In recent years, more and more people are stocking up on generators that will light up a job site or home even when there is no electricity. It is enough to pour fuel into them, and start. Most prefer dual-fuel options. More details about the best dual-fuel generator will be discussed in this article.
- 1 Brief description
- 2 Westinghouse 9500 Watt Dual Fuel Home Backup Portable Generator
- 3 WEN DF475T Dual Fuel 120V/240V Portable Generator with Electric Start Transfer Switch Ready, 4750-Watt, CARB Compliant
- 4 DuroStar DS5500EH 224cc 5,500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator, Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved
- 5 DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Home Back Up & RV Ready
- 6 Pulsar G12KBN Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator – 9500 Rated Watts & 12000 Peak Watts – Gas & LPG – Electric Start – Transfer Switch & RV Ready – CARB Compliant
- 7 Parameters for dual-fuel generator selection
- 8 What is a dual-fuel generator?
- 9 How does a dual-fuel generator work?
- 10 Advantages of a dual fuel generator
- 11 Cons of a dual-fuel generator
- 12 Why should you use a dual-fuel generator?
- 13 Are there propane-powered devices?
- 14 Ways to start generators
- 15 What phases to choose for the generator?
- 16 Types of cooling in electric generators for the home
- 17 How to connect a three-phase generator?
- 18 Where is the best place to install a generator?
- 19 How to calculate generator power?
- 20 How to connect the generator?
- 21 Conclusion
- 22 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Westinghouse 9500 Watt Dual Fuel Home Backup Portable Generator
If you’re looking for the best dual-fuel generator, you should look into the Westinghouse 9500 Watt. It has excellent power. Inside, there is a 4-stroke engine, which has a volume of 457 cubic centimeters. The peak power of the dual-fuel generator is 12.5 kW.
However, the running power does not exceed 9.5 kW if gasoline is used as fuel. If you start the device from propane, the peak power is 11.2 kW, but the running power will be 8.5 kW.
This is enough to produce the amount of electrical energy you need.
No more than 6.6 gallons of gasoline can be poured into the tank at once. This is enough for the dual-fuel device to work without interruption for about 12 hours. After that, you will need to refuel it. This is ideal if you prefer to go camping or have outdoor parties.
There are numerous sockets on the control panel, including a 12V battery connector. The manufacturer provides a guarantee for the product, which will be valid for 3 years from the date of purchase.
The main advantages are:
- attractive design;
- high power indicators;
- quality engine;
- fuel efficiency.
The only downside is the high cost.
WEN DF475T Dual Fuel 120V/240V Portable Generator with Electric Start Transfer Switch Ready, 4750-Watt, CARB Compliant
This version of the dual-fuel generator also runs on two types of fuel and can work without interruption for 11 hours. The tank in which you need to pour gasoline is designed for 4 gallons. The noise level is 75 dB. If you start the dual-fuel device, a running power of 3.8 kW will be generated. The peak power of gasoline is 4.7 kW.
If you fill the generator with propane, then the running power will be within 3.5 kW, but the peak power will be 4.3 kW. The dual-fuel device is supplemented with two standard sockets used in everyday life. There is a socket for 120 and 240 V with a twist lock. Has a 12V DC port.
Structure weight 100 lbs. Therefore, many users note that it is difficult to carry. However, the dual-fuel generator is equipped with wheels that facilitate transportation. There is a strong frame that will not damage the generator when lifting.
The main advantages are:
- acceptable cost;
- long service life if the tank is full;
- excellent security settings;
- possibility of working in adverse weather;
- mobility due to the wheels.
Of the minuses, bulkiness should be noted. If you want to drain the oil, the drain plug is in an awkward position.
DuroStar DS5500EH 224cc 5,500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator, Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved
This dual-fuel generator has an electric start. You can use it at home or in your van. When using gasoline, the peak power will be 5.5 kW, and the running power is in the range of 4.5 kW. Power output when using propane is not declared by the manufacturer.
The operating noise level is 69 dB. The design weighs 129 pounds. The tank is rated at 3.96 gallons. The frame is made of metal and has wheels. This facilitates the portability of the dual-fuel device. The launch is carried out with one button. You can also use a backup cord. There are 2 classic sockets and a 12V port.
The main advantages are:
- two start options, so you will start the device;
- ability to control voltage stability;
The only downside is the high noise level.
DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Home Back Up & RV Ready
This powerful dual-fuel generator belongs to the premium category, so the price for it will be high. The fuel tank holds 8.3 gallons of gasoline. If you use this type of fuel, then the running power output will be 9.5 kW, and the peak power will be 12 kW. The noise level is 72 dB.
Starting can be done with electric ignition. If it does not work, you can use a backup cord. If the oil level starts to drop, the dual-fuel device will automatically turn off. The dual-fuel generator weighs approximately 234 lbs.
The design is complemented by a steel frame, as well as two massive wheels.
This greatly facilitates the transportation of the structure. The control panel has two classic 120V sockets, as well as a 120V and 240V swivel socket. There is a separate 240V socket.
The advantages are:
- high power output;
- large fuel tank, which allows infrequent replenishment;
- shutdown if the oil level drops;
- mobility due to the wheels.
The only disadvantage of the design is the high cost.
Pulsar G12KBN Heavy Duty Portable Dual Fuel Generator – 9500 Rated Watts & 12000 Peak Watts – Gas & LPG – Electric Start – Transfer Switch & RV Ready – CARB Compliant
Pulsar has also launched a dual-fuel generator that can be used in extreme conditions. They are often used on construction sites because the design is very reliable. In the case of using gasoline and propane, the power may vary.
If you use gasoline, the peak power of the Pulsar dual fuel generator will be 12 kW, and the running power is in the range of 9.5 kW. If you decide to use propane, then the peak power will be 10.8 kW, but the running power output will drop to 8.5 kW.
The gas tank is rated at 8 gallons. If it is filled, the dual-fuel portable generator will work without interruption for about 12 hours.
The construction weight is approximately 209 lbs. Some have difficulty moving the dual-fuel generator. However, the manufacturer took care of this and supplemented the product with steel handles in the front and rear wheels. There are four classic 120V sockets on the control panel. There is a 120V twist-lock socket.
There is a 12 V DC port, as well as an industrial socket, which is designed for 120 and 240 V.
The main advantages are:
- excellent indicators of power output;
- structural strength;
- numerous sockets.
The first disadvantage is a large weight. The second is the rich aroma of propane, which can cause headaches.
Parameters for dual-fuel generator selection
If you decide to replenish your garage with a quality and durable dual-fuel generator that runs on two types of fuel, you should pay attention to several important factors. More about them will be discussed below.
Dual-fuel generators feature an insulated fuel tank. They hold 2 to 10 gallons of gasoline. The larger the tank, the longer the dual-fuel device will work without interruption. However, you need to understand that the best dual-fuel generators with large tanks are massive.
If you use propane, there is no difference in the volume of the fuel tank. Propane is stored in pressurized tanks. The cylinders are attached to the dual-fuel generator with a hose. It also requires a pressure regulator that will monitor fuel consumption.
Power measurement, as you know, is carried out in watts. Manufacturers indicate peak and power output in the documents. The first option is in terms of the maximum number of watts that can be provided by the generator. The output power will show the average number of watts that are produced for a certain time.
Best dual-fuel generators can have power output from 1 to 12 kW. It is not uncommon to break down the figures into peak and running power, both for gasoline and propane. This separation is extremely important because gasoline provides more power output when compared to propane.
However, some manufacturers do not indicate peak and operating capacities, depending on the type of fuel. They only write the highest performance when using gasoline.
As you know, starting the generator is possible in several ways. You can use an electric start switch or a recoil cord. If you choose the electric starter model, it will additionally store energy in the internal battery. After, it can be used to automatically start.
This happens when a special button is pressed or a switch is flipped. Starting the generator is much easier with an electric starter. However, the dual-fuel device must always have a supply of electrical energy. If the battery that is inside is not charged, then this starting method will fail.
You can also use a recoil cord. This is an older technology; however, it is reliable. It works effectively for many years on different devices. To start the generator with a cord, you need to quickly and sharply pull it to start the engine.
Yes, it will take some effort. It is possible that from the first jerks you cannot start the dual-fuel device. However, this is the best solution if the generator has not been used for a long time. After all, there will be no charge in the battery, and you will not be able to start the generator using the starter.
The noise level during the operation
As you know, all types of instruments, during operation, make a certain sound. However, some even the best dual-fuel generators make little noise and are not a problem. At the same time, they provide the right amount of power.
The noise level is measured in dB. To determine the sound range that is produced by the generator, you need to understand the noise level of other devices. For example, a refrigerator emits 5,0 dB and a hair dryer about 70-90 dB.
The motorcycle emits a noise level of 95-110 dB.
