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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion Antique Generators and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Advice on NG vs Diesel Generators


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  #11  
Old 01-28-2018, 10:50:50 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Advice on NG vs Diesel generators

I neglected to see the 30KW power requirement in my recommendation earlier. Are there any decibel requirements? If not you should look for a Detroit Diesel 3-71 1200rpm 30KW generator. They can usually be had for about $1500. Have it completely serviced or rebuilt at a two cycle Detroit shop and it will be the last generator you will ever need. Those Delco 1200rpm generators are bulletproof. They literally run a hundred thousand hours before needing repair. If you can deal with 20kw, you can buy a completely rebuilt 2-71 1200rpm generator from Emerson & Matkin with warranty http://www.emerson2-71gm.com/Gensets.html

Chris
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2018, 01:55:53 AM
fresnoboy fresnoboy is offline
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Default Re: Advice on NG vs Diesel Generators

Thanks guys. Now I see the Kohler RESC units are 3600 RPM, but the RCL units are 1800 RPM. I take it the more expensive Kohler line is the one to shoot for?

It looks some some of the generac protector (their higher end series) are 1800 RPM and others 3600 rpm. Weird.

thx
mike
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2018, 02:20:24 AM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Advice on NG vs Diesel Generators

Everything Kohler makes liquid cooled is 1800 RPM.

3600 RPM is a toy but only goes up to the low 20s in kW power.

Your question was about 30 kW sets so that is why I did not mention 3600 RPM or air cooled anything, because it seemed to be already eliminated.
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2018, 10:21:22 PM
Seafarer12 Seafarer12 is offline
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Default Re: Advice on NG vs Diesel Generators

You will be hard pressed to find a 30kw 1800 RPM that is under 50hp. You will have lower hp engine in a 3600 rpm machine. They just tend to be less durable. My 20kw kubota gen set is 1800 rpm and has a 40hp engine on it. Since it runs at a reduced speed they have to put a higher hp engine on it.

Liquid fuel and gas fuel have their pluses and minuses. You just have to figure worse case scenario and what are the odds of it happening. I tend to lean towards diesel. You are less dependant on others for fuel. The natural gas line needs to be supplied and a propane tank needs to be filled. I can go scrounge diesel.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:10:23 AM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Advice on NG vs Diesel Generators

Mike originally posted:
"..looking to get a 30 KW backup generator. I know Diesel gensets in that class can be quite reliable and run continuously for days and not break a sweat."

ANY generator in the 30kw range will NOT be a lawn-mower engine... be of sufficient build quality to run continuously for days without breaking a sweat... but do you plan on running it at a 30kw load? Depends on your application details.

If you're running a house that would be fine for 90% of that timeframe at 5kw or less, then feeding a 30kw machine is extreme waste of fuel... it would be wiser to have a large and a small unit, so you can choose your power source based on load. As a side bonus, you'll have redundancy in the event that one machine has an issue.

"But if I wanted a natural gas generator,...Do they need more maintenance than a Diesel genset?"

The biggest maintenance issue that ANYONE has with a generator, is that they ignore it when they don't need it.

The biggest difference between maintenance of a liquid fuel vs. gaseous fuel system, is that the gaseous engine will always be CLEANER... combustion chamber, valves, pistons, and oil... than a liquid fuel engine... and propane will ALWAYS be cleaner than NG, but you probably wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at it. Propane, once trapped inside that bottle, cannot get substantially 'dirty'. Natural gas sometimes gets debris coming down the pipe, and you'll get 'air bubbles' in it on occasion too, but the grade of fuel quality tends to vary a bit, because natural gas is a MIX, while Propane is just that... Propane. C3H8.

"NG is very reliable in my area, and it avoids having to deal with refueling etc..., but I am worried about a long outage due to earthquake etc... "

Yep, ANY pipeline infrastructure is subject to interruption in a siesmic event. Back 'in the day', NG pipelines didn't depend on electric power to booster stations to move natural gas... instead, the booster stations had spark-ignition engines that burned (of all things) NATURAL GAS... to spin NG compressors to push it along. Apparently the pipeline companies decided that running electric motors was substantially less costly than maintaining the 600hp SNOW engines... and they're probably right- big and beautiful doesn't matter to the bottom line. The booster station out north of my place has electric booster compressors, but it also has an engine-driven generator to back 'em up in the event that the electrical utility line goes dead....
..and the engine driven generator has a PROPANE tank too... just in case there's some issue with NG feed that won't allow the engine to fire up.
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2018, 09:01:36 PM
BoilerGuy BoilerGuy is offline
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Default Re: Advice on NG vs Diesel Generators

Re natural gas booster stations, storage sites, I have been to at least 5 in Michigan that all use Natural gas fueled internal combustion engines, some reciprocator's and 1 turbine to run the compressors.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:06:34 PM
Larry Rusch Larry Rusch is offline
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Default Re: Advice on NG vs Diesel Generators

"The booster station out north of my place has electric booster compressors, but it also has an engine-driven generator to back 'em up in the event that the electrical utility line goes dead....
..and the engine driven generator has a PROPANE tank too... just in case there's some issue with NG feed that won't allow the engine to fire up."

I would expect any reputable pipeline company would have black start capability at their compressor stations.
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