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Generators are a common sight during natural disasters. People must keep their lights on, and refrigerators run when the power goes out.
But how long will your generator run on propane? And how much does it cost to fuel a generator with propane? This article will answer those questions and more.
How Long Will A Generator Run On Propane?
A generator will run for as long as fuel is in the tank. The size of the tank will determine how long the generator can run.
A 7kW generator will run for 66 hours on a 100-gallon tank at full load, whereas a 12kW generator will run for 36 hours.
Most of the time, people use propane generators for less than full load.
So that the generator will run for even longer. Also, remember that propane is a very efficient fuel.
That’s why, you will get more power out of a propane generator than you would from a gasoline generator of the same size.
How Much Propane Does A Generator Use Per Hour?
The amount of propane a generator uses will depend on its size and how much power it is using.
In general, generators require two to three pounds of propane each hour while they operate.
With a heavier propane load, operating times will naturally be shorter. Here’s a quick method for calculating it below so that you may do it yourself.
Total amount of propane used in an hour (in gallons) = watts / 3000 x 0.65
This is the formula for a 3000-watt generator. Let’s take a closer look at this equation to see how it might be used to find your overall propane usage.
Step 1: Basic Assumptions
Let’s make some basic assumptions before we start: using the following figures below, let’s assume a typical generator with the following numbers:
According to the EPA, the typical household can expect to use around 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity each day.
The average number of watts a gasoline generator generates is 1000.
You will need to generate one horsepower 10,000 BTUs of fuel are required.
We should also keep in mind that propane has a fuel value of 92,000 BTUs per gallon and that its weight is 4.2 pounds per gallon.
Step 2: Figure Out Horsepower
To begin, we’ll figure out how much horsepower we use with this calculation.
Horsepower = (wattage / 1000) x 2
You’ll need 6 horsepower if you have a generator with 3000 watts.
Step 3: Finding BTU
Next, we can multiply our calculated horsepower by this equation to obtain the BTU ratio we’ll require in our calculation.
BTU = calculated horsepower x 10000
In the second stage, we worked out a total of 6 hp. Put this into the equation above to get a total of 60000 BTU every hour.
Step 4: Calculate Propane Amount
Finally, we may now calculate the amount of propane that will be consumed down below using the following equation:
Gallons of propane = BTU / 92000
In our previous section, we determined that 60000 BTU was required. So, let’s insert this figure into the formula.
Finally, a generator with 3000 watts consumes 0.65 gallons of propane per hour.
When we add all of these together, we get the formula given above. As a result, 0.65 gallons of propane equals roughly 2.73 pounds.
This is achieved by multiplying 0.65 ounces with 4.2, the volume of one gallon of propane.
As you can see, it’s not very difficult to calculate how much propane your generator will use.
And, with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to do it in your head without having to write anything down.
So, the next time someone asks you how long a generator will run on propane, you’ll be able to answer confidently.
Advantages Of Using Propane Generator
There are several reasons to use a propane generator over other types. Here are some of the advantages:
- The propane generator is more efficient than a gasoline generator and can get more energy from the same size.
- Also, it is inexpensive and relatively safe to use. It isn’t as cheap as gasoline, but you can use it straight from a 20-liter container, and the whole bottle will last for 8 hours on high output.
- A propane generator is quieter than a gasoline generator and produces fewer exhaust fumes. Propane generators are low maintenance and have a longer lifespan than gasoline generators.
- Propane is a much better alternative for utilizing in an LP generator than gasoline. Gasoline engines produce more pollutants, so propane has greater efficiency.
- Propane generates 143,300 BTU per gallon vs. 125,000 BTU per gallon of gasoline, which costs about 20% more to create.
- If you want to run your generator for long periods of time, the propane versions are preferable. They’re quieter because they don’t make that buzz or rumble sound like their gas-powered counterparts.
To sum it up, a propane generator will run for as long as you have fuel. The average propane generator will use two to three pounds of propane each hour.
However, most people use their generators at less than full load, so the generator will run for even longer.
Maintenance Tips For Propane Generator
It’s critical to keep a propane generator in good working order in order to guarantee continuous operation.
Also, it is essential to maintain a propane generator in order to avoid power outages for an extended period of time.
Control Panel Has Been Damaged
Because the battery terminal is damaged, there is poor contact with short circuits. And so on, the mainboard near the battery box is especially vulnerable.
In this situation, the propane generator will not start because it could not do so in a previous scenario.
Also, the control panel may malfunction and cause damage to the mainboard if not used for a long time.
Therefore, cleaning the control panel regularly and keeping the contact points clean are necessary.
The propane generator will start more efficiently and have a longer lifespan.
When setting up your propane generator or replacing the battery, be cautious to avoid damaging the control panel.
The Controller Is Broken
Just like any other generator, the propane generator needs a controller. This vital piece of equipment keeps the generator in good shape and functioning correctly.
The control panel monitors all aspects of the generator, from charging to the voltage output.
If this component is not working correctly, it can cause significant damage to your propane generator.
Symptoms of a broken controller include decreased performance and increased fuel consumption, and eventually, the generator will not start at all.
If you suspect the controller is not working correctly, you must take it to a qualified technician for repairs.
Please do not attempt to fix it yourself, as this could void your warranty or cause further damage.
The Starter Is Broken
The starter is responsible for starting the engine. If it is not working correctly, the generator will not start.
A few symptoms indicate a problem with the starter, such as clicking noises. When you turn the key or no response at all when you turn the key.
On the other hand, if the engine starts but then dies immediately. This could also be a sign of a starter problem.
When the starter is not working correctly, please take it to a technician for repairs.
Engine Is Damaged
It is not uncommon for the engine to be damaged after a long period of use. Over time, parts will wear out and eventually need to be replaced.
The most common symptoms of engine damage are decreased performance and increased fuel consumption.
Besides, if the engine makes strange noises, this could indicate something is wrong.
So, it’s always best to have your propane generator regularly serviced by a qualified technician.
This will ensure potential problems are found and fixed before they cause severe damage.
Battery Is Dead Or Unable To Charge
A generator needs a battery to start the engine. If the battery is dead, the generator will not start. A few symptoms indicate a problem with the battery.
Such as clicking noises when you turn the key or no response at all when you turn the key. When the battery is not working correctly, take it to a technician for repairs.
When you test with a voltage detector, confirm if your generator will not start.
In this instance, before using a propane generator, it is vital to recharge the battery with a charger.
These are some of the most common problems with a propane generator.
By taking proper care of your generator and following these maintenance tips, you can avoid these problems and extend the life of generator.
A propane generator is an excellent investment for those who need a reliable backup power source.
However, like all generators, they require some maintenance to keep them running correctly.
We hope this article has given you some helpful tips for maintaining your propane generator. Also, now you know that how long will a generator run on propane.