Propane Generators - friend or foe?

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by youpock, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. youpock

    youpock Well-Known Member

    Anyone ever used one of these? Had one? Seen one? etc? I have a 2k watt gas one that I bought like 6 years ago and have never had trouble with it but I don't like the idea of storing gas. Saw a 45 gallon propane tank on clist the other day for $100 bux didn't seem like a bad option.

    Here's an example:

    NEW PROPANE/LPG Gas 4000 WATT GENERATOR 4 KW - eBay (item 130336773779 end time Nov-10-09 18:52:27 PST)


    reviews on amazon about them all said they worked fine, some people complained about quality but nothing about functionally that I could find.
  2. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    Propane seems easier to deal with than gasoline.

  3. Tribal Warlord Thug

    Tribal Warlord Thug Well-Known Member

    our gen-set is gasoline/LP/NPG fueled. you can buy the tri-fuel set up for your generators so you have the capability to use 3 different sources of fuel that way. think our set-up cost under $250.....have to find the reciept and post where we bought it from. we have 2 running that in the garage for emergency power loss and our RV is tri-fuel Onan.

    heres the web site....
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  4. Tribal Warlord Thug

    Tribal Warlord Thug Well-Known Member

    we're also looking for a propane set up for our RV, being it is a carburated model, it shouldn't be too hard to find. i have a 250 gal horz. tank already and the RV itself has a 65 gallon horz. tank. and the engine is a 440-3cid 4V dodge truck.
  5. allen_idaho

    allen_idaho Well-Known Member

    Propane is a good option BUT you have to be careful that the valve is completely shut when not in use. Otherwise, you could slowly lose your entire supply without even realizing it. A faulty valve will really ruin your day and could potentially cause a catastrophic explosion if you aren't keeping the tanks outside.

    Another downside is that if you have a propane leak elsewhere in the system, it will be more difficult to notice.

    You can, however, modify pretty much any carburetored engine to run on the stuff relatively easily. And right now the cost of propane is less than gas in my area.

    Plus it has a pretty much indefinate shelf life unlike gasoline.
  6. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I will vote for friend. The only real issue I can find about propane-powered motors is that if the motor is not built right, the dryness of the fuel can cause valves (etc) to burn out prematurely. In the case of the propane generator, unless you are running it all day / every day for years at a time, I don't see any real issue with it.

    Personally, I would rather have a diesel system that includes air-compressor (with tank) and arc / mig welder with the 110/220 and 12-volt connections as well. Yes, it is much larger, but, the functionality of it outweighs (pun intended) everything else.
  7. longtime

    longtime Well-Known Member

    I installed a US Carberator (Rabidcoyote666 link) tri fuel conversion on a 6KW unit many years ago and can run it on gas, propane or natural gas. I currently have it running on natural gas with both propane and gas as a back up. I used it for many hours during construction but only exercise it every 60 days now. It has always run flawlessly on all fuels and as with all ng or propane fueled engine it stays very clean. If your 2KW unit works, look into a conversion. Mine included 2 regulators, the spud(carberator) and all hoses and clamps. It was much cheaper then, but it looks like the conversion is less than $200.

    Also in the midwest US 100 lb propane tanks are $100 new at almost all rural farm stores (for some reason they cost more in the city).
  8. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    Partial to a diesel because you can run biofuels (which u can produce) in it with little or no mods!:beercheer:
  9. youpock

    youpock Well-Known Member

    what goes into making your own bio fuel?

    i'll google it in a moment lol
  10. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

    I met a guy who makes bio-diesel. It cost's him about 1/4 the current price of diesel to make. He makes 55 gallons/week and it takes about 2 hours of his time. The equipment cost him about $500.

    I'm sure this is an oversimplification, but this is how he described it. He runs cooking grease through a series of filters and mixes the grease with diesel and unleaded gasoline. 75% grease, 20% diesel, 5% premium unleaded gas

    He commutes 500 miles/week and gets about 50-53 mpg in his diesel VW Beetle.
  11. dragon5126

    dragon5126 Tired of Posers

    Making biofuel and the need to make biofuel are two different things. the need falls in on where you live and what you are using for the most part. With unused veg, oils you can get away with freezing it and pouring off the liquid to use immediately, and process the gelled portion later... there are many tecniques, including just adding nitric or sulferic acid in the proper quantity to break down the glycerins in the oil, to more complex fractioners... And something Tex alluded to, the VW diesel engines are about the most efficent made, right from the factory, as far as running on biofuels. Others can benefit from modificatons. My kids Dentist's VW smelled like it was cooking French Fries every time we drove behind him, but hey, he said free fuel was free fuel!