One of the greatest handicaps we face is ensuring that we have sufficient electricity to power our businesses. Often, an absence or inadequacy in the electricity supply pushes us to seek off-grid solutions to our power needs. Despite being our most common solution to electricity challenges, generators are hardly the most budget or environmentally friendly solution.
Businesses with huge electricity demands often find themselves burning several gallons of fuel on diesel and gasoline generators. In an era of high oil prices, the attendant financial implication is hardly a joke. Homes within off-grid locations face similar challenges. However, the impact is just as harmful to our pockets as it is to the environment.
We will look at both reasons in more detail.
2 Reasons Why You Need to Reduce Fuel Consumption
A reduction in fuel consumption helps us in the following two ways.
1. Reduce Operational Costs
Depending on your region, running a power-generating set is quite expensive. According to Global Petrol Prices, a gallon of diesel in the United Kingdom costs about GBP 5.175. In the United States, this figure is about USD 7.166, and about EUR 6.102 per gallon in Europe.
Furthermore, the approximate fuel consumption for an 8kW/10kVA diesel generator on full-load is about 2.4litres/hour. This usually isn’t the case. Actual daily usage often exceeds the average by quite a distance.
2. Reduce CO2 Emissions in Our Environment
On average, each gallon of diesel burned emits 10,084g of CO2 into the atmosphere. The figure becomes more frightening when multiplied by the number of generating plants operating in the United States alone. Using less fuel means less harmful gases get released into our atmosphere. That way, we breathe cleaner air which helps improve our quality of life.
That much said, let’s look at how you can reduce the fuel consumption of your gasoline and diesel engine generator.
6 Easy Ways to Conserve Fuel on Diesel and Gasoline Generators
1. Excess Load
The more load you have, the more fuel is consumed. Hence, it is necessary only to use appliances or pieces of equipment that are necessary. There are different levels for fuel consumption for loads on a generator. This diesel fuel consumption chart shows the approximate fuel consumption levels (gallons per hour) for ¼ load, ½ load, ¾ load, and full load. The consumption level for gasoline generators is slightly higher at 18 gallons for every 24 hours of use.
Underloading your generator also leads to increased fuel consumption. We know it sounds contradictory to say using less load also increases fuel usage. However, we’ll explain why this happens. If you operate your generator at less than 50% load, your power set will struggle to reach its maximum operating temperature. This struggle results in an increase in the amount of fuel consumed.
Check your generator’s load capacity and always ensure that your consumption is within that range to avoid excessive fuel consumption.
2. Frequent Servicing
Regular maintenance saves you from a lot of possible challenges. If you service our engine often, you would easily be able to identify potential causes of excessive fuel consumption, change faulty parts, and maintain the overall performance of your power generating set. Always remember to clean or replace the spark plugs, carburetor, and air filter of your gasoline generator regularly.
Regular maintenance goes beyond helping you save fuel. It is one of the best approaches to increasing the lifespan of your generators, saving you from total engine failure.
3. Regulate Specified Coolant Temperature
When fuel doesn’t burn completely in a generator engine, it increases the amount of fuel burned. An unregulated coolant temperature can cause incomplete fuel combustion. You can avoid this problem easily by ensuring your coolant (water) temperature is within standard operating range.
If you could do this successfully, you would have saved your engine from incomplete fuel combustion, which ultimately leads to increased fuel usage.
4. Take Out Carbon Deposits
Have you ever seen thick black smoke from the exhaust of your diesel or petrol engine? It is caused by excessive carbon deposits that attach to your engine’s valves, piston top, injector, valve set, and other parts. These carbon deposits increase your generator’s fuel consumption. Regular removal of carbon deposits from your engine will help reduce fuel consumption.
5. Use Other Sources of Power
You need to minimize your generator usage. Having alternate sources of power to supplement your generator will help you reduce your fuel consumption in the long run.
Try to reduce the load on your generator by installing solar panels and inverters to power your bulbs, wall sockets, and other light-load appliances. This way, you only use your diesel engine to power your heavy pieces of equipment (which you probably wouldn’t need to have running all the time). Having an alternative source of power helps you minimize generator usage, ensuring that you burn less fuel.
6. Inverter-Type Generators
What if your generator was able to adjust its engine speed to match the load? If your generator is old already and needs replacement, you can opt for the inverter-type generators.
Having your engine speed reduced depending on the load applied means you burn less fuel on light loads. Inverter-type generators ensure you’re only consuming the amount of fuel you need to carry your appliances at every point in time.
There you have it! These are six ways to cut down on the fuel consumption of your diesel and gasoline generator.
Reducing the fuel consumption of your generating set creates a win-win situation for you and the environment. While you will save on gas costs, the environment benefits from reduced pollution. Two of the most important instructions to follow are regular maintenance of your generator and properly managing the load it carries. These actions also help improve the overall lifespan of your generator. So, save money and help keep Earth clean with these few tips.