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lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

hobsonstcroix
August 29, 2017 09:56AM

Registered: 9 months ago
Posts: 8

Good day,

I am purchasing my first generator (6000running/7000surge) and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions? I am looking at LGP vs diesel. It seems LPG is more efficient, however, I've seen notes that natural gas should not be used in areas prone to earthquakes. I've also read that air cooled units have a shorter life expectancy by a factor or 10 to 1for air-cooled models?
Any thoughts on the Sportsman brand?

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

Scubadoo
August 29, 2017 01:17PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,645

Compare operating costs including fuel and maintenance costs. Propane is certainly much cleaner, probably requires much less frequent oil changes and the plugs will go much longer than gasoline. If people are going to be near where the generator is operating you don't want to be sucking up diesel fumes. Propane won't go bad sitting in the tank. Diesel will but if you 're constantly using it and replenishing then not an issue. But you may want more reserve fuel on hand for emergency extended outages than what you might normally use with the typical WAPA outages. I don't think you'll find many 6kW gennys that are water cooled, maybe the diesels. Doubt that earthquakes in the VI would be of concern for a propane take, just make sure it's installed properly, securely anchored and flexible fuel line. You may not find many 6 KW propane fueled gennys to buy but you can easily convert most gasoline gennys to propane. I converted my 15 kW gasoline to natural gas and it's now dual fuel.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

vicanuck
August 30, 2017 09:03AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 2,065

I love my 12 kw whole home diesel generator. The motor is a 40+ year old Perkins. This thing can run for months at a time and has been a godsend but does require some patience to get it started. But once she fires, and its always does, I'm good to go.

If I were replacing it, I'd probably go propane as its quieter and has less smelly fumes.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

SkysTheLimit
August 30, 2017 02:44PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 1,815

I purchased a 13,750kw Propane Generator from Central Maine Diesel a few years ago.

20 HP Honda engine, Italian generator head.
Paid about $2300 plus shipping via Paradise Freight which was a few hundred.
I see the price is just a bit higher now...

Recently it blew a capacitor. Central Maine sent me 2 for the price of one even though it is out of warranty. $39 total for two.

I looked at generators on island but a similar Honda at Quality electric was close to $6000 and it wasn't even a 13750kw. More like 8 or 9000kw if I remember right.....

They have many generators at great prices but this is the one I settled for.

[www.centralmainediesel.com]
Quiet, no smell, propane lasts forever........

Auto-start is a $495 add on.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

LiquidFluoride
August 30, 2017 03:01PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 1,924

I have a 6k propane generator, lasts about 4 hours on a 20lb tank, but since propane is for ever I plan on getting a large tank installed and feeding my dryer, generator and stove from the one tank.

I'm happy with mine. how ever it's important to remember that power from propane will cost you double the cost of power from diesel fuel as propane has a lot less "energy" when compared to diesel.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

stxisbest
August 30, 2017 08:18PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 155

Quote
LiquidFluoride

I'm happy with mine. how ever it's important to remember that power from propane will cost you double the cost of power from diesel fuel as propane has a lot less "energy" when compared to diesel.


thumbs up

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

hobsonstcroix
August 31, 2017 10:47AM

Registered: 9 months ago
Posts: 8

Thanks for the tips everyone we've widdled it down to a Champion 7500w or a DuroMax 8000w dual fuel.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

thomas and elaine
September 01, 2017 04:56PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 1

How much does it cost on average to have a LP gas generator installed ?

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

LiquidFluoride
September 01, 2017 05:51PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 1,924

Quote
thomas and elaine
How much does it cost on average to have a LP gas generator installed ?

My 6k is on wheels, so I just roll it wherever I want it, this is especially useful as I use it to power my welding set up and can load a bunch of power tools in the back of my truck and drive to wherever I need todo metal maintenance on the property.

I guess your looking to get a transfer switch and auto-start? is that what you mean (so it's a "no touch" generator that just comes on when the power is out).

