There are lots of generators readily available on the market today, some are operated by gas, others by diesel and you can even find natural gas generators. Some are portable, others are big, industrial sized generators designed to back up extensive systems, some are designed for farm use, and others could be towed behind a truck to a work site. One popular kind of generator are diesel backup generators. There are a lot of things going for a diesel powered generator, let’s have a look at some of the advantages of a diesel powered engine.
A diesel engine has more torque. Torque is what supplies the power to operate a generator. For really large diesel backup generators, this could be truly important, particularly for generators required to kick on and run critical systems, such as found in a hospital. If a hospital loses power, the generators have to be powerful enough to support the many different life saving systems which are being run to treat, monitor and save many hundreds of lives.
A diesel engine has better fuel efficiency. This is easy to think of when it comes to an automobile where you’re talking about miles per gallon. For example, a full size pick up with a gas engine averages 12 or 13 MPG. However a similar diesel truck will easily get 18+ MPG. Now, diesel backup generators aren’t really going anywhere, however the truck example illustrates that for an equal amount of fuel, your diesel generator will run for a longer period of time. When power is lost, you often don’t know how long you’ll have to rely upon the generator before power returns. The better fuel efficient your generator’s engine is, the better.
Diesel backup generators will have an overall longer life than a gas powered generator. This is because a diesel engine is, by design, beefier than a gas engine. A diesel engine is a compression engine, which means that it squeezes the fuel/air mixture till enough heat is built up that it ignites on its own, no spark plugs are used. The explosion brought on by compression versus plug is more powerful, so the engine has to be heavier duty to handle that extra explosive force.
The previously mentioned reason leads into the next benefit of a diesel engine, it requires less maintenance. This is simply due to the fact that it has less moving parts. As previously mentioned, it’s a compression engine, so no spark plugs, which means no spark plug wires or distributor, all things which need to be replaced periodically on a gas engine.
Lastly, if in a real bind, a diesel engine can burn other fuels without any alteration. Rudolph Diesel, the inventor of the diesel motor ran his first engine on peanut oil. Other vegetable oils will work also, although I would not recommend running your diesel engine on other fuels unless of course it’s a real emergency!
At this point, one of the main complaints against diesel engines is the noise. And although diesel backup generators might also be louder, many of them are larger industrial sized units. Most such businesses keep these types of units a basement or other out of the way place, where many people won’t hear them, so this concern doesn’t apply in almost all instances.
For larger generator needs, diesel backup generators ought to be given serious consideration. The engines are more powerful, more fuel efficient, require less maintenance and last longer than comparable gas powered motors.