The best dual-fuel generators can emit between 50 and 90 dB. It all depends on the dimensions of the device, the type of fuel, and the power. It is important to understand that the generators will be louder on gasoline than on propane. Almost all dual-fuel power generators emit noise in the range of 65-75 dB.
Availability of wheels
Dual-fuel generators are heavy and bulky. Some designs can be supplemented with tanks and hoses. That is why there may be difficulties in the transportation process. Therefore, some manufacturers are trying to supplement their products with special wheels.
This will greatly facilitate the process of moving the structure. You can tilt the best dual-fuel generators in different directions, and roll them into a barn or garage. It is possible to purchase the wheelset separately. This is the optimal solution if your generator does not have them.
Additional sets are appropriate to have so that in the event of a breakdown of existing wheels, you can quickly replace them. At the same time, such sets do not differ in high cost, and everyone can afford them.
Some best dual-fuel generators have hook-shaped lifting rods. They will come in handy if you plan to use the devices on job sites. You will be able to attach the generator to the system after lifting or lowering it from high floors. You do not have to pull the overall device up the stairs.
Yes, lifting hooks hurt the weight of the structure. If you don’t plan on using these features in the future, it’s best to opt for a device that doesn’t have a lifting hook.
Weight and dimensions
Dimensioning of a dual-fuel generator is in inches. The manufacturer in the instructions indicates the height, length, and width. Most of the models have a standard size – 22x22x22 or 35x30x30 inches. Weight can range from 100 to 250 pounds.
If you plan to move the generator constantly in the future, it is important to carefully study the weight and dimensions of the structure. It is important to understand whether it is suitable for your car. You should not opt for huge structures because it will be difficult for you to move them.
Not the best solution would be to buy a small generator. After all, he will not be able to provide the necessary power. It is important to choose medium options.
Depending on the type of engine cooling, generators are distinguished with:
- air-cooled (with generator power 0.9…5 kVA);
- liquid cooling;
- oil cooling.
Air cooling is mainly used for small, portable gasoline or diesel generators that have a small capacity.
Generators with liquid (water) cooling are used mainly for large industrial and powerful diesel-type electric generators. Water cooling has the great advantage that the generator produces low noise during operation.
Degree of protection of the electric generator
The value of the degree of protection of the generator depends on its operation in adverse or unforeseen conditions. The degree of protection of electric generators is determined by letters and numbers:
- letter designation – IP;
- the first digit from 0 to 6 indicates the class of protection against solid objects;
- the second digit from 0 to 8 indicates the moisture protection class.
The higher the value of the numbers, the better the protection of the generator. For an electric generator that will be used for a private house, it is enough to have a degree of protection of at least IP23. Electric generators that have full protection against dust and falling into the water have a degree of protection from IP68.
What is a dual-fuel generator?
A dual-fuel generator is a standby power source that offers two fuel options for power generation. Dual-fuel generators can help keep your heating and cooling systems, lighting, and major appliances running during a power outage or if you go offline.
Conventional power generators rely on a single source of fuel. Unfortunately, they are prone to discharge during prolonged emergencies. Depending on a single source of energy, be it solar, diesel, or gasoline, simply gives you less ability to keep your home running during an extended power outage.
Unlike conventional fossil fuel generators, many best dual-fuel generators can use propane (LPG) or gasoline as power sources. You can store several bottles of LPG and use them if the gas or solar power runs out.
How does a dual-fuel generator work?
Dual-fuel generators use a combination of propane, natural gas, diesel, or gasoline. They typically switch between fuels—manually or automatically—depending on the required power output or if one of the fuels runs out.
Different fuels have their advantages and limitations. By using dual fuels, you can benefit from the advantages of each type and mitigate any disadvantages. Plus, having two fuel options—gasoline and propane, for example—gives you a lot more options for replenishing and storing fuel.
Advantages of a dual fuel generator
Before proceeding with the purchase, you should study the main advantages of using dual-fuel generators. More about them will be discussed below.
Improved fuel efficiency
Many portable dual-fuel generators run on a mixture of natural gas and diesel, with diesel used primarily during ignition. When the generator is running, it adds natural gas to the engine.
Traditional dual-fuel generators are typically 75% natural gas and approximately 25% diesel. Because natural gas produces more energy per unit and burns longer, you’ll be more efficient than a single-fuel diesel generator.
