A generator is an electromechanical device that converts kinetic energy into electrical alternating current. It is responsible for powering devices, but the generator itself can’t run endlessly. Eventually, users will have to power it. So, here’s a reasonable question of how long a generator can run. We’re going to consider different types of devices and answer this question comprehensively.
Alternating current is widespread. Today, almost all household appliances and industrial mechanisms operate on it. In everyday life, they are used to provide autonomous power in the event of a power outage and receive it in places where there is no power line.
Industrial models are used to provide emergency autonomous power to hospitals, schools, kindergartens, as well as commercial and industrial facilities. Industrial generator sets are also used in the construction of new buildings.
Also, note that portable products are perfect solutions for traveling, camping, and hiking. Are you going to go hiking or want to discover nearby natural sightseeing? A compact portable device will be the best helper. Here, you can find a list of the best tailgating generators for your pastime.
Devices for industrial and household applications differ in power and operating hours. Below, you’ll find out how long you can run the generator continuously.
The electrical industry produces three types of generators:
According to portability, all devices are divided into portable and standby ones.
Before we proceed to the issue of how long can you run a portable generator, note that operating hours will differ since the indicator is influenced by several factors:
Depending on the specs of each particular model, its runtime ranges from 8 hours (for portal gasoline goods) up to 210 hours (for standby propane models). Yet, let’s get closer to details and discover the issue more precisely.
Let’s start with considering the consideration of how long a generator can run on propane. The runtime of a portable propane device can reach 8-12 hours. Depending on ambient temperatures and load, the functioning period can increase or decrease. If compared to gasoline devices of this type, the gas generator runs more continuously if enough propane is supplied. However, note that products of this type require maintenance after every 100 hours of operation.
Propane-butane (gas in cylinders) and methane (main gas) are most common for industrial and household devices. Propane-butane is used in both summer and winter; they differ in the ratio of gases included in it.
If you need a gas-powered product, you can look through our compilation of the best propane generators. There, top models are provided.
Depending on the capacity of the fuel tank, the generator can operate without stopping for up to 13 hours at a flow rate of 0.5-0.8 l/h. Gasoline models mainly have power consumption in the range of 2-15 kW, which is considered low and medium. They are compact and economical but designed for short work (7-8 hours). Such units have a low time between failures (up to 4000 hours) and most often act as emergency power sources.
AI-92 gasoline is used for feeding gasoline generators, while A-76 (AI-80) and AI-95 gasoline cannot be used. If you have a gasoline device, use clean gasoline without oil impurities (for 4-stroke engines). For gasoline engines with overhead valves (as a rule, the Latin letters OHV are indicated on the valve cover of such engines), the octane number of gasoline must be at least 92 (AI-92, AI-95).
Gasoline generators require oil refueling every 50 hours of operation. It is allowed to use only high-quality fluid suitable for a particular model of equipment.
This kind of good is not of great popularity on the modern market. Consumers give preference to gas or gasoline products, or even dual-fuel models. This is due to the fact that diesel generators produce too much noise over operation. Extra noisiness is the main disadvantage of diesel goods.
However, as for runtime, this group has the best results. Among portable devices, this type of good demonstrates the best performance in terms of an uninterrupted runtime.
For example, do you know how long a Generac 22kw generator can run continuously? Imagine that the model is able to run non-stop for 32.4 hours at half load. Over this period, the device consumes 12 gallons of diesel.
Some portable models of diesel generators can demonstrate even more pleasant performance. Thus, compact goods with smaller fuel tanks can run up to 10 hours.
To summarize the indicators of portable models, it should be noted that gas models are in great demand on the modern market. They provide an optimal ratio of runtime, fuel consumption, and power supply. Gasoline goods lose to other types of generators in terms of performance. An average level of non-stop operating hours is lower if compared to gas or diesel devices. Yet, diesel models overtake all other types of products in terms of runtime, but their main disadvantage is noisiness.
To pick the best portable generator, read our reviews, where you’ll find a list of the most popular models.
Now, let’s switch to the analysis of standby options. While portable generators are ideal for traveling, a standby device will be an excellent solution for your household. Such models are powerful enough to feed the house and nearby premises with electricity.
Note that according to the specs of most devices, it is recommended to limit their runtime to 500 hours of continuous operation. Manufacturers recommend switching off the generator once per three weeks to let the engine cool down. After periodic maintenance, the product is ready for non-stop performance.
Now, let’s have a closer look at how long a whole house generator can run.
Diesel models have a fuel tank and can run as long as the fuel is supplied. The average runtime of such goods ranges between 48 to 72 hours.
Let’s switch to gas generators. Here, two kinds of machines are distinguished according to the fuel type. Standby gas models can be fed by natural gas or liquid gas. Depending on the fuel types, runtime and specs differ.
Here’s the explanation of how long a natural gas generator can run continuously. The thing is that such machines are fed by gas from a utility station. It means that it is not required to pour liquid into a tank; in general, a fuel tank is not needed at all.
When feeding natural gas from the station, generators can run indefinitely until gas is supplied. According to specs, average indicators reach 100-165 ft3/hr of non-stop operation at the half load.
In this case, the generator construction requires a tank. Its working hours will be limited to the tank size. This kind of product can run for 90-185 ft3/hr without breaks.
Note that dual models are offered on the modern market. Gas generators can be fed by both liquid propane and natural gas.
Today, generators are used everywhere, not only in heavy industry or construction but also in the domestic sector. The installation of such devices can be used as a backup or permanent power supply. The modern market offers a wide assortment of options to please the demands of all customers. Now, you know how long the generator can run non-stop depending on the fueled liquid. Taking into account the obtained information, you’ll easily pick an appropriate model according to your tastes and needs.