Discover Natural Gas Portable Generators Are they Worth it?

By Alex McGill

In a world where power outages can disrupt our daily lives, the quest for a reliable energy source has led many to consider the merits of natural gas portable generators. Picture this: you’re in the midst of a blackout, and suddenly, the hum of a compact powerhouse brings light and comfort back to your home. But the burning question remains— natural gas portable generators are they worth it?

Beyond the convenience of accessibility and cleaner emissions, these generators promise a lifeline during unexpected outages. Join us as we delve into the practicality, benefits, and real-life experiences to uncover the true worth of these silent heroes.

Critical Insights

  • Natural gas portable generators are convenient, eco-friendly, and cost-effective for residential and commercial use.
  • Proper sizing, regular maintenance, and additional setup costs should be considered before investing in a natural gas portable generator.
  • Adequate fuel supply, regular maintenance, and limited use are important for maintaining the life expectancy of a natural gas portable generator.
  • There are different types of generators available, including portable, standby, and dual fuel models, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

What is a Natural Gas Portable Generator?

Have you ever wondered what a natural gas portable generator is and how it can benefit you? A natural gas portable generator is a device that’s powered by natural gas, such as propane or methane. It’s typically used to provide electricity for residential and commercial applications. 

Natural gas generators are usually smaller than diesel-powered generators, making them more suitable for camping trips, tailgating, or other recreational activities. They are also more cost-effective and require less maintenance than conventional gasoline engines.

The benefits of using a natural gas portable generator are many. For starters, they produce fewer emissions than traditional gasoline engines, making them an eco-friendly option for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Additionally, they often run quieter than traditional gasoline engines since they don’t require an exhaust system to operate. This makes them ideal for use in areas where noise pollution is an issue. Finally, natural gas generators have longer running times than gasoline engines since they burn cleaner fuel with higher energy density per unit volume than gasoline does.

Natural gas generators offer many advantages over traditional gasoline engines when it comes to cleanliness and efficiency – but the question remains: are they worth it? Let’s take a closer look at this topic now.

Natural Gas Portable Generators Are They Worth It

Natural Gas Portable Generators Are They Worth It?

Portable generators powered by natural gas offer a compelling solution for reliable and convenient backup power. Let’s explore the key aspects to determine if they are a worthwhile investment:

  • Continuous Fuel Supply: One of the primary benefits is the continuous and reliable fuel supply. If connected to a natural gas line, the generator can run for an extended duration without the need for manual fuel replenishment.
  • Reduced Maintenance: Natural gas burns cleaner than traditional fuels, resulting in fewer carbon deposits. This translates to lower maintenance requirements, making these generators more cost-effective over time.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel, emitting fewer pollutants compared to gasoline or diesel. Opting for a natural gas generator aligns with a commitment to environmental responsibility.
  • Quiet Operation: Natural gas generators tend to operate more quietly than their gasoline or diesel counterparts. This can be a significant advantage, especially in residential areas where noise levels are a concern.
  • Automatic Operation: Many natural gas generators are designed for automatic operation during power outages. This feature ensures a seamless transition to backup power without manual intervention.
  • Initial Cost Consideration: While natural gas generators offer long-term savings, the initial cost may be higher than that of generators running on traditional fuels. However, the benefits in terms of convenience and efficiency often outweigh the upfront expense.
  • Local Utility Dependency: The viability of a natural gas generator depends on the availability and reliability of the local natural gas supply. Areas prone to natural disasters may experience gas interruptions, affecting the generator’s effectiveness.
  • Power Output: Assess your power needs and ensure the natural gas generator you choose provides an adequate power output. Matching the generator’s capacity to your requirements is crucial for optimal performance.
See also  How Do You Hookup a Portable Generator to Your House Seamlessly?

Thus, whether a natural gas portable generator is worth it depends on your specific needs, budget, and the availability of natural gas in your location. Consider the factors mentioned above to make an informed decision that aligns with your power backup requirements.

Natural Gas Portable Generator Are They Worth It

Pros and Cons of Natural Gas Portable Generators

You may be considering a natural gas portable generator as an alternative power source, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

On the one hand, natural gas generators are usually more reliable than gasoline-powered ones and can run for longer periods of time; on the other hand, they require an external fuel source and tend to be more expensive. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide if these advantages outweigh any potential drawbacks.

