What is a propane generator? A propane generator can be a convenient way to run your home appliances when there is no electricity. It is also an economic choice for areas where there is no power grid or even well-stocked stations to draw fuel from. You may think that using a propane generator would be a bad idea because of the odor emitted by the burning fuel. In fact, this smell is produced only from the burning fuel and is not the result of the exhaust, and it quickly dissipates into the air.
A propane generator produces energy from the natural gas in the atmosphere. This source of energy is considered to be extremely reliable. In most cases, you will never have to use more than ten percent of the capacity of your propane generator. A small standby propane generator would provide power for a few hours, usually no more than a day.
A problem that some people face with using propane generators is the lack of emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Although emissions are minimal with propane, they are high when using gasoline. Propane, being a petroleum product, has a greater environmental impact than gasoline. If your location has been affected by flooding, your area might not be eligible for use of propane because petroleum products are commonly used as fuel. The Clean Air Act makes provision for the use of alternate fuel for generators and vehicles.
There are some gas generators that come with a liquid fuel option. You will need to fill the propane tank as normal with gas but you will bypass the need to keep it filled with lube oil, and no oil will leak out. However, if the gas burners are located in a very cold area and the gas evaporates, you can run the risk of freezing your hands on contact with the cold air that would remain in the space between the burner and the nozzle.
Another major concern with the long-term use of propane is the shelf life. No matter how careful you are with the storage of your fuel, it will eventually run out. There is no way to store propane in large quantities so you have to plan on running out in a few months. The shelf life will also vary based on the type of generator you purchase. The most common is a solid fuel powered generator that has an expiration date on the fuel tank.
Fuel efficiency is another major consideration. With gasoline, the fuel is burning at a maximum efficiency of one percent less than propane generators do on average. But with the fuel efficiency considerations aside, the list of fuel sources is much shorter. This means that your propane generators will last longer during their lifetime.
The noise produced by gasoline is also a big concern. In general, the louder it is the better, because you won’t be disturbing as many people as you would with a diesel generator. If you are located near a city or in an area where there is heavy noise, it may not be worth the extra investment for gasoline as the noise is minimal with propane generators. Some of the noise reduction is due to the design of the generator. The larger the tank on the propane generator, the more noise it produces.
The last major advantage to a propane gas generator is that it will save you money on both fuel and maintenance. You will save the expense of running appliances that require gas, such as hair dryers, stoves and heaters. You will also save money on your monthly utility bill because you will be using considerably less gas to operate your stationary propane generator. These small benefits will help you decide whether or not propane gas is right for you.