Choosing the Best Fuel Option for Your Generator
When you purchase a new generator, one of the most important considerations that you’ll need to make is which fuel it will use. Each fuel type offers distinctive benefits. While there isn’t a “wrong” choice, the right one for you will depend on your facility’s power needs, your budget, and your individual preferences. Industrial standby generators typically run off natural gas or diesel fuel.
Benefits of Natural Gas
Many business owners rely on natural gas for their backup power systems. Natural gas offers a number of benefits, including:
- Consistent Fuel Supply: Natural gas runs through a pipeline system that’s already in place, making it very convenient for business owners who don’t want to worry about storing fuel on-site.
- Minimized Noise Levels: Generators that use natural gas tend to make less noise than their diesel counterparts.
- Clean Fuel Source: Natural gas is a clean-burning fossil fuel that generates significantly less air pollution than diesel fuel.
- Reduced Fuel Costs: Natural gas is also very efficient, so you will spend less on fuel than you would with other generator types.
- Accessibility: Barring a broken pipeline, natural gas is far more accessible than diesel fuel. If you don’t have a stock on-hand, you’ll have to scramble to find diesel in an emergency, which can be difficult in adverse conditions.
Benefits of Diesel Fuel
Diesel generators have several key features that make them an attractive option for businesses in California. Benefits include:
- Cost-Effective: Diesel gensets are typically less expensive than similar gas models. This can be an important consideration when cost is a factor.
- Durability: Diesel generators are incredibly powerful and rugged machines. They also don’t have as many parts as other types, which means fewer repairs will be needed over the lifespan of the unit.
- Low Maintenance Requirements: A diesel engine doesn’t need as much maintenance as a gas one, so you will spend less time—and less money—keeping it up.
- Less Flammable: Diesel is much less flammable than gas, so you can feel safe storing it on-site.
- Long Lifespan: Diesel generators are known to last significantly longer than other types of gensets. You can maximize your unit’s lifespan by using high-quality fuel, performing preventative maintenance, and not exceeding the load capacity.
What Maintenance Will My Generator Need?
Regardless of the fuel type, all generators need regular maintenance. A well-maintained generator will last much longer, maximizing that large up-front investment that you’ve made in your generator purchase. You wouldn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a new generator only to have it breakdown within a few years, so it’s important to keep to the maintenance schedule.
The manufacturer will recommend maintenance at specific intervals, but your generator may need it more often if it is used frequently at full capacity or if your site experiences inclement weather conditions, such as heavy rain or high winds. High winds will stir up dirt, dust, and other small particles in the environment, which can enter your generator and cause filters to fill up faster than usual. Since clean filters are essential for keeping debris from damaging a generator’s internal parts, they should be checked and cleaned out or replaced immediately after a major weather event.
There are other maintenance tasks that your generator also needs periodically. The maintenance professional will check:
Old oil can result in increased wear and tear, causing a host of problems for your generator’s engine. Fresh oil will keep the engine and its various internal parts running smoothly, minimizing your risk of a sudden malfunction.
If you have a diesel genset, you will need to monitor the fuel level. If the fuel is too low, the generator will run off the fuel from the bottom of the tank, which contains extra water and sediment that can clog your filter. Refuel regularly to protect your generator.
Leaks can cost your business big in terms of energy waste. When a leak is present, your system will need to work harder to meet your power requirements, which can put a lot of extra wear and tear on the machine. If you notice a leak, have it repaired right away to keep your generator in prime condition.
It is recommended to turn on the generator and allow it to run normally for at least half an hour once a month. This will allow you to test all components and address any repair needs in advance so that your power system will work when you need it most.
Similar to oil, coolant experiences a decrease in quality the longer it’s running through the cooling system. Check and refill levels during every inspection. Don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s recommendation on when to flush the cooling system maintain the quality of the coolant
A Wide Variety of Options
A generator is a huge investment, so you want to make sure you get the right one for your facility. Valley Power Systems provides a wide range of power solutions to suit the diverse needs of California businesses. We are proud to offer top generator brands like Atlas Copco and Blue Star Power Systems.
A new generator can offer you many benefits, including:
- Peace of mind: New generators tend to be more reliable than older units. When the power fails, you want to ensure you have a backup power solution to keep operations running. A new Genset can provide you with this peace of mind.
- Cost-Effectiveness: While you will take a hit for the initial purchase, you’ll save money long-term with a new generator. Older generators tend to break down more frequently, and these costs add up fast.
- Efficiency: Newer generators have improved technology for better efficiency and performance, which will save your company a lot of money on energy costs.
Are you ready to review your power options? Our knowledgeable staff can help you select the right generator for your business’s needs. Contact us today to get started and follow us on Facebook for additional updates!
Looking for additional fuel information? Read our blog post on Biodiesel Fuel.