The generator you install will be fueled by either Gas (Natural Gas or Propane) or Diesel. Gasoline fuel is only practical for use in portable generators, so is not included in this discussion. Both diesel and gas generators can have long lifespans if properly maintained and operated. The longevity of a generator depends on various factors, including the quality of the components, maintenance practices, operating conditions, and usage patterns. However, there are a few factors to consider when comparing their longevity.
- Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial for the longevity of any generator. Both diesel and natural gas generators require routine servicing, including oil changes, filter replacements, and overall system checks. Proper maintenance significantly extends the lifespan of both types of generators.
- Diesel: Generally speaking, diesel generators are known for their robust construction and durability, which can contribute to a longer lifespan. Diesel engines are designed to withstand heavy loads and harsh operating conditions, making them well-suited for continuous use and demanding applications. The quality of diesel fuel used can impact the lifespan of a generator. Fuel quality varies, and it’s important to use high-quality fuel and ensure proper storage and handling practices.
One of the problems with diesel being stored for extended periods is microbial contamination, also known as Diesel Bug.
Water gets into diesel fuel system through various means, such as contamination during fuel production, transportation, or storage. They can also be introduced through condensation or water contamination in the fuel tank. Once inside the fuel, these bacteria can multiply and form colonies, leading to a condition known as diesel fuel contamination or diesel fuel degradation. Modern diesel especially attracts and holds water molecules.
The presence of bacteria in diesel fuel can have several negative effects. These microorganisms can degrade the fuel quality by breaking down certain components, such as hydrocarbons, into byproducts like organic acids and sludge. This process is often referred to as microbial-induced corrosion (MIC) or biodeterioration. The byproducts formed by bacterial activity can clog fuel filters, fuel lines, and injectors, leading to decreased engine performance, fuel system blockages, and increased maintenance costs.
Fuel companies agree that if left untreated, fuel will remain reliable for just 6–12 months, after which fuel contamination (such as the diesel bug) begins to appear. Most industrial engine manufacturers now recommend a fuel conditioning program to ensure the reliability of fuel.
- Natural Gas/LP: Natural gas generators can have a long lifespan if well maintained. Natural gas engines typically operate at lower internal temperatures compared to diesel engines, which can result in less wear and tear on components. Additionally, natural gas combustion produces fewer byproducts and deposits, which can help keep the engine cleaner and potentially extend its life. However, Natural gas generators are generally more sensitive to operating conditions and may require more careful monitoring and maintenance in certain situations.
- Diesel or Gas – Summary: In general, diesel generators tend to have a slightly longer lifespan compared to natural gas generators, primarily due to the robustness of diesel engines. However, with proper maintenance and care, both types of generators can last for many years.
It’s important to consult with manufacturers and follow their guidelines for maintenance and operation to maximize the lifespan of any generator. Sirius Power will provide you with all the information you need for proper maintenance of your generators, along with offering low-cost Preventive Maintenance options.
Call us today @337-457-1818 for more information.