How to choose between a diesel or natural gas generator.
When opting for a generator, whether as a prime-power or stand-by power source, there are two routes to go with – diesel or gas generators. Both generator set options have distinct benefits and require a deeper look at the application along with some personal preference analysis. From cost and reliability to available fuel source and emission regulations, examining key aspects will help determine whether your application is best suited for diesel vs. gas generators.
Here are the pros and cons for diesel vs. gas generators. Consider these points when deciding on a new generator for your power needs.
- Diesel generators require less maintenance, resulting in a lower maintenance cost
- The generators are sturdy, reliable and have a long lifespan
- They are typically smaller in size when comparing similar capabilities of gas generators
- Diesel generators are ideal for mobile, portable or rental applications in addition to stand-by power sources
- They are fuel efficient when compared to the same volume of gas needed in gas generators
- The generators are safer; the fuel is less flammable and less explosive
- Tier 4 generators emit less particulate matter and nitrogen oxides compared to previous models
- Cost is affected by the fluctuations in diesel fuel prices
- Diesel generators tend to cost more due to Tier 4 regulations
- Diesel generators are louder than their gas counterparts
- Diesel fuel is not readily available on hand, instead stores of fuel must be kept or procured to run the generator
- Natural gas generators are usually connected to a gas line, creating an on hand, readily-available fuel source
- The generators are great for prime power applications because of the consistent fuel source
- They cost less to build and natural gas generators typically cost less for longer periods of time than diesel fuel
- Natural gas is cleaner with less emissions than most other fossil fuels
- The generators do not have the pungent odor associated with the burning of diesel fuel
- Natural gas generators require more maintenance, resulting in higher maintenance costs and more downtime
- The generators have a shorter lifespan
- They are larger and take up more space compared to the diesel counterparts
- Natural disasters can disrupt natural gas flow
- Natural gas is explosive; fire hazards can occur should a pipeline burst
- Despite being a relatively clean fuel source, natural gas emits more carbon dioxide than diesel
Generator maintenance can’t be overlooked. Unscheduled downtime and longer-than-expected routine maintenance can greatly impact any business’s operations. Whether using a diesel or gas generator, having the know-how to run a generator efficiently will keep the power running optimally, yielding a longer service life.