Ever woke up in the middle of the night just because it was too hot, and all of your electrical appliances like AC and Fans were switched off due to a power cut? Sounds annoying, right?
How about you doing important work on your PC and it abruptly stops working because electricity has gone?
Well, these situations will leave anyone exasperated.
But fortunately, a dual fuel generator will have your back, and you won’t have to put up with these problems.
A distinctive feature of dual fuel generators is that they can switch from one fuel to another, with a mere flip of a switch.
When you don’t have gasoline to fill the fuel tank, you can improvise with propane instead of running errands and getting gasoline.
Read the entire article to have an insight into portable dual fuel generators.
What is a Portable Dual Fuel Generator?
A generator with the option of using two fuels whenever one fuel is not available is a dual fuel generator.
It gives the same performance on the combustion of 2 different fuels after mixing them and manages their residues.
It is identical to a bi-fuel generator because it has the option of interchanging the fuels while giving the same performance.
In this type of generator, the two fuels might or might not get mixed, and the engine has to switch fuel types, depending on the product’s specifications.
It is simple to operate such a generator because it can switch the fuel requirements from a knob or switch.
There are tri-fuel generators too, which can switch between 3 fuels, for example, gasoline, propane, and natural gas. They might or might not have a fuel selector knob, but it is easy to switch between the fuel types.
How does the generator work?
A dual fuel generator either runs on a mixture of two fuels or lets you interchange fuel options like gasoline and propane.
In the case of the former situation, the generator starts on one type of fuel, and then the secondary fuel is added slowly to make a homogenous mixture of the fuels.
After this is done, the engine causes the combustion of the fuels with the resultant generation of power.
Why buy a Dual Fuel Generator?
A dual fuel generator is better than a conventional, single-mode portable generator, due to its explicit features.
Here are some points to have in mind while buying a dual fuel generator:
- The engine can effectively switch from one fuel to another. Thus, letting you select the cheaper and feasible alternative.
- It saves the cost of storing fuels on a large scale, like diesel. Diesel is a long-shelf-life but needs abundant space to be stored in large quantities, thus paving the way for natural gas.
- It is more versatile and economical than a usual portable generator.
- Overall, running and maintenance costs are relatively lower.
- You can opt for switching to more environment-friendly fuels like biodiesel or natural gas.
With options being given at your disposal to change the fuel types as you want, dual fuel generators are a blessing when you are running out of gasoline and can fill the fuel tank with propane with the help of a switch or knob.
It doesn’t even affect the performance of the generator, and it gives you a consistent power supply regardless of the fuel used.
Using two fuels whenever you want allows you to switch to a much smarter and feasible choice, to reduce emissions and decrease work-load on the generator.
While gasoline might seem inflammable and challenging to store because of fear of deterioration, propane would give you a longer shelf life with convenience to be held in containers for 2-3 years without worries. This will let you use propane more, and it will not spill in your garage like gasoline.
Some fuels are more feasible and eco-friendly than others, and you can change them for running your generators, and you will not have to replace the gensets for the fuel change.
Take, for instance, Natural gas would work wonders in comparison to diesel for power generation, and their mixed fuel would resultantly produce lower emissions, cleaner-burning, and reduced cost of operation.
Sense of satisfaction
Imagine being stuck in a certain situation like a blackout at your home due to power cut, or dealing with natural disasters, like floods, earthquakes, or an inadequate quantity of gasoline kept with no means of regular supply.
Dual fuel generators help you get rid of these stressful problems. You just have to change the fuel tank, and you are good to go!
Till now, you have known the benefits of using a dual fuel generator. It seems to be fairly economical and worth buying, but it is not perfect. There are some drawbacks to using such types of generators, and you should know them before you make up your mind to buy them.
For using a generator which gives you the option of switching between 2 fuels, you will always have to keep an eye on its performance by regular maintenance of the fuel tanks, engine, and the Genset with care and periodic cleaning of the parts to prevent clogging of pipes with the fuel residue. It would require more maintenance depending on the fuel type, and you will have to put up with that.
Buying a dual fuel generator might seem easy, but it is costlier than a usual single-fuel portable generator. You can buy one if you know there is an erratic supply of one fuel and abundance of the other and have no pocket issues.
But if you want it for providing backup supply for your house and the prices are relatively higher than usual generators, then consider the latter.
Not suitable for low-power requirements
These generators are apt for industrial and construction activities, where there is a need for an abundant power generation. As it costs more than a single-fuel generator, you will simply be wasting your hard-earned money if you do require it for small power generation.
You will be better off with a single-fuel generator, and you won’t have to endure maintenance costs.
Complex to use
The intricate parts and developed technology used in these generators make them complex to use for making people confused whether they have to mix the fuels or interchange them as required. Not mixing the fuels in the appropriate amounts would lead to dysfunction and technical issues.
How to choose a Dual Fuel Generator?
If you make up your mind to buy a dual fuel generator, here are some factors you need to consider before buying one.
They are typically designed for higher power requirements, like industrial and construction purposes. Most of them are available at a capacity of 3500 running watts, which is more than sufficient for residential purposes. You can also find generators of a capacity exceeding 5000 watts, and they’ll suffice for a major power generation.
Hence, before buying one, you need to know your power requirements to meet the capacities.
Before buying one, check the sizes of generators you are interested in buying. Then make sure that you have enough space for them to operate. Otherwise, you will end up buying a gigantic gizmo with nowhere to keep, or simply an underpowered generator of a small size.
Check reviews of certified experts to know the level of noise generation of every generator you are interested in buying. Most of them produce a large amount of noise, but some come with sound mufflers with a debilitated sound operation.
As discussed above, these generators are costlier than other portable generators for using two fuel types, and you might restrain yourself for buying one due to pocket concerns.
But there must be a balance between cost and utility, so ensure that you buy the generator, which is best suited for you.
Safety of operation
Many dual fuel generators are supposed to function with interchanging fuel tanks if you want to switch to another fuel. That requires the utmost safety and precautions so that the fuel doesn’t get spilled.
Moreover, check whether it comes with a circuit breaker and voltmeter in case of overload, which would add to the safety aspects of the generator.
Over to you
So, this was an overview of the dual-fuel generators. I hope the article was useful enough to make up your mind. Now, you can check the specifications of different generators and buy them from a certified source, like Amazon.com.