Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Daniel asks: ’m looking to get rid of our stimulus dollars with something worthwhile and would like to get a back-up power source for our home. I read your 2012 article “Prep for the Power Outage” and learned about multi-fuel generators and conversion kits. Is there any reason to want a gasoline option in a generator? Should I just purchase a LP & NG standby-generator? I’m looking at this Bi-fuel Cummins 18-20 kW standby generator.
My reply: The big detraction with gas is it does not store well for long periods; CNG/propane does (also diesel, if properly treated).
Most standby generators (i.e., the ones that automatically start when the power goes off and power the whole house) are propane/natural gas or diesel-powered; the multi-fuel option can be handy in the case of smaller units (e.,g. the portable ones that you plug into your panel when the main power goes out) but in the case of a big units, it’d probably entail major work and you’d need to have a big tank because of the power usage/consumption of the thing.
If you have a large CNG/propane tank on your property, you should be fine.
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