Propane Generators vs. Gasoline Generators

by Trevor Rice

You may have seen propane powered electrical generators for sale lately. They are becoming more common all the time. But why switch from a gas powered generator to one of these propane models? Surprisingly, they burn cleaner, more efficiently and are just as cost effective as the old gasoline standby.

First we will examine the environmental impact of using a propane electrical generator. Propane emits less fumes when combusted than gasoline or diesel. It is true that propane still puts CO2 into the air as it is used in the internal combustion engine. Still, the amount is a lot smaller than it would be if you used gasoline. For this reason to do the same amount of work it is less damaging. This is no excuse to pull out all the stops and consume more, though!

Propane is found in a liquid state when it is stored in a steel pressure cylinder. When you turn the valve to use the propane bottle it changes to a gas it evaporates off of the liquid in the tank, which sometimes makes the outside of the cylinder frost up as heat is absorbed to allow this change in state from liquid to gas. Propane containers are filled at service stations and centers everywhere, or can be traded in for full bottles in some places. The cylinders are safe to store as long as there are no sources of ignition ie. fires in the vicinity.

Many residences use a large outdoor propane tank to run the furnace, water heater etc. In this case a propane generator can provide electricity on demand and can be set up to run over a long period of time using this larger capacity supply. An electrician and a gas fitter could permanently install the propane generator.

For a rural home there are few doubts that it would be good to temporarily replace grid power in the event of an emergency. If you had a propane generator of large enough size, it would match the electrical needs of the entire household as a standby generator. Then you would be covered in case there is an electrical system shutdown. Meanwhile your house would still be able to use the propane to keep the furnace running and heat your house.

Portable propane generators are great for many uses as well. Many homeowners plan on using these small propane generators to operate appliances via extension cord in an emergency. While out camping they can be used to recharge the batteries on your RV or holiday trailer. It is also a way to get electricity in remote areas for construction tools such as wood working saws and air compressors for nail guns.

And that concludes this brief article on the benefits of propane generators. I hope you will come away from this article with a better understanding of their uses and benefits.

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