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

hobsonstcroix
September 01, 2017 09:02PM

Registered: 9 months ago
Posts: 8

We'll have the electrician add a transfer switch, but this is a portable unit. We'll have to go out and transfer the power over to the generator.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

vicanuck
September 02, 2017 08:18AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 2,065

I have an auto transfer switch but have it on manual. I really don't want the generator going off when I'm sleeping or not at home. There's no need for that. The vast majority of power outages are over within half an hour.

Its the same with my 100 kw generator at the office. No need for auto transfer, so I keep it on manual. I only need power there from 7 to 7.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

Alana33
September 02, 2017 10:42PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,580

Agree.
If I'm not going to be working out of the house and gone all day, I shut the auto transfer switch down.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

elgenerator
September 14, 2017 03:16AM

Registered: 2 months ago
Posts: 4

LPG powered generators release less carbon dioxide per unit of energy than petrol or diesel powered generators. It seems like LPG is more used for home.

Diesel Generator:

Advantages:
Least flammable fuel source
Fuel easily obtained (fuel is easier to obtain during a disaster because it is a necessary fuel for the military, trucking industry, and farming operations)
On site fuel delivery available
Engine life for liquid-cooled 1800 RPM engines can approach 20,000 hours if properly serviced depending on the application and environment.
High speed 3600 RPM diesel engines normally have a 10,000 to 15,000 hour life expectancy with proper maintenance and service under most conditions
Less expensive to operate. The general rule of thumb for fuel consumption is 7% of the rated generator output (Example: 20 kW x 7% = 1.4 gallon per hour at full load).
Designed for off-road applications and can operate on dyed or farm/construction diesel fuel which is sold without the road tax and thus is considerably cheaper to purchase.
Engines designed to work under a load for long periods of time and perform better when worked hard rather than operated under light loads.
Can operate in sub-artic conditions with fuel additive.
Equipment is competitively priced for a comparative sized water-cooled gaseous models with the same features.
In high use situations overall long term cost of operation is much lower than gaseous GenSets.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

Oldie1
September 14, 2017 05:20AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 191

Plaza East is selling large propane tanks at a very good price

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

JE
September 14, 2017 07:53AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 307

I have a 20KW Generac propane generator (purchased in 2010 for about $7200 installed) that I run off of 100 pound bottles. After Irma I was running it about 10 hours per day and on a fairly light load a bottle will last 18 to 20 hours. A 100 pound propane bottle cost $86, so the average running cost is about $4.50/hour (compared to about 30 cents/hour for my house on WAPA). During hurricane season I like to keep 5 bottles on site with 2 connected to a header. While a bulk tank is cheaper, I have found it very difficult to coordinate with the bulk delivery guys from St. Croix gas or Antilles for deliveries to vacation homes with driveway gates where you just can't leave the gate open all day unattended or homes where I have to meet the guy and have him follow me to the home. Plus in a near sea location the above ground bulk tanks can rust out in less than10 years (and look pretty degraded after 5 years). Buried tanks should last longer if properly installed with a sacrificial anode (which is not the norm here) but its impossible to monitor their level of degradation. Maintenance wise, In the 7 years I have had it, I have changed the oil and filter, air filter, and spark plugs a few times, replaced the battery once, replaced the battery charger (under warranty), and replaced a solenoid in the auto transfer switch. So just a FYI for those debating the pros and cons of different systems.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

elgenerator
September 23, 2017 04:13AM

Registered: 2 months ago
Posts: 4

Diesel would be batter and diesel engien is more popular than other fuel.
I purchased a 13,750kw Propane Generator from Central Maine Diesel a few years ago.

20 HP Honda engine, Italian generator head.
Paid about $2300 plus shipping via Paradise Freight which was a few hundred.
I see the price is just a bit higher now... But the one I want most is Cummins which i saw from a website.

Recently it blew a capacitor. Central Maine sent me 2 for the price of one even though it is out of warranty. $39 total for two.