The new EcoFlow smart dual-fuel generator delivers even greater efficiency and can deliver 12.5 hours of operation on propane (LPG) alone. You can also easily connect the Smart Dual Fuel Generator to the EcoFlow DELTA Pro or DELTA Max Portable Power Stations.
It is appropriate to choose solar generators. This will increase the number of options that provide backup power at home.
More environmentally friendly
Dual-fuel generators are generally more environmentally friendly than single-fuel gasoline or diesel generators. The high-efficiency EcoFlow Smart Generator engine, combined with cleaner propane, creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than other single or dual-fuel generators.
Cons of a dual-fuel generator
It is important to pay attention to the cons. More about them will be discussed below.
Gas is difficult to store
If you use gasoline as one of your fuels, you may experience storage issues. The gas decomposes in a few months, so it must be used as soon as possible.
For long-term storage, you may need a gas stabilizer, which increases the cost of use. Some cities may have regulations limiting the amount of gas you can store as it can be a fire hazard.
Many fire regulations limit the amount of gas stored in a home to 25 gallons (95 L). Propane is a more stable resource. It has a longer shelf life that can last almost several decades without degrading. Plus, propane tanks are much safer and easier to store.
You will need to monitor the performance of your system if you are using two types of refills. Maintenance includes checking the engine and tanks, as well as periodic cleaning to prevent clogging of the pipelines with residues.
Depending on the type, this can lead to the increased maintenance that comes with the territory. The EcoFlow Dual Fuel Smart Generator is easy to maintain. The side door provides easy access to any parts or oil changes. As a result, you will have much less hassle than with other dual generators.
Why should you use a dual-fuel generator?
You should use a dual generator instead of a standard or dual-fuel generator for many reasons. Even if you have a portable power station or a solar generator, you may need an extra backup. The dual generator performs many important functions during severe storms or extended power outages.
Multiple fuel sources
The main reason for buying dual generators is access to multiple fuel sources. As mentioned earlier, some fuels work better than others, depending on the situation. For example, propane works better in hot weather, while gasoline burns better in sub-zero temperatures. Climate and time of year can dictate which resource is best for your situation.
In areas prone to natural disasters, one source of fuel may run dry. The dual generator provides additional refueling capability if a single source of power is not enough. Extra propane tanks are easy to store at home and keep you and your home safe from power outages.
Connecting a propane tank to an EcoFlow Dual Fuel Generator is easy. Most propane dual-fuel generators have a connection that allows you to conveniently use the same tank as your gas grill. You can easily purchase additional propane tanks at hardware and grocery stores or gas stations.
Longer run time
Switching between fuel sources means you can maintain a backup power source for longer. When the generator runs out of gas, it can switch to propane or vice versa.
Versatility saves power. During long outages, longer run times are critical to maintaining power until the network comes back online.
When you’re dealing with a natural disaster or power outage, you may not always have enough fuel alone to keep your generator running. Dual generators offer more resupply options, so you’re always ready.
Preparation is especially important in areas prone to extreme weather or wildfires. Natural disasters can cause significant damage and block roads, cutting off access to fuel sources such as the nearest gas station.
Dual generators give you peace of mind. If you don’t have access to gas, you can switch to propane as your main agent.
Whether you are using an EcoFlow DELTA Pro or DELTA Max solar generator or a portable power station, the smart dual-fuel generator turns on automatically when they run low. You’ll always have an extra backup option to power your home – even during extended power outages.
Are there propane-powered devices?
A few years ago, there were many devices on the market that run on propane. However, such buildings are considered obsolete, so manufacturers are trying to remove them from production. If you are looking for the best and most versatile device, look into dual-fuel designs.
This allows you, if necessary, to switch between different types of fuel. For example, if you run out of gas, you can connect a propane tank that has been in the garage for a long time.
Designs operating on two types of fuel are distinguished by modern design and stable operation.
They work more quietly when compared with outdated models. There are other options that are not yet very common. And many consider them inoperable and note the unjustified high cost.
Ways to start generators
Electric generators come with manual, electric, and automatic start. More on this will be discussed later.
The manual start is equipped with devices that are used occasionally. For example, to work with power tools for 2-3 hours or a short trip out of town. To start the mechanism, the starter cord is pulled sharply, and then slowly released.
Generators under 5kW require little effort to start. But the higher the power, the more power is required to start. Manual start generators are inexpensive and easy to operate. Most budget models are equipped with just such a starting system.
Electric start is much more convenient than the manual start, and it is found in models for regular power generation. To start the generator, you need to press the corresponding button.
