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Power Portable Generator With Natural Gas?

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by (PeteCresswell), Aug 2, 2009.

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  1. I've got a little gennie that, hopefully, won't get much use.

    But the thought has occurred to me that in a prolonged outage
    gasoline might not be the most convenient fuel to obtain.

    I've heard people who have been through the aftermaths of
    hurricanes use the phrase "feeding the beast".

    We've got natural gas piped right in to our house/furnace.

    I'm wondering if anybody has experience with enhancing their
    home's natural gas piping to accommodate a tri-fuel-converted
    generator.

    I'm mainlining a pipe under the lawn and some sort of outlet
    rising up near a tree or in the garden shed where the generator
    can be attached sort of like hooking up an outdoor barbecue to an
    LPG tank.

    Anybody been here?
     
  2. Per (PeteCresswell):
    Oops... spell checker got me on that one...

    SHB "I'm imagining a pipe..."
     
  3. vaughn

    vaughn Guest

    I have "been there" for the last several years! There are lots of other
    folks who would KILL to have natural gas available for their generator. You
    are a lucky guy (as am I). There was once a natural gas BBQ in my back yard
    that was connected to an outdoor tap in my gas pipe. It was a simple matter
    to run a pipe from that tap to my 4 KW Onan, which was already set up for
    propane. Unfortunately, my setup is dual fuel (LPG/NG) rather than triple,
    so gasoline is not an option for me.

    My first choice fuel is natural gas, but I keep a few days supply of
    propane just in case the natural gas system does not survive a hurricane.
    Switching from one fuel to the other only involves turning on the
    appropriate valve and making a slight mixture adjustment.

    Vaughn
     
  4. Shutoff Valve, where you tap into the gas main, and at no more than 3ft
    from the Gen.

    Pipe size, check the conversion kit requirements.
    <http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/natural-gas-pipe-calculator-d_1042.html>
    Also, here <http://www.propