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Natural Gas Generators: An Alternative to Diesel

Cummins-NG.jpgRemote Electrical Power Generators
The most common type of electrical power generator is fueled by diesel.  Its high power density and availability make it the fuel of choice for heavy industrial equipment of all types. However, in some locations, the use of natural gas generators have advantages over diesel generators.  Cleaner fuel options, such as natural gas or renewable energy sources (biodiesel, biomass, etc.), have recently come in high demand as a result. These cleaner types of fuel sources can provide much needed energy during peak power demand, or provide a backup/standby power supply, while the installation and use will receive less opposition from environmental groups and neighboring residents.

Natural Gas Use & Supply
Natural gas has quickly become the United States first choice when it comes to new power plants.  Although, coal and nuclear energy were the fuel sources of choice in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, natural gas has been used quite extensively over the past decade. In fact, in 2000, 95% of all power added to the national grid was fired from natural gas (Source: Natural Gas.org). It is difficult to predict the remaining supply of the world’s natural gas; however, there is plenty of data to suggest that there will be an ample supply for many years to come.

Advantages of Natural Gas Gensets
Natural gas gensets have the added advantage of being easy to install and quick to permit. They are also relatively inexpensive to purchase, operate, and maintain. In fact, installed natural gas gensets can provide some of the cheapest electricity available when compared with other sources in applications that operate more than 500 hours annually. They perform very well under intermittent load conditions, the parts and service technicians are widely available and they can be paralleled with numerous generators to meet almost any power demand.

The technology surrounding natural gas powered generators is also advancing to allow for increases in engine efficiency, reduced maintenance, and lower emission levels.  The U.S. Department of Energy has acknowledged the fact that these engines are amongst the lowest cost energy options available. The Energy Information Administration has more information on natural gas pricing information.

When considering a generator for your own home or for your business you should be aware that there are other types of fuel sources besides diesel area available for remote power generation. Fuels like natural gas have the added advantage of producing lower pollution while providing a highly economical electricity source.


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