Are Natural Gas Generators Worth It?
When you think of a reliable power source for your business or facility, diesel generator may often come to mind first. Though diesel generators are considered one of the most popular choices when it comes to backup power systems – natural gas generators are a great alternative.
With growing interest for cleaner energy and uninterrupted power supply, there has been an increase in demand for natural gas generators. There has been a noticeable uptick in demand for natural gas generators with increased development in cogeneration systems (also known as Combined Heat and Power systems – CHP for short), as well as innovation to increase the overall efficiency of gas units. This increased interest is not without reason. Natural gas generators have been gaining increasing popularity due to their considerably lower emissions output, cost-effectiveness when compared to diesel fuel and overall fuel supply, and general overall availability of natural gas generators in the market.
Natural gas is considered to be one of the cleanest burning fuels when it comes backup generators, so this would make them ideal in urban environments and/or on rooftop installations where there are dense populations. Reduced noise pollution is also an added plus for natural gas generators. Natural gas generators generally tend to run considerably quieter than diesel generators. Fuel supply is also a major factor when it comes to natural gas generators. Natural gas generators are connected to the natural gas utility, which means that they do not require fuel storage in comparison to diesel generators. Natural gas is drawn and used by the generator as needed without limitations or restrictions of a diesel generator that must be connected to a diesel fuel tank or fuel containment tank of some sort. In the event of a natural disaster or utility work, the natural gas pipeline may be shutdown, which would normally render a natural gas generator inoperable, but many natural gas generators have conversion kits available that enable users to run off propane to keep the generator and business operations running. While this may add a short-term need for securing, storing, and replenishing fuel supplies, this could be considered a backup fuel option in the event of an emergency.
Cogeneration has been another major factor in play when it comes to the increasing popularity of natural gas generators. The general focus of cogeneration is to generate electricity and a heating element from a single fuel source at the same time. Cogeneration systems are considered highly efficient due to this capability and there has been an increase in market research for finding industries where applications may require high thermal energy production, as well as reliable backup power.
There is also the potential of integrating a hybrid power generation system by combining renewable energy sources like solar or wind with natural gas generators. This has been gaining traction as a greener and more sustainable method of power generation. As many industries are shifting more sustainable and renewable energy practices, these hybrid power systems can be a great start to building out these power systems.
When it comes down to choosing a backup generator, we always recommend that you assess the pros and cons of both diesel and natural gas generators. Both backup power systems come with pros and cons, but when it comes down to the question of whether a natural gas generator is worth it? We certainly think so.
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