Pros

  • They are generally more cost-effective than gasoline and diesel generators, since the fuel is cheaper.
  • Natural gas generators also tend to last longer, require less maintenance, and produce fewer emissions than their counterparts.
  • They have a much higher power output for the amount of fuel they consume
  • Natural gas is usually very accessible in most areas
  • They are often quieter when running than other types of generators

Cons

  • Natural gas generators tend to be much more expensive and require additional setup costs such as installation of a dedicated propane tank. 
  • They also generally have higher maintenance costs due to the increased complexity in their fuel delivery system. 
  • Additionally, since they produce less power than gasoline generators, they may not be suitable for powering large appliances or heavy machinery.
  • Furthermore, these types of generators are typically only available in certain areas where natural gas lines already exist; otherwise you will need to arrange for delivery of the fuel from an external source which can often incur additional costs.

Where Natural Gas Generators are Used?

Natural gas generators are often used in residential and commercial areas, where reliable power is essential. Whether it’s for a business that requires power for lights, computers, or other basic operations or simply for the home to keep vital systems running during an outage, a natural gas generator can be invaluable. 

Natural gas generators provide a cost-effective way of providing continuous electricity without having to rely on the electric grid. Additionally, they can provide emergency backup power when needed in the event of an unexpected outage.

In industrial settings such as factories and construction sites, natural gas generators are also incredibly useful. These locations commonly require large amounts of energy that cannot be provided by standard electrical sources. A natural gas generator provides enough power to keep these locations operational without having to worry about outages or relying on external sources of electricity. 

Furthermore, it provides these sites with more control over their energy usage and costs since they can adjust the amount of energy used as needed.

Natural gas generators are a great option for providing reliable electricity both at home and in commercial and industrial settings alike. As such, it’s important to understand how to properly size one for your specific needs so that you can make sure you get the most from your generator system without wasting money or resources on unnecessary features or components.

Moreover, if you are interested in gasoline generators and want to know how much gas they use, you can find its detailed answer here. Moreover, if you are interested in solar generators, we recommend you read our guide on solar generators for home.

What are Different Types of Natural Gas Powered Generators?

Type of Natural Gas GeneratorDescription
Air-Cooled GeneratorsCompact and suitable for smaller power needs, these generators use air to cool the engine and are cost-effective. Ideal for residential applications.
Liquid-Cooled GeneratorsDesigned for higher power requirements, these generators use liquid (usually coolant or oil) to maintain optimal operating temperatures, making them suitable for larger residential or commercial use.
Bi-Fuel GeneratorsThese generators can run on both natural gas and propane, providing flexibility in fuel options. They are a versatile choice for users with access to both fuel sources.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) SystemsAlso known as cogeneration, these systems not only generate electricity but also capture and use the heat produced during the process, maximizing energy efficiency. Common in industrial and commercial settings.
Portable GeneratorsCompact and versatile, these generators are designed for on-the-go power needs.
Standby GeneratorsPermanently installed and connected to the electrical system, standby generators automatically activate during power outages. They are available in various sizes to accommodate residential, commercial, and industrial power needs. Ideal for providing continuous power without user intervention.

Each type has its advantages, and the choice depends on factors such as power needs, budget, fuel availability, and the intended application. Understanding these options allows users to make informed decisions for a reliable standby power solution.

See also  How to Turn off Portable Generator in 6 Easy Steps

Should You Consider a Dual-Fuel Generator?

Considering the versatility of power sources for generators is a pivotal decision when preparing for outages. One option gaining popularity is the use of dual-fuel generators, including those that can run on natural gas. These generators offer a unique solution to address varying fuel availability and needs during emergencies.

When contemplating the choice of a dual-fuel generator, it’s essential to weigh the advantages it brings to the table. Dual-fuel generators provide the flexibility to switch between two fuel sources, typically gasoline and propane or natural gas. This dual capability ensures that you can adapt to the availability of different fuels, enhancing the reliability of your backup power system.

One notable advantage of dual-fuel generators, especially those compatible with natural gas, is the extended runtime they can offer. Natural gas, when supplied through a dedicated line, can provide an uninterrupted and nearly limitless fuel source. This can be particularly beneficial in prolonged outages or situations where a consistent power supply is crucial.

