How Does a Dual-Fuel Generator Work? Shown and Explained

Last updatedLast updated: July 23, 2021
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Are you thinking of getting a generator? You may have heard of dual-fuel generators and are wondering how does a dual-fuel generator work? This article will help you answer your questions about this type of generator. Generators provide electricity in times of emergencies especially when there is a blackout. It is always good to have one just in case there is an emergency such as a hurricane. There are many benefits of owning a generator whether in your home or office. Also, there are many types of generators. Knowing them will help you understand which one will be best for you. However, dual fuel generators allow you to switch from one type of fuel to another. Most of the dual-fuel generators sold today come with a switch that makes it easy to switch between two fuel types. You can run on gasoline or propane with dual generators. So you can always choose which is most accessible or fuel-efficient for you.

How does a dual-fuel generator work?

How Does a Dual-Fuel Generator Work? Shown and ExplainedMost of the dual-fuel generators sold today come with a switch that makes them easy to switch between two fuel types.

Note that you can run a dual-fuel generator with only one type of fuel. It helps because when a particular fuel type is finishing, you can switch to the other fuel source before the generator goes off.

Some dual-fuel generators will come on automatically when your power supply is cut off.

What makes dual-fuel generators popular is because they are flexible. You won’t experience interrupted power because there is an optional fuel source.

It always has different settings that come in handy when you need a power supply. You can also choose the type of fuel to mix in most cases.

Different types of generators have their individual method of operation. You will also need to know the capacity of the generator to understand if it fits your needs.

You can always refer to the user manual to understand how your dual generator works.

What generator types can be dual-fuel?

You need electricity for everything you do, whether at home, in your office, or while on the road. Sometimes this electricity becomes unavailable because of some unexpected event or a natural disaster. When this happens, you will turn to your generator to provide electricity. There are different types of generators in the market today, and they all come with different fuel options. Some are bi-fuel, dual-fuel or even tri-fuel generators. Below are the types of generators which have models with dual-fuel technology.

Portable Generators

How Does a Dual-Fuel Generator Work? Shown and ExplainedThey come in handy for different purposes. You can use them for different applications. One of the benefits of turning to dual-fuel portable generators is that it is useful during natural disasters when the grid goes off. It will provide power when you are cut off from the power supply. In this situation, you can make do with the type of fuel you are able to come across first. These portable generators are best for homes, offices, and commercial places. They are compact and you can use them for most applications.

Inverter Generator

With inverter generators are where you find the dual-fuel designs most. Inverter generators use a rectifier to provide electricity. It converts alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). You can use it to power your air-conditioning, refrigerators, and automobiles which usually uses a higher voltage. Like portable generators, inverter generators are compact. There are inverter generators that are able to run on gasoline and liquid propane. One of the best brands here is Champion Heavy duty equipment, they are really popular among buyers.

How Does a Dual-Fuel Generator Work? Shown and ExplainedStandby Generators

These are commercial and whole-house generators. These types of generators work automatically when power is interrupted. It is suitable for homes, hotels, hospitals, and commercial places. Although rare, there are standby generators with dual-fuel technology.

Industrial Generators

They are different from the other types of generators. You can’t use them in residential places because they have a large capacity. Industrial generators are used in much harsher conditions. They provide around 20kw to 2500kw power.

Induction Generators

This type of generator comes in two categories, self-excited and externally excited generators. This type of generator is used in applications like windmills cranes, elevators, hoists, and electric locomotives.

The most popular, however, of these generator types are the portable and inverter generators. You can get these two options in dual-fuel models.

Most people prefer them because they are compact and can be used for different applications. You are not confined to using them in a building.

What fuel types are usually used?

Dual-fuel generators use different types of fuel. Knowing each of their characteristics will help you better understand which combo is best for a dual-fuel generator.

  • Gasoline: Most dual-fuel generators use gasoline. It is one of the most affordable types and very useful during emergencies. The only problem with gasoline dual-fuel generators is that it has a short shelf life and there is the issue of storage.
  • Propane: It is the next popular fuel type but unlike gasoline, propane has a longer shelf life. You can store it easily and when compared to gasoline. They are accessible and poses no damage to your generator.
  • How Does a Dual-Fuel Generator Work? Shown and ExplainedNatural Gas: There is a difference between gasoline and natural gas even though it might be confusing to identify them. Natural gas is air while gasoline comes in liquid form. You can’t store natural gas but it is the cheapest of all the other types of fuel type. If you are using a dual-fuel generator with natural gas, you can’t move it around. They’re ideal for standby generators that are connected to the public gas supply.
  • Diesel: The best fuel type is diesel for your generator. It is the best because it can be used for an extended period. It is the more expensive option and it is also rare finding a dual-fuel generator using diesel. It is common instead with tri-fuel generators.

The benefits of dual-fuel generators

Even though we already mentioned one of the benefits of dual-fuel generators earlier in this article, there are still many other benefits of using this type of generator. Getting a good type of dual-fuel generator is important especially if you want to enjoy its many benefits. Most users recommend the Champion Power Equipment because they are quite compact and flexible. There are other powerful dual-fuel generators, like the huge  Pulsar heavy-duty equipment, that will power all of your appliances with ease. If you are getting a dual-fuel generator, here are some of the benefits of using these types of generators.

·         Availability of Fuel

The major benefit of dual-fuel generators is that you have a second option of fuel when one fuel type is about to finish.  Also, when you find yourself in a place where a particular fuel type is not available, you may have the second option available. Gasoline and diesel are always available in most remote places.

·         Useful For Emergencies

Dual-fuel generators come in handy when there is a natural disaster and the power supply is disrupted. However, you won’t be able to use propane and natural gas when there is a natural disaster but you have the option of the other fuel types.

·         Switch Fuel Function

You also have a choice of the fuel type to use depending on the weather. For instance, you can preserve propane, and then when it’s winter use it up. You can’t store propane in winter because the tank won’t have enough vapor pressure. The propane is dense in winter but during the summer it expands.

The difference between dual-fuel and bi-fuel

Most people mistake bi-fuel generators with dual-fuel generators. This is wrong because the two types of generators are different. Dual fuel generators use only two types of fuel separately. The fuel is not mixed but instead, you can switch between the two. The second fuel option serves as a backup. However, with bi-fuel generators, it uses diesel and natural gas combined. You will need to mix the fuel to get the right mixture before the generator can be ignited. You will need one type of fuel to start the engine and then the other fuel will be applied gradually until it is the right proportion.

With bi-fuel generators, the distribution of fuel it uses when running at 50% load, is 75% natural gas and 25% diesel.

The dual-fuel generators are better than bi-fuel generators because you have the option of using either type of fuel. The problem with bi-fuel generators is that you won’t be able to use it if their particular fuel type is not available. Besides, without the type of fuel that will power the engine, the portable generator will not be useful to you. It is always good to go for the dual-fuel generator, which gives you multiple fuel options to operate the generator.

Final thoughts

If you are thinking of getting a dual-fuel generator, there are many options to choose and one of these is the Champion 3400 dual generator. Whether you want a gasoline or diesel-powered generator depends on which fuel type is available around you. Dual-fuel generators are one of the best options when buying generators. To know the answer to how a dual-fuel generator works, you will need to consult your user manual for the brand you are using. The manufacturer usually provides detailed information on how to operate your dual-fuel generator and every relevant information you need to know about it.

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