What is the Most Efficient Fuel for Generators?

Generators can be used in a variety of applications. It could be that you are out on a camping trip and need to power your phone and computer. Or, you are RVing across the country and need to recharge your batteries. Or, you are at home with your family and your power goes out during an ice storm. Whatever the situation is your generator will be there and be able to provide you with that much needed power.

There is a surplus of options and features when it comes to generators. They can range from one-thousand watts all the way to fifteen-thousand watts. Some are quieter then others. Some are bulky and difficult to move where others can be picked up and carried with you no problem. In the next few paragraphs we are going to focus on one particular feature of these generators and that is fuel.

A generator works very similar to how your car works. An engine is used to generate a mechanical force. This mechanical force is then converted over to alternating current (AC) energy. This AC energy is what is used to power your electronics, appliances, and your home. If you plug something into your home then you are using AC energy. Now because your generator produces power using an engine then it would only make sense that the engine needs a fuel source. With generators there are three main types of fuel that you can find.

  1. Diesel
  2. Liquid Propane (LP)
  3. Gasoline (Unleaded)

The most efficient and cleanest burning out of these three is diesel. There are no other contenders here. Diesel is by far the most recommended fuel source when it comes to generators. This is because it burns cleaner then gasoline and can actually produce more for your dollar then propane. There is a reason why diesel cars are a thing. They are overall more efficient then their gasoline counterparts. The downside of diesel is it can be harder to locate in some areas and it is overall more expensive then gasoline.

If you are not comfortable with diesel then my next suggestion is going to be unleaded gasoline. It is not as efficient as diesel but it is more efficient then propane. It can also be found nearly anywhere. Gas stations are a dime a dozen and can be found practically anywhere. It also can’t hurt to have some extra gasoline in storage with you during camping trips. You never know what is going to happen and you could use that gasoline for your generator or even for your vehicle. The downside with gasoline is it a ‘dirty’ burn and produces more pollution then diesel and propane.

If you are environmentally conscious then I would suggest looking at propane. Propane produces very little pollution but it is the least efficient of the three fuel types. Propane is a bit harder to find but still won’t be that bad. Most grocery stores will carry these containers without issue. This is the same propane tank that you would use for your grill. So again, if you are camping or even if you are at home during a power loss event you could realistically swap out the propane tank in your grill to be used in your generator.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

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