An alternative-fuel generator can be a model which is not designed to operate on gasoline under any circumstances, or it might be a model that has the capacity, depending on environment and fuel availability, to operate on several different fuel types.
Here are a few varieties of the alternative-fuel generator:
Whether you are looking for diesel generators, a propane generators, or natural gas generators, T-Rex can help. Here are a few facts about some of these alternative-fuel generators that you might find interesting.
A diesel motor and an alternator to produce electricity make up the modern diesel generator. Many rural locations that experience unreliable power rely upon diesel generators and generating sets to provide emergency relief when standard electricity is interrupted. Portable diesel generators that range in size from 3 to 10 kW are frequently utilized on job sites, and to provide electricity to motor homes and other RVs. The “prime rating” of a diesel generator is nothing more than its maximum surge watts, while “average power” or the number of running watts is normally around 75% of prime. Diesel generators should be able to deliver prime for one out of every twelve operating hours, plus an additional 10% (above prime) for overload protection on a limited (surge) basis. These ratings are primarily applied to generator sets being used in commercial venues, but it can be helpful to keep them in mind even when sizing your diesel generator for alternative applications.
Portable Diesel Generators
You should remember, regarding the engine in a portable diesel generator, that damage occurs most frequently because of misuse. Motors in portable diesel generators and small diesel generators are subject to bore or cylinder glazing, and carbon accumulation. Keep in mind that a portable diesel generator should be operated at 60-75% (at a minimum) of its running watts. Brief spells of operation at lesser loads are acceptable, however the machine should be returned to full load (or close to it) as soon as possible. Bore glazing and accumulation of carbon are the result of lengthy periods of operation at low speeds (i.e. with lower than recommended loads). For this reason, never leave diesel generators idling for extended periods of time; if they are not in use, they should be shut down. It is also important to size portable diesel generators correctly, so that their engines are not habitually under loaded.
Natural Gas Generators
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is not normally used in natural gas generators; this is because, in its compressed form, it resists transforming into a liquid that can be used by an internal combustion engine. Turning CNG into liquid for use by a natural gas generator requires extremely high, even unsafe temperatures, and these temperatures must be procreated by pressure within the CNG tank. CNG for a natural gas generator would need to be stored at such inflated pressures that a normal-sized tank would be at risk for leaks, and explosion – even under mundane environmental conditions. Storing CNG for a natural gas generator could perhaps be done, provided that the storage tank was of massive proportions with respect to the amount of fuel it held. For these reasons, natural gas generators are better served utilizing the same fuel source as whatever structure, home or business, they are powering.
A propane generator has the benefit that it can achieve a liquid state without requiring tremendous pressure in its holding tank. This permits propane tanks to be smaller and lighter in construction, and helps keep the cost of their construction affordable to a wide variety of applications. There are a couple of drawbacks to a propane generator, to propane-powered vehicles in general. These machines tend not to have the range of a sister model harboring a gas or diesel engine. In a propane-fueled car, this means a lesser traveling range; in a propane generator, it means obtaining a shorter runtime from a typical propane tank than could be had from an average-sized tank of gasoline or diesel. The amounts of propane available – because it is acquired as a by-product of either processing natural gas or refining petroleum, are finite – this limits the number of applications that could conceivably look to propane as a fuel. Still, for the moment, propane remains a cost-effective and clean fuel alternative, in propane generators and other applications.