There are models of generators with electric and manual start. The last one is insurance. It is used if the electric starter is broken. Large models with high power are equipped with an electric start. The process is similar to starting a car engine by turning the key.
Only the key is replaced by a more convenient button. The system is efficient, convenient, and understandable, but requires regular maintenance. The price of electric start generators is, of course, higher than that of models with a cord.
Automatic start generators are useful for homes or summer cottages where power outages often occur. If suddenly the city network fails, the electric generator will start itself.
The device of the automatic launch system is more complicated than that of the previous types. Here, a separate remote unit is responsible for switching it on. The system is connected to the city network, the automation monitors the voltage indicators and, if necessary, starts the electric generator.
Generators with this type of start are much more expensive than the rest. Installation and maintenance must be carried out by an experienced person.
What phases to choose for the generator?
Today, they offer to buy an electric generator in two versions: single-phase (220V) and three-phase (380V). Refrigerators, televisions, microwave ovens, and other single-phase equipment are connected to generators of the first type. The main thing is to correctly calculate the power consumption.
Three-phase consumers can be connected to electric generators of the second type, and they can also be used as a backup power source in cottages with a three-phase network distribution.
Before connecting single-phase power consumers to a three-phase generator, the load must be properly distributed. The power difference in the phases should not exceed 25%. If the situation is different, the generator will break.
Types of cooling in electric generators for the home
Manufacturers of electric generators most often install an air cooling system in their products. The reason for this: is affordable price and optimal efficiency for models with low and medium power.
Generator models designed for regular power supply are equipped with water cooling systems. They are better than air.
How to connect a three-phase generator?
In the case of using a knife switch, a winding is required for each phase separately, that is, a jumper from one phase to another.
Where is the best place to install a generator?
The generator can be connected both outdoors and indoors. If the generator is installed outdoors, care should be taken to protect it from snow, rain, and the external environment. To do this, you can use a container or a special protective cover. Installing it under a conventional canopy is unsafe.
Since the generator engine makes a lot of noise during operation, it is necessary to take care of sound insulation in advance.
When choosing an installation location, the type of generator start-up must be taken into account. Devices with a manual (starter rope) or electric starter (ignition key/button) are best placed closer to the house or in the basement. This allows you to run a backup source even in severe weather.
With remote or automatic (ATS) start, there is no such need. AVR stands for “automatic transfer of reserve”. Automation is triggered when the voltage disappears in the network, while the generator is started automatically. This method is also called emergency.
How to calculate generator power?
Before installing the generator, it is necessary to correctly calculate the power of the generator. To do this, you need to add up the power of all appliances in the house and choose a generator with a power reserve.
There is a rated power – in this case, the load is variable, and the average power should not exceed 80%; the maximum power output (it is designed for 500 hours of operation, should not exceed 90% of the load). For example, if the rated power is 2.5 kW, then the power is 2.8 kW.
How to connect the generator?
The generator is connected in two ways:
- Through a knife switch (connection to the shield).
- With the help of automatic or semi-automatic input of the reserve.
The generator is connected to the shield using a changeover or reversible knife switch:
- Before installing it, a cable is laid, depending on the power of the generator.
- Then the switch itself is installed in the shield in a special box, protecting it from rust and corrosion.
- After that, it remains to connect the breaker (the main network cable is located at the top, the private circuit of the house is in the center, and the ground is at the bottom), and start the generator.
Connecting a generator with a semi-automatic type ATS involves the installation of two semiconductors in protective boxes, which are interconnected. When the light turns off, you need to start the backup power source, then there will be an automatic transition from the main network to the generator.
Automatic transfer of the reserve means turning on the generator automatically, without any intervention.
As you can see, there are many dual-fuel generators. All of them are very efficient and reliable. And the choice should be made based on your preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
When people encounter generators, they ask numerous questions. The answers to the most common of them will be presented below.
Is dual fuel worth it on the generator?
Dual-fuel generators assure that power is always available. You will not be afraid of accidents, natural disasters, etc.
Who makes the quietest dual-fuel generator?
The most well-known manufacturer that brings the quietest dual fuel generators to the market, is Honda. Most models produce a noise level of only 48 dB.
What is the best dual fuel generator for a whole house?
The best dual fuel generator for a whole house depends on factors like power needs, budget, and features required. Options like Westinghouse 9500 Watt Dual Fuel Home Backup Portable Generator, but choose based on your specific requirements.