Can You Convert Your Generator to Run on Natural Gas?

If you own a diesel or petrol generator, you may wonder if it’s possible to convert it to run on natural gas instead. The short answer is yes; switching a generator’s fuel source from diesel or petrol to natural gas is possible. This fuel conversion process can provide a number of benefits, from potential cost savings to reduced emissions. Let’s take a closer look at how you can convert your generator and the advantages of doing so.

The Conversion Process Explained

Converting a diesel or petrol generator to run on natural gas is a multi-step process requiring specialised knowledge and equipment. First, the fuel system components (like the fuel injectors or carburettors) need to be replaced with new parts designed for natural gas operation. This ensures the gas can be appropriately metered and mixed with the air intake.

Next, you’ll need to incorporate a natural gas regulator and mixer into the system. The regulator controls the flow of natural gas, while the mixer blends it with the incoming air before it enters the engine’s cylinders. The engine’s electronic control unit (ECU) must also be reprogrammed to adjust ignition timing and air-fuel ratios for natural gas combustion.

Finally, you’ll need to add natural gas storage, be it an on-site tank or a connection to a natural gas pipeline. Proper piping, valves and safety devices must be installed to ensure safe and reliable fuel delivery to the generator.

The entire conversion process can be complex, so it’s best handled by an experienced technician or engine conversion specialist. They’ll ensure everything is installed and calibrated correctly so your generator continues to operate efficiently and safely on natural gas.

The Benefits of Switching Fuels

So, why would you want to go through the time and expense of converting your generator? There are several potential benefits that make it worthwhile for many owners:

  • Cost Savings – Depending on your location and the relative prices of diesel versus natural gas, you could see significant fuel cost savings by switching to natural gas. This can improve your generator’s operating margins and provide a faster return on your conversion investment.
  • Reduced Emissions – Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than diesel. Generators converted to natural gas typically produce lower levels of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide emissions. This can be useful if you’re operating in an area with stricter emissions regulations.
  • Energy Security – Natural gas is more widely available than liquid fuels in many parts of the world. By tapping into a local natural gas supply, you can ensure a more reliable and consistent fuel source for your generator, reducing the risk of fuel shortages or delivery disruptions.
  • Sustainability – As a relatively clean-burning fossil fuel, natural gas is sometimes viewed as a “bridge” fuel that can help facilitate the transition to renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. Converting your generator to natural gas can be a step towards more sustainable power generation.

Is a Conversion Right for You?

Whether converting your diesel or petrol generator to natural gas makes sense depends on your specific situation and needs. Factors like your generator’s age and condition, local fuel prices, emissions regulations, and access to natural gas infrastructure will all play a role.

If you decide to move forward, be prepared for an involved installation process. However, the payoff of lower fuel costs, reduced emissions, and greater energy security could make it a worthwhile investment for many generator owners. So, don’t be afraid to switch to natural gas – it might just be the upgrade your generator needs.

If you’re considering converting your diesel or petrol generator to run on natural gas, the team at S&A Generators is here to help. Our qualified technicians can assess your specific generator and provide expert guidance on the feasibility and potential benefits of a fuel conversion.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We’ll work closely with you to determine the best solutions to keep your power backup system running reliably and efficiently, no matter what fuel source you choose. Take the first step towards cost savings, reduced emissions, and greater energy security – reach out to S&A Generators now.

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