6 Different Types of Generators and Which One Should You Choose

In the market for a generator in case of an emergency? We listed six different types of generators so you can choose which works best for you.

Generators come in all shapes and sizes, both literally and figuratively.

From the gigantic industrial generators to the small portable ones that you can use for camping, picking the right generator to suit your needs can be a bit tricky.

Due to the oversaturation of the generator market, you need to know what is it exactly that you're buying.

So keep on reading to know the main six different types of generators and the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

1. The Most Common of Different Types of Generators: The Gasoline Generator

Due to its high availability and low cost, the best tri fuel portable generators can be considered the most common type of generators out there.

And while readily available and low in price sounds lovely in theory, the glaring problem with gasoline is that it needs electricity to pump, so it won't work during power outages.

Also, gasoline is a highly flammable fuel that doesn't last for more than a year.

2. The Diesel Fuel Generator

With the great perk of being the least flammable of all fuel sources and almost as readily available as gasoline, the diesel fuel generator packs a punch.

The engine has a long lifespan and performs efficiently as long as it's properly maintained.

However, while diesel generators are affordable, the units will typically cost more than gas generator units.

Another thing to keep in mind would be the lifespan of diesel fuel, which is up to 24 months in storage. And, like gas, it's often impossible to pump diesel during power outages due to the environmental concerns related to the engine's emissions.

3. The Bio-Diesel

It's exactly what it sounds like: a generator that runs on a mixture of diesel and another biological material, like animal fat or vegetable oil.

Biodiesel has advantages and disadvantages quite close to the regular diesel fuel, it does have the perk of being more environmentally friendly.

It uses smaller amounts of fossil fuels and burns with lower emissions as well as less waste.

However, it's important to keep in mind that diesel-based generators tend to be noisy. And like normal diesel, it lasts around two years or less in storage.
4. The Propane Gas Generator

This type of gas come in two forms, the vapor, and the liquid.

What's great about propane is its long shelf life and that it burns much cleaner than gasoline and diesel fuels.

It can also be stored in any sort of quantity and will be ready for use even during power outages.

Moreover, propane isn't subject to wet stacking, which is a problem common in diesel generators. Add to that its affordability and its ability to start easily in cold temperatures, propane generators look quite impressive.

Unfortunately, propane isn't as perfect as it seems.

It is highly flammable and can be considered quite explosive. Besides, propane needs to be kept under pressure so the fuel system is more complex to set up.
Higher complexity means higher installation costs because you'll need a qualified technician to install the gas lines.

Propane generators are also more expensive to buy from the start and burns an insane amount of fuel—around three times in comparison to diesel engines.
5. The Solar Generator

Solar generators have qualities that other generators can only dream of, like being whisper-quiet and not requiring fuel.

Solar generators can be really useful for camping and other endeavors that require minimal electric power. They have a sharp competitive edge for providing electrical loads in very remote locations and are very portable.

You don't have to worry about fuel with a solar generator, never mind worrying about stale fuel in case your generator stood idle for a solid chunk of time.

Before you run off to buy a solar generator, make sure to check out reviews on solar kits to get the full picture of what you're buying.

However, there is no perfect generator, so solar generators do have some disadvantages that you need to keep in mind.

Generally, they're slow to charge and can store a minimal amount of electricity in their battery.

This is due to the use of lead-acid batteries, which tend to be rather heavy. This —in turn— would cause portability challenges, because using more lead-acid batteries would increase the weight and make it difficult to transport.

Furthermore, you can't exactly fix the problem with getting a battery backup. Unfortunately, the common maximum draw is around 1,500 watts (or 1.5 kW), so there isn't a lot of wriggle room here.

6. The Natural Gas Generator

This type of generator is available almost everywhere, add to that the virtually limitless supply due to the opening of new shale reserves and you get a generator that is quite convenient.

Besides, these generators never run out of fuel or need to be refilled due to natural gas lines linked up and running to the site of operation.
Natural gas generators also burn cleanly with the smallest waste amounts and are readily available during power outages. And, there won't be any problems with wet stacking.

They are affordable, start well in cold conditions, can run relatively quietly in comparison to other generators.

Nevertheless, they are not portable at all.

They also have high installation costs due to running the gas lines, and they don't last as long as diesel generators.

It's important to note that natural gas generators can be dangerous if they're not regularly maintained and a broken gas line wasn't discovered in time. Broken gas lines can lead to dangerous leaks.

Ready to Pick Your Generator?

You'll have to think about what you'll mostly use your generator for, whether it'll be for an electricity source in a remote place or for more industrial purposes.
But once you have that in mind, you're ready to pick the most suitable generator for your needs.

After learning all about the six different types of generators, you can do so knowing that you have solid information about their quirks and weaknesses.

Just make sure that you learn more about different tips and tricks by checking out our life hacks section for all the advice you could possibly need!


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