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#249490 - 08/05/12 04:41 PM Converting gas generator to propane/natural gas
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Rather than hijack the other generator thread, does anyone have experience with the suggestion Les made regarding converting generator a gas generator to run on an alternate fuel.

I have a fuzzy memory about either propane or NG being hard on the engines. I think it was NG. For some reason I thought I read it somewhere on this forum. Anyone else remember that thread or concept? I like the general idea, but I don't know if I want to experiment on my Honda 3000 generator.
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#249500 - 08/05/12 09:14 PM Re: Converting gas generator to propane/natural gas [Re: GarlyDog]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2705
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: GarlyDog
I have a fuzzy memory about either propane or NG being hard on the engines. I think it was NG.


My understanding is this:

Automotive gasoline includes anti-wear additives as part of the mix (not lead anymore, but replacement compounds).

NG and propane don't have these. They burn very, very clean. So, in a converted gasoline engine, it's critical to change to an oil that is rated for NG/propane use. These provide the extra lubrication necessary.

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#249540 - 08/07/12 06:27 AM Re: Converting gas generator to propane/natural gas [Re: dougwalkabout]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
I know in car engines, in order to run liquid propane and compressed natural gas, the engines need to be designed with special components to reduce excess wear. Most typically, hardened valves and valve seats.

On the upside though, when run on lpg/cng these engines produce less emissions and are just less dirty in general (which actually allows fleet operators to go longer between oil changes).

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#249543 - 08/07/12 12:26 PM Re: Converting gas generator to propane/natural gas [Re: GarlyDog]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 788
Loc: wellington, fl
I operated trailer-mounted propane-fired Onan generators for about 5 years. I experienced lots of breakdowns, but the gens were running continuously all day long. Propane gens are readily available for rv applications: don't know why you would want to convert.
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#249545 - 08/07/12 12:51 PM Re: Converting gas generator to propane/natural gas [Re: GarlyDog]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1521
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
naturally the big advantage to a tri fuel setup, NG/propane regulators with venturi on a gasoline carburetor, you can take advantage of the fuel available...

propane..easy to store,especiall long term.... does not gum up the fuel tank/carb...25# bottle last about the same at 5gal gasoline on the smaller generators

gasoline...more filling stations (in Florida most gasoline stations have back up generators to run the pumps...the highly efficient inverter generators claim about 9hrs per gallon on standby mode...and can be converted to tri fuel also

natural gas...if you already have service much less expensive.. an YouTube vid by LDS Prepper made the comparison that during Hurricane Ike in Houston, neighbors with comparative size generators for 2 weeks had $500 vs $17 fuel bills...

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#249548 - 08/07/12 03:18 PM Re: Converting gas generator to propane/natural gas [Re: GarlyDog]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
I have a Honda 3000 inverter that runs on gas.

I thought adding the conversion kit would give me
some options since I have a NG pipe very close
to where I use it.
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Gary








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