Having a reliable power source is crucial no matter what. Getting a relatively small generator you can be sure that you will always have some power. There are many models available to you and you can be sure that you will find the solution that outputs as much power as you need. However, before getting anything, you should consider checking the dual fuel generator reviews, even if you are sure what you want – spend some time checking reviews, since new models may be introduced.
Generators use different kinds of fuel to generate output power. Different kinds of fuels have their own pros and cons. For example, gasoline may have ethanol that attracts water particles and it makes degrades the fuel quality, while propane generators may be quite large and finding this kind of fuel may be challenging. Dual fuel generator possibilities allow you using different kinds of fuels – it gives you some flexibility.
Natural gas as fuel
Natural gas has its own advantages over propane. Here are some of them:
- It does not go bad over time, which makes it a perfect option if you do not plan to use a generator frequently;
- Natural gas is cheaper than propane;
- It is supplied by a gas line – no need to buy it in stores or add fuel manually.
It has some cons as well:
- Since it cannot be stored you depend on a gas delivering company – delivering has to be consistent. Gas outrages may happen, but they are still quite rare;
- It requires plumbing.
Such generators usually use several kinds of fuels. However there are solutions that use natural gas only, but they are quite large and expensive – more than $8700. A portable dual fuel generator running on natural gas may be quite expensive as well – more than $2000.
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.
Conversion to natural gas
Since natural gas has some advantages, a question appears “can a dual fuel generator run on natural gas?” – yes, it can, but you need to implement certain modifications. However, you need to be careful in order to make everything right and natural gas can wear out gaskets so you will get leaking if you decide to use gasoline.
To convert your generator to natural gas fueled one, you will need to buy several parts, like an on-demand regulator, carburetor adapter, gaskets, mounting bolts, hoses, fittings, etc. then you need to remove an air filter and filter housing. After that, you should install stud extenders, gaskets, a fuel adapter, air cleaner housing, and an on-demand regulator. Overall, the process is quite complex and may be potentially dangerous.
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.
If you search for a good generator and you do not know when you are going to use it, then consider getting a solution that can run on multiple kinds of fuels, like gasoline, propane and natural gas. Converting the generator you already have may be quite risky.