I was surprised when a friend of mine a few years back told me his Chevy van ran on LP gas. At first when he said it I didn’t believe it. But since then I have learned that many cars can and to run on CNG (compressed natural gas). Honda has a CNG Civic that it has been selling since 1998. Honda rolled this Civic based CNG vehicle nationwide in 2012. As it turns out it generally costs about ½ as much to run a car on CNG compared to gasoline. In addition to this about 85% of CNP is produced in the United states reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It is also relatively clean burning.
In the Generator world internal combustion engines that run on Natural and LP gas is “old technology”. Generac has been doing this for decades with their home standby generators. Generac Generators are delivered pre-configured to run on natural gas, but can be easily “field converted to run on LP gas just as easily.
Customers will sometimes as How much gas to I need for my standby Generator. This is an important question to ask.
Don’t let your contractor skip steps…….often the Natural gas meter needs a modest upgrade for your generator to function properly. Each Generator has a BTU per hour rating. Based on this rating you can easily tell how much gas is needed. After checking the Combined BTU ratings of all gas appliance in the home the gas pipe can be properly sized and the Gas meter upgraded by PSE if needed. If the Generator is being fed from and LP tank understanding the total BTU load for the home can ensure the generator has enough fuel to last during an extended outage.
A standard Natural gas meter with only one regulator can only supply 5-7″ of water column.
For propane installations the required water column is still 11-14”.
Under sizing the gas lines can do one of two things:
- The generator is starved for gas and cannot provide the power needed for the home
- Shorten the life of the generator by causing it to work much harder than normal to produce the same power output
Washington Electric can help you install your generator the right way. We are both an Electrical contractor and a Mechanical contractor. This allows us to control the project from start to finish to make sure the installation is 100% correct.