What Is A Dual Fuel Generator? – Advantages & Disadvantages

Dual fuel generators are becoming very popular these days due to their unique ability to operate on a mixture of two fuels. No doubt they are flexible in potential and highly reliable sources of power generation.

As the majority of generators in the market accept only one kind of fuel. It means if you own a gas generator and you suddenly run out of gasoline, then you’ll be in trouble till the next gas station arrives. While the dual-fuel generators run on two types of fuel, you can easily run them on gasoline or propane.

Before investing your money in a dual fuel generator, it is important to know all things about it and if it is good for you or not.

What Do You Need To Know About Dual Fuel Generators?

A dual fuel generator is capable of using two types of fuels at the same time in the form of a mixture. It works when you add one type of fuel and add the secondary fuel source into the built system till the optimal mixture of two fuels is formed for efficient running.

Some models of dual-fuel generators work similarly to the bi-fuel generators that work on anyone fuel in the absence of others. While most of the dual-fuel generators work only in the presence of a specific mixture of two fuels.

Just take an example, you add diesel into your generator and it starts to run after gradually adding a mixture of natural gas. Diesel usually ignites at 500 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. But the natural gas ignites only when the temperature reaches up to 1200 to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.

After starting the engine, now it can run on any fuel, i.e., natural gas or diesel. But it won’t be possible to start the engine on natural gas because to bring the necessary temperature diesel will be required first in order to ignite natural gas.

What Are The Benefits Of A Dual Fuel Generator?

What Is A Dual Fuel Generator

To go for a variety of options is great. Why commit to only one type of fuel when you don’t need to do so. Here are the following amazing benefits of having a dual fuel generator:

Reliability:

Two usable fuel types mean you are not going to run out of options. You may preferably go with gasoline in routine but propane can be stored longer and used as a great backup. Propane is quite safe to store as compared to gasoline which is highly flammable and prone to spill in the garage.

While propane is sealed in its tank that causes no damage or risk under ordinary conditions. Also, it is very easy to exchange and refill the tank.

Watts Rating:

Knowing about the power consumption is the first step before selecting a portable generator and also the corresponding wattage also matters a lot before picking up the right unit capable of providing a high level of power.

A dual-fuel generator has different wattage output that mainly depends on whether you are using propane or gasoline. There will be two wattage ratings for dual-fuel generators, a higher one will be for gasoline while the lower one for propane or natural gas.

For example, a champion’s dual-fuel generator is rated at 3400 watts for gasoline and 2060 watts for propane that will be a 10% decline from gasoline to propane. You get a higher wattage rating by gasoline due to its properties and nutrients.

Checkout our guide about what size generator do i need

Provides Peace of Mind:

These generators provide real peace of mind by giving the power in any kind of circumstances. In the case of natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, or any other worst condition, the supply of gasoline is usually disrupted. If you are going to depend only on gasoline as a source of fuel, you’ll definitely be in trouble.

With a portable dual-fuel generator, you have the option of switching your plug into the propane tank. Even if you don’t have a supply of propane tanks, you can easily get it through any gas station, hardware store, as well as a grocery store.

Additionally, propane can be stored longer than gasoline. It can be stored even for years.

Checkout our guide about Propane vs Gas Generators

Cost-Effective:

Dual-fuel generators cost about 10 to 15% more than ordinary generators in the long run. While the use of two fuels makes them cheaper to operate in comparison to the single fuel generator.

Eco-friendly:

These generators are very environment friendly as an alternative to the other generating sets. The highly efficient engine with the mixture of fuel enables less carbon emission into the environment.

Also, natural gas burns cleaner than diesel, the mixture of diesel and natural gas results in fewer emissions of harmful gases than a generator solely running on diesel fuel.

Energy Efficiency:

No doubt, the dual-fuel generators are highly energy-efficient as well as at burning fuel. Their engine uses mixtures of 75% gas and 25% diesel in order to generate power safely. The engine always needs to maintain the diesel-to-gas ratio to keep up the balance in higher loads.

Flexibility & Sustainability:

The alternative option of using different fuels makes these generators very flexible to use. While the least emission of harmful or poisonous gases enhances the sustainability of dual-fuel generators.

Disadvantages Of Dual Fuel Generator

Though there are a number of advantages of owning a dual-fuel generator there are also some drawbacks that you should know. Below we have mentioned some of the disadvantages of dual-fuel generators:

  • Dual-fuel generators are comparable expensive. It is due to the technology of powering dual-fuel generating systems. So, the high price can be expected due to advanced features.
  • The optimal functioning of the engine may be affected due to different geographical locations that alter the natural gas makeup.
  • Their operating system is more complex and the additional features usually result in more complexity.
  • Dual-fuel generators are not recommended for small power requirements. A small dual fuel generator will cost between $400 to $600 for 4400 watts of power. In case of small power requirements, a single fuel generator will be sufficient.
  • The need for dual fuel sounds stressing and overbearing than using a single fuel generator.

But it mainly depends on the pros and cons together to decide which will suit best to your needs.

Dual Fuel vs. Bi-Fuel Generators

As the idea about dual-fuel generators might be clear to you, there is another type of generator which we called, Bi-fuel generator. A bi-fuel generator utilizes two types of fuels without mixing them together during the process.

The engine has the capability to switch itself between the two fuels, so it is better to use the most efficient fuel to tackle any condition. Some bi-fuel generators have an automatic system of switching between fuels, while some do it at your will. This usually happens when one type of fuel is absent and there is a need to run the appliances.

The types of fuel used in them are LP vapor or propane vapor and natural gas. The other switch can be made between natural gas and gasoline, or natural gas and diesel.

The bi-fuel generators are also very beneficial just like dual fuel generators but you must not confuse these two different terms. They are highly energy-efficient, sustainable. Cost-saving as well as running for a longer time.

Why You Should Buy A Dual Fuel Generator?

The best reason to buy a dual-fuel generator is its ability to accept two different types of fuel. As we have explained the advantages of disadvantages of both gasoline and propane fuel, some people prefer to rely on just one source of fuel in one situation and on the other in a different situation. Such gasoline will allow the generator to put out some electrical output then the engine starts working on natural gas after reaching a particular temperature.

These generators are very useful in colder areas as well as hot summers. As gasoline can burn better at freezing temperatures while propane is a better fuel source in hot summers. In areas prone to natural disasters, it will be a wise decision to invest in a dual-fuel generator because a certain source of fuel may be wiped out due to massive destruction. SO having an extra canister of propane or gasoline at home may keep you safe from losing electric power.

As an Energy and environmental engineer, I worked in eco bottle manufacturing for the last three years. Currently, he is the leading engineer in a Lithium Iron phosphate battery manufacturing company.

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