Diesel Generator vs. Natural Gas Generator

Since Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity and Thomas Elva Edison put it to practical application by inventing the light bulb, generating electricity has gone through a lot of advancements and developments. From generators to solar power and wind power, we have come a long way in terms of generating electricity. However, two of the most widely used sources of generating alternate electricity have been diesel and natural gas generators. There are many gas and diesel generator manufacturers that provide with the best in class diesel generators.


However, when it comes to comparing the both, it can become quite tricky. Let us try to understand the basic difference between two types of generator.

  1.    Power Generation: Diesel generators can be used to generate electricity of up to 3000 KVA. However, they can also produce electricity output as low as 1-5 KVA making them apt for houses. On the other hand, gas generators are usually used to generate electricity output upwards 50KVA. This is mainly because of the huge setup cost involved in installing a gas generator.
  2.    Environment: Natural Gas is the cleanest form of fuel available today for power generation. Due to low emissions of Sulphur and Carbon, it is extremely environmental friendly fuel. On the other hand, diesel has been the major cause of rising pollution in the world due to high sulphur and carbon dioxide emissions.  
  3.    Availability of Fuel: While diesel is widely available across the world, it may be tough to find natural gas especially in the rural areas or new construction areas. Availability of fuel has been a major drawback for gas generators. However, this is changing as natural gas is being made more readily available today as compared to ten years back.
  4.    Safety: Safety may be an issue with gas generators if proper care and regular maintenance are not done. This is because gas is highly inflammable and explosive. On the other hand, diesel is said to be the least flammable fuel sources making it much safer.
  5.    Cost: This may be a big deciding factor for many. Fuel cost of gas is lesser than diesel. Hence, one may think that it may cost you lesser in terms of fuel consumption to run a gas generator. However, while you pay more for diesel, they give better mileage. Also, diesel generator needs lower maintenance when compared to gas generators that have complex mechanisms.
  6.    Noise: This is a no-brainer. Diesel generators are infamous for being the noisiest of generators. Gas generators, on the other hand, are much more silent. However, newer designs of diesel generators are giving a tough completion to their other counterparts when it comes to noise.
  7.    Setup cost: Setting up a diesel generator may cost more than setting up a gas generator. They also need more space. This is because of the large storage tanks that are needed in diesel generators to store fuel.

While diesel generators have been here for decades, gas generators are catching up quite fast. Today gas and diesel generator manufacturers have come up with innovative designs in gas generators to make them safer and more efficient than before.