We live in an energy-filled world. You need electricity to do just about everything, from cooking food to communicating with friends and family. While you can generally rely on service providers and power grids for your electricity, you may find yourself at a time or place without the necessary for your electronics. You may be camping, working onsite, dealing with a power outage, or experiencing bad weather.
That’s where a portable generator comes in, providing you with peace of mind knowing that you have power wherever you go. When choosing the right type of generator, it’s important to know if you’re looking for recreational, home generators, or a construction generator. You have a wide range of options and factors to consider, and dual fuel generators may be a great option for your needs. What is a dual fuel generator, exactly? Read on to learn more.
What Is a Power Generator?
Portable power generators provide electricity by converting kinetic, mechanical energy into electrical energy. The exact mechanics may vary slightly from generator to generator based on factors like size, but it generally involves copper coils surrounding an electromagnet. Spinning that electromagnet creates an electrical current in the coils, giving you one large current.
To start that kinetic action, generators need some sort of fuel, usually gasoline, propane, or diesel fuel. The main parts of any generator comprise an internal combustion engine, an alternator, a fuel tank, a starter, and outlet plugs. If you’re wondering, “what size generator do I need?” you’re not alone.
Understanding Dual Fuel Generators
As mentioned, portable power generators require some form of fuel to begin the kinetic action to generate electricity. Gas tends to be the most common fuel in portable generators, but gas generators powered by propane or diesel fuel are not uncommon.
Dual fuel generators are generators that can run on two different fuel sources. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to power your generator using either gasoline or liquid propane. You can switch between the two fuel sources with a simple turn of a knob.
Propane or Gas?
Propane and gas have their own individual advantages and disadvantages. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with a single fuel gas or propane generator, a dual fuel generator allows you to make use of both fuel types depending on the situation. This gives you the best of both worlds.
Gas gives you more power than propane. This generally means that you will get more electrical power output from gas than you would the same amount of propane.
Climate and Temperature
Gas is believed to burn better in colder climates, performing better in freezing temperatures. whereas propane performs better in hotter temperatures.
One of the biggest drawbacks to gas is that it’s difficult to store. Gas will degrade within just a few months, so if you do have gas stored, you need to use it sooner rather than later to get the most out of it. For long-term storage, you may need to add stabilizers, which typically adds costs to usage. Gas is also more dangerous to store. Most cities have codes that limit the total amount of gas that you can store as high amounts can make for a fire hazard. Most fire codes restrict the amount of gas you can store at home to less than 25 gallons.
By contrast, regarding their fuel tank and shelf life, propane is more stable as a fuel source. It has a longer shelf life that is closer to a few decades without degradation and a propane tank generally allows for greater safety.
As anyone who owns a car knows, gas doesn’t burn particularly clean. It contributes to fumes, pollutions, toxins, and carbon monoxide. While it isn’t completely free of emissions, propane does release less pollution and carbon monoxide into the air because it naturally has a lower carbon content. This allows for cleaner burning.
Gas prices continue to rise. Keep in mind that gas burns faster, and it is less stable than propane. Propane burns slower, and its long shelf life means that you don’t have to pay to refuel as often.
Gasoline tends to leave carbon deposits in your generator. If the gas has been sitting in your generator for a few weeks, it can also turn gummy and produce residue throughout the system, making it harder to clean out. Propane generally does not contribute to these types of issues.
Why Buy a Dual Fuel Generator?
The main advantage of a dual fuel generator is the ability to use two different fuel sources. That adds peace of mind, along with more flexibility in how you use your generator.
When you’re dealing with a sudden power outage or natural disaster, you may not always have enough of a singular fuel to maintain your generator. With a dual fuel generator, you have more options, ensuring that you are prepared even if you haven’t been stockpiling gas or propane.
This becomes even more important in areas that commonly experience inclement weather. Natural disasters can block roads and make it harder to access fuel sources. You may not be able to drive to the corner gas station.
The flexibility of two different fuel sources naturally means you can keep the generator running for longer periods of time. When you run out of gas, you can simply switch to propane to keep your power going, or vice versa.
Peace of Mind
Even if you are normally someone who operates their generator with just one fuel type, a dual fuel generator gives you peace of mind. For example, you can make propane your main fuel, but if you do run out of propane, you can switch to gas. You essentially always have a backup option that can keep your electricity running.
Potential Disadvantages of a Dual Fuel Generator
As dual fuel generators are so versatile, just about everyone can benefit from them. However, there are still some potential disadvantages that you need to consider.
Although they are less expensive than stationary generators, dual fuel generators tend to be more expensive than their single fuel counterparts. You are technically getting more bang for your buck, but if you do decide to invest in a dual fuel generator, you should know for sure that you can make use of the two different fuel sources.
Dual fuel generators are an incredibly versatile option for people who need power wherever they go. These generators offer peace of mind, and their efficiency and ease of use ensure that you get the best of two different fuel types.
Find A Dual Fuel Generator Near You
At DuroMax, we have a variety of portable dual fuel generators for all of your needs. Are you ready to use your generator during a power outage? Our generators are reliable and ready for any emergency. Are you looking for your first generator but wondering how much a generator is? Explore our generators, engines, pressure washers, and more to get your home powered up in times of emergency.