In addition to extended runtime, dual-fuel generators are known for their cleaner-burning characteristics. Natural gas, in particular, is considered a cleaner fuel compared to gasoline or diesel, resulting in reduced emissions and a more environmentally friendly power solution.

It’s crucial to assess your specific needs and fuel availability when deciding on a generator. If your area has a reliable natural gas supply and you prioritize extended runtime, a dual-fuel generator with natural gas compatibility could be a strategic choice. However, it’s essential to consider factors like installation costs, maintenance requirements, and the availability of fuel sources in your location before making a final decision.

How to Properly Size a Natural Gas Powered Generator?

When considering a natural gas-powered generator, it’s crucial to ensure it is properly sized to meet your specific power needs. Sizing your generator appropriately ensures reliable and efficient performance during power outages. Here are key factors to consider:

  • Determine Your Power Needs: Before sizing a generator, calculate your power requirements by identifying essential appliances and equipment. Consider both starting and running watts for a comprehensive assessment.
  • Account for Starting Watts: Certain appliances and devices require extra power to start up. Factor in the starting watts in addition to the running watts when calculating your total power needs.
  • Consider Voltage Requirements: Check the voltage requirements of your appliances and equipment. Ensure the generator you choose provides the correct voltage to match your electrical needs.
  • Evaluate Fuel Consumption: Understand the fuel consumption of the generator. Natural gas generators typically provide a continuous power supply as long as the gas line is operational.
  • Choose the Right Generator Size: Based on your power calculations and considerations, select a generator size that not only meets your current needs but also allows for potential future expansion.
  • Consult a Professional: For precise sizing and installation, consider consulting with a professional electrician or generator specialist. Their expertise can help you determine the optimal generator size for your specific requirements.

How to Optimize Your Natural Gas Powered Generator for Efficiency?

Once you’ve properly sized your natural gas powered generator, it’s time to optimize it for efficiency. Regular maintenance is key when it comes to ensuring that your generator is working correctly and efficiently. Make sure to check the engine oil level regularly, as well as clean dirt and debris from around the generator itself.

Additionally, you should inspect the fuel lines for any leaks or signs of wear and tear. If there are any issues detected during inspection, make sure to repair them immediately.

It’s also important to ensure that you have enough fuel on hand at all times during operation in order to reduce the amount of time needed for refueling. This can be done by scheduling regular deliveries of fuel or having a large tank installed onsite.

To further maximize efficiency, consider upgrading your natural gas powered generator with aftermarket parts such as high-efficiency filters or an upgraded alternator system.

Lastly, be mindful about how often you use your natural gas powered generator—only turn it on when absolutely necessary in order to avoid unnecessary strain on the system and maintain its life expectancy over time. By following these steps, you can ensure that your natural gas powered generator will continue running smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

How to Install a Natural Gas Generator?

Natural gas generators offer a reliable and continuous power source, making them an excellent choice for homeowners seeking a resilient backup solution. Installing a natural gas generator involves several key steps to ensure a safe and efficient setup.

Begin the installation process by selecting an appropriate location for the generator. Ideally, this should be a well-ventilated area, compliant with local building codes and regulations. Position the generator close to the natural gas supply line, considering factors such as accessibility and proximity to the main electrical panel.

See also  What Type of Oil Do Portable Generators Use? 5 Factors to Consider

Before proceeding, it’s crucial to turn off the main electrical supply to your home. This ensures a safe working environment during the installation process. Engage the services of a licensed professional for the installation, as natural gas systems require precision to guarantee safety and compliance with local codes.

Once the generator is in place, connect it to the natural gas supply line. This involves attaching a flexible gas line from the supply to the generator’s inlet. Use appropriate fittings and ensure all connections are secure. Consider installing a manual or automatic transfer switch to seamlessly shift power from the main electrical supply to the generator during an outage.

Complete the installation by connecting the generator to the home’s electrical system. This typically involves wiring the generator to a transfer switch and then to the main electrical panel. A licensed electrician should handle this step to guarantee compliance with electrical codes and standards.

