How do Natural Gas/ Propane Generators Work?
Knowing how your generator operates first is always a useful piece of information. Natural gas is a fossil fuel; and is composed of several different compounds, primarily methane. Natural gas generators use natural gas to generate electricity. They work similarly to a car engine, where the mixture of fuel and air is ignited within a combustion chamber to generate an electric current. Unlike propane, natural gas generators are burning a gaseous fuel.
Propane, a byproduct of natural gas processing, is a gas commonly compressed and stored as a liquid. It is colorless, odorless, and nontoxic, although an odor is added so the gas can be detected. Propane generators work similarly, by converting energy from the combustion of propane into electric energy.
Natural Gas vs. Propane: Accessibility
Natural gas flows through a pipe right to your home, meaning you have access to it 24/7. This eliminates the fear of trying to find someplace to refill during a hurricane. In addition, the infrastructure is all underground, so there is no need to make room for storage.
In case of emergency weather, with a natural gas generator you won’t have to worry about finding some place to refill during a hurricane.
Natural gas generators rely on an underground system controlled by pressure. Although Florida lines may have hurricane-proof infrastructure, if something were to interfere with the pressure of your gas line, your generator could stop working. Ask your Tampa generator company about your natural gas line.
Because propane is stored in cylinders in your home, they cannot be destroyed in a natural disaster. The absence of an underground system also makes them more accessible in an emergency and easy to store long term.
Unlike other gassers and diesels, propane has a long shelf life, does not deteriorate, and will not become contaminated if left untouched. This is useful when considering other generators that require regular maintenance.
Despite their many advantages, propane generators are typically larger than other generators, making them difficult to move.
Which Generator is Safer?
Natural gas generators require regular maintenance in order to ensure the lines are functioning properly. Despite this, and natural gas dissipating more quickly into the atmosphere than propane, leaks are still difficult to identify when dealing with an underground system. Make sure to ask your Tampa generator servicer about the maintenance of your natural gas lines.
Since propane is stored in cylinders and does not require maintenance, it is a bit safer than natural gas. Because of its design, leaks are easier to identify.
Which is Better for the Environment?
Both natural gas and propane release few emissions, making them popular fuels.
Although less toxic than its gasoline and diesel cousins, natural gas is not completely harmless and still releases emissions.
Propane is basically clean burning, which means it adds no toxicity to the atmosphere. In addition, propane is usually more efficient than natural gas; an important factor to keep in mind.
The question we’ve all been waiting for. How much does it cost? Let’s take a look at the price ranges for natural gas and propane generators.
Natural gas alone costs around $4 per 1,000 cubic feet, (about 12 gallons).
In contrast, propane gas costs around 2.38 per gallon, significantly more expensive than its natural gas opponent.
As mentioned earlier, however, it isn’t quite as clean-cut as which one is cheaper.
Because natural gas is less efficient than propane, more of it is needed. In addition, it requires pipeline infrastructure that requires regular upkeep. Generator prices also vary; natural gas runs from $1,900 to $5,000, while Propane generators typically go from $500 to $6,000.
The generator you choose for your home depends on which characteristics are better suited for you, and what type of investment you are willing to make.
Found the Best Fit for You?
Convenience, safety, environmental impact, and cost are all important factors to consider when choosing your generator. Both natural gas and propane generators are unique and will prove themselves useful when you need them the most.
Found the best fit or have any questions? We’d be happy to help. Reach out to your Tampa generator company Suncoast Power Solutions today at 813-829-0037.