Can Propane Generator Run on Natural Gas?

Last Updated: August 8, 2022
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Will propane generator run on natural gas? Yes, a propane generator can run on natural gas but with some modification and a conversion kit is required for that specific model. To account for the different pressures of natural gas, the orifice through which the gas travels must be modified. A natural gas conversion kit is available for many propane generators. You can find that any online store like Amazon or look in the owner’s manual.

You can find tutorials on how to accomplish this online, and your kit will come with instructions. If you’re still not sure about taking on the project on your own, you may always hire a professional to help you out. A suitable kit will not require any frame modifications and will allow for the easy setup of an adapter between the carburetor and the air cleaner.

Field gas, or raw gas that exits from a wellhead while drilling operations, can also be used to power some industrial-strength generators. This gas is generally burnt, squandering a valuable fuel and damaging the environment at the same time.

Also, if you convert to natural gas, your generator capacity will drop around 20% or so, and you will lose the warranty. The easiest way is to buy a dual fuel generator or a tri-fuel generator.

Natural Gas Vs. Propane Generators

A propane generator operates by combusting propane and turning the energy into useable power. Propane generators come in both portable and permanent versions, and they can power a variety of equipment.

One of the most significant advantages of propane is that it burns cleanly and has a long shelf life.

Another significant advantage of propane gas is that it is unaffected in the event of an emergency. While local gas outlets may close, propane supplies should last much longer.

When comparing propane to other fuels like diesel and gasoline, you’ll find that propane doesn’t degrade as quickly. This allows you to store huge amounts of propane without fear of it spoiling.

Propane also generates very little carbon monoxide, which is beneficial because too much might cause asphyxia. It is considerably less hazardous to people and plants at these low levels.

In addition, propane is significantly less flammable than gasoline. Even so, it should never be kept inside.

The most significant drawback of propane generators is their higher cost. In addition, they produce far less heat than gas-powered generators.

Natural gas has a lower density than propane. This implies that if natural gas is accidentally discharged into the atmosphere, it will evaporate faster than propane. You might argue that natural gas is a safer alternative than propane since it dissipates faster into the atmosphere.

Natural gas, like propane, is also clean-burning and has fewer environmental consequences than burning diesel or gasoline. These generators are available in both portable and stationary variants.

Both natural gas and propane have a lot in common.

Propane has less than half the energy of natural gas. One cubic foot of propane equals roughly 2,500 BTUs. In comparison, one cubic foot of natural gas has just over 1,000 BTUs.

Natural Gas Generators Are Used Mostly On

Natural gas or diesel generators are commonly used in hospitals and other big institutions where a constant power source is required. Gasoline has a finite shelf life and might be difficult to come by when you really need it — in an emergency. During natural catastrophes, propane tanks may become scarce. And, because diesel generators are infamous for polluting the air, businesses that want to be more sustainable require another choice.

Environmental Impact

Natural gas and propane are both fossil fuels. But propane is a hydrocarbon.

As you might expect, a hydrocarbon is an organic chemical molecule comprised entirely of carbon and hydrogen.

Propane also has a low toxicity level in the natural environment. Natural gas emits fewer pollutants than diesel and gasoline, yet it isn’t completely safe.

You could even employ system retrofitters to use propane fuel with non-propane devices if you wanted to. Also, propane will not ignite until it reaches a temperature of 500 ̊ C.

Natural gas burns greater volume per hour than propane but produces fewer BTUs when it comes to energy. Because of this, it’s necessary that you compare the costs of these two fuels. A more energy-efficient device does not always imply you will save money.

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I am a mechanical engineer with years of experience working on Internal combustion engine and fixing electrical and mechanical systems, generators, transfer switches, and equipment related to storm water and sewage pumping stations.