After the physical installation is complete, test the natural gas generator to ensure it functions correctly. Perform regular maintenance checks and tests to keep the generator in optimal condition. Adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines and scheduling professional inspections will contribute to the long-term reliability of your natural gas generator.

In summary, installing a natural gas generator involves careful planning, compliance with safety regulations, and professional assistance to guarantee a seamless and reliable backup power solution for your home.

Natural Gas Generator Safety Tips

Running a generator on natural gas is a reliable choice, but safety is paramount. Follow these tips for secure operation.

  • Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect your natural gas generator for leaks, damaged components, or signs of wear to ensure safe and efficient operation.
  • Ventilation: Always operate your generator in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of harmful exhaust gases, including carbon monoxide.
  • Distance from Structures: Place the generator at a safe distance from your home or any other structures to avoid the risk of fires and ensure proper ventilation.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, especially in areas where exhaust gases could accumulate, providing an early warning of potential dangers.
  • Professional Installation: Hire a qualified professional for the installation of your natural gas generator to ensure compliance with safety standards and local regulations.
  • Regular Maintenance: Perform regular maintenance, including checking oil levels and replacing air filters, to keep your generator in optimal condition and reduce safety risks.
  • Emergency Shutdown Procedures: Familiarize yourself with the emergency shutdown procedures for your generator, ensuring quick and safe responses in case of any issues.
  • Fire Safety: Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and educate yourself on proper usage to address any potential fire hazards associated with the generator.
  • Clear Instructions: Provide clear instructions to household members on the safe operation and shutdown procedures of the natural gas generator.
  • Emergency Contact Information: Keep emergency contact information, including the contact details of your natural gas provider and a professional generator technician, readily available.
  • Stay Informed: Stay informed about local regulations and guidelines for natural gas generators, ensuring compliance and a safe operating environment.

Conclusion

We have concluded Natural gas portable generators Are they worth it on the note that overall natural gas portable generators can be a great choice for your power needs. They are generally cheaper than diesel or gasoline powered generators and provide the same amount of power. Plus, you don’t have to worry about refueling them as often since they tend to last longer on a tank of fuel.

However, they do require more maintenance and need to be carefully sized for your particular application. If you’re willing to put in the effort required, natural gas generators are definitely worth considering!

References

  1. Study of the impact of operation distance of outdoor portable generators under different weather conditions
  2. Noise control of engine driven portable generator set
  3. Experiment assessment of hydrogen production from activated aluminum alloys in portable generator for fuel cell applications
  4. Optimal design of an enclosure for a portable generator

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a natural gas portable generator cost?

The cost of a natural gas portable generator varies depending on size and power output. You can expect to pay anywhere from several hundred to over a thousand dollars.

What safety features are included in a natural gas portable generator?

Many natural gas portable generators come with safety features like overload protection, spark arrestors, and low-oil shutdowns.

Are natural gas portable generators environmentally friendly?

Yes, natural gas portable generators are environmentally friendly. They emit fewer greenhouse gases than other fuel sources, making them a great choice for reducing your carbon footprint.

Do natural gas portable generators require frequent maintenance?

Yes, natural gas portable generators require frequent maintenance. You should regularly check the oil and fuel levels, as well as test the battery and inspect for leaks. Regular upkeep will help keep your generator running smoothly.

How easy is it to transport a natural gas portable generator?

Transporting a natural gas portable generator is fairly simple. It’s lightweight and has convenient handles for easy carrying.

Is it cheaper to run a generator on natural gas?

Using natural gas to power generators has several advantages. It is cleaner, more cost-effective compared to other non-renewable fuels, and is highly efficient. In comparison to oil and coal, natural gas produces considerably lower emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.

How long will a natural gas portable generator run?

Portable generators, designed for shorter periods of operation (typically 6-18 hours), are different from standby generators. They are useful for RVs during camping trips or powering specific home appliances in emergencies. However, they are not recommended for prolonged use during extended power outages.

Which is better, a natural gas or propane portable generator?

While propane generators may cost more, they offer longer-lasting fuel, addressing concerns about running out of power. Additionally, propane is a cleaner-burning fuel compared to natural gas, resulting in fewer emissions. This makes it a better choice for both environmental impact and the longevity of the generator.

Leave a Comment