I looked at generators on island but a similar Honda at Quality electric was close to $6000 and it wasn't even a 13750kw. More like 8 or 9000kw if I remember right.....

They have many generators at great prices but this is the one I settled for.

Quiet, no smell, propane lasts forever........

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

LiquidFluoride
September 23, 2017 06:26AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 1,924

Quote
JE
I have a 20KW Generac propane generator,,,, a bottle will last 18 to 20 hours. A 100 pound propane bottle cost $86, so the average running cost is about $4.50/hour

I have a 6k generator (peek 7k), runs everything I need, a 20lb bottle lasts me ~8 hours... I think you over sized your generator wink

(a 20lb tank costs about $25 or less, so $3.125/hour for me; still not as efficient as diesel)

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

vicanuck
September 29, 2017 04:58PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 2,065

Quote
elgenerator
Quiet, no smell, propane lasts forever........

Until there is major hurricane the the propane supplier won't deliver for a few weeks.

Diesel...always the best in a crisis.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

Scubadoo
September 29, 2017 05:39PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,645

What's the available right now for the 20lb tanks or next size up? Is there a filling station open or only swap out available?

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

Gator's Mom
September 30, 2017 08:38AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 687

How do you store your diesel fuel and keep it fresh? What size tank? Is it buried?

Since the hurricane, we have learned it might be best to have a generator and a smaller spare one as back up since we have the storage space.

Our spare will be propane (already purchased in FL) but trying to decide like others whether to get a big a$$ diesel or big a$$ propane as the main beast.


Quote
vicanuck
Quote
elgenerator
Quiet, no smell, propane lasts forever........

Until there is major hurricane the the propane supplier won't deliver for a few weeks.

Diesel...always the best in a crisis.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

vicanuck
October 03, 2017 10:33AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 2,065

Quote
Gator's Mom
How do you store your diesel fuel and keep it fresh? What size tank? Is it buried?

Since the hurricane, we have learned it might be best to have a generator and a smaller spare one as back up since we have the storage space.

Our spare will be propane (already purchased in FL) but trying to decide like others whether to get a big a$$ diesel or big a$$ propane as the main beast.


Quote
vicanuck
Quote
elgenerator
Quiet, no smell, propane lasts forever........

Until there is major hurricane the the propane supplier won't deliver for a few weeks.

Diesel...always the best in a crisis.

I have a 20 gallon tank for my 12.5 KW diesel generator. I bought the tank online from Harbor Freight or some such distributor. My generator uses about 1/2 a gallon an hour but we don't run it at night or when we are out. I keep four 5 gallon gas cans to haul fresh diesel every so often. This works very well and I have never run out and only stood in a line once. I would NEVER buy a propane generator.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2017 10:37AM by vicanuck.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

watruw8ing4
October 09, 2017 12:23PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 849

Thanks for this debate. We're going propane, but do want a larger tank. Is there any tank size restriction here for residential properties? Google wasn't my friend on this issue this morning.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

Gumbo
October 09, 2017 07:31PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 456

Quote
watruw8ing4
Thanks for this debate. We're going propane, but do want a larger tank. Is there any tank size restriction here for residential properties? Google wasn't my friend on this issue this morning.

I dont think there is a size restriction, the only ones I've seen are 100 gallon vertical tanks. Thats what I have, wish I had two.
Its hard to ship a bigger one in because of various shipping restrictions. It costs about 5.00 per hour to run my Generac propane generator. No complaints other than that.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

rmb2830
October 10, 2017 05:43AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 407

we have a 500 propane tank.

Re: lpg gas generator vs diesel generator

vicanuck
October 10, 2017 10:28AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 2,065

Quote
Gumbo
Quote
watruw8ing4
It costs about 5.00 per hour to run my Generac propane generator. No complaints other than that.

$5.00 an hour! OMG. My diesel costs $1.50 an hour.

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