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Which generator type, natural gas propane or diesel is best to power a house?

Written By: Generator Man - Sep• 17•11

Question by Andy Solognier: Which generator type, natural gas propane or diesel is best to power a house?
I live on an island and we only have one power company… they have taken our power away from us and because we were “stealing” power from them and would have to pay a hefty fee which we decided not to pay. we are running on a diesel generator right now but i was wondering if natural gas or propane generators are cheaper and or more efficient. ive checked the gas suppliers website for prices but it wasnt very helpfull.

I would need a generator that is about 15 kW

Best answer:

Answer by Grebbler
If you have a natural gas pipeline then that’s what I would use.

Nat gas burns the cleanest, no soot, no mess, no fuel filters to clean, the motor oil lasts longer, no tanks to get water and gunk in. no fuel stabilizers needed, no fuel spills and no tank certifications, etc.

With a pipeline you won’t have to go shag and store fuel and you won’t run out. Even in a wide spread power failure the nat gas is usually not affected. If you have to lease or rent a nat gas tank THEY have to certify it against leaks.

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One Comment

  1. stew575 says:

    Diesel generators are about the best and heavy duty for continuous running. You need to remember that diesel generators work best running 90% to 110% load the majority of the time. You should judge you power consumption on the peak usage and not on the maintained usage. Check your power consumption when everything is turned on. Such as well water pump, microwave, washer, dryer, oven, stove, refrigerator, TV, computers, etc. Units like these will pull the most power and you will have to accommodate for these items when they are all on, if your generator may not support the total load and start popping breakers or just shut down. With everything turned on your generator should pull 110% to 130% of the load, this is good. If your current generator cannot do this then you will need to get a bigger one. Plan for the maximum use just in case you forget to turn something off before you use some other appliance.

    Diesel oil is safer then bottled gas and has less restriction on the transportation of this fuel.
    Less chance of starting a fire and blowing something up. Diesel can run a longer time on less than on bottled gas. If you mix in some kerosene, the fuel will burn a little cleaner and hotter. This mixture will survive colder temperatures.

    Either natural gas or propane gas generators are good but, can you put a large enough tank on your island to support 24 hour usage? 100 gallon tanks can be used but transporting them to your island might be a problem and how often do you have to refill them.

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