Dual fuel generators are increasingly getting popular by the day because of their unique ability to operate on a mixture of two fuels. They’re a potentially flexible and reliable source of generating power. But before you invest in a dual fuel generator it is good that you understand this technology.
A duel fuel model runs on two fuel mixture at the same time to provide a reliable power solution as the case may be. It usually starts on one type of fuel and then a device slowly adds the secondary fuel until a homogenous mixture of both fuels is achieved. The mixture achieved presents a more efficient way of fuel consumption to generate electricity.
Dual fuel generators operate like a bi-fuel system because it is capable of functioning on one fuel source in the absence of the other. However, most generating sets are programmed to crank up in the presence of the primary source of fuel. For example, a dual fuel generator can start up by utilizing diesel as its primary source of fuel and gradually add natural gas as a secondary fuel source.
The use of diesel as a primary source of fuel helps the generator crank up at lower temperatures. Diesel ignites at 500-700 degrees Fahrenheit while natural gas ignites at 1,150-1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. So once the engine is started on diesel at low temperatures, the secondary source of fuel gets into the mix once the right temperature is reached. More on dual fuel generator can be learned here.
5 Pros of Dual-fuel Generators
Here are five Pros to using dual fuel generators:
- Dual fuel generators eliminate the need to store a needless amount of expensive fuel. By using duel fuel generators, there is no need to store large quantities of diesel since the generating set can operate on natural gas. Besides once the natural gas is exhausted it can continue to work on diesel alone.
- Cost-Effective In The Long Run: Honestly, dual fuel generators cost about 10-15% more than traditional generators but in the long run the use of two fuel system makes them cheaper to operate than single fuel generators.
- More Efficient: Dual fuel generators are more efficient at burning fuel. Ideally, the engine uses a mix of 75 percent natural gas and 25 percent diesel to safely generate power. In cases of higher loads, the engine will need to adjust its diesel-to-gas ratio to make up for any imbalances.
- More Options: Depending on the type of dual-fuel generating set you buy, there are a number of fuel options to choose from. The generating set you buy should depend on the availability of fuel stations around your residence. E85 compatible engines use a mixture of ethanol and gas in the ratio of 85 to 15 percent respectively.
- They Are An Eco-Friendly Alternative: Dual fuel generators are an eco-friendly alternative to other types of generating sets. The mixture of fuel coupled with the highly efficient engine translates to lesser carbon emissions to the environment. Since natural gas burns cleaner than diesel, a mixture of natural gas with diesel will result in fewer emissions than generators running solely on diesel.
5 Cons of Dual-fuel Generators
Dual fuel generators aren’t without some drawbacks. Here are five cons to using a dual fuel generator:
- Natural gas makeup can differ greatly from geographical location. This difference can hamper the optimal functioning of the engine.
- Dual fuel generators are more expensive. The technology that powers a dual fuel generating system is higher than traditional generating sets. So it’s no surprise that they are reasonably more expensive to buy.
- Relatively more complex to operate: Dual fuel generators are more complex to operate. Additional features usually result in more complexity. Users have reported confusing instructions to follow, from fuel type instructions to general mixture operations. To avoid this pitfall only purchase from a reputable brand with lots of customer-verified reviews.
- Not for small power requirements: The smallest dual fuel generator will cost anywhere between $400 to $600 for 4400 watts of power. You will be better off with a single fuel generator if your power requirements are much lower. Leave out dual fuel generators because they are better suited for industrial and large power requirements.
- The stress of addressing the dual-fuel needs of the generator can be overbearing than using a single fuel generating set. It’s all about weighing the pros and cons to identify what best suits your needs.