting a propane generator, so I am glad that I found this article. You make a great point that propane gas is more environmentally-friendly than the other types of gas as well as the ability to store for a longer period of time. I think that this will definitely save us money in the long run because we can store the gas for a longer period of time and there are fewer maintenance costs.

  3. I like that you pointed out that propane burns cleaner which means that the amount of CO released is very low. I guess I will choose this for the heat source of our RV so that we will not worry about damaging the environment where we will be camping. It will be safe for my family as well since CO can’t be easily detected by our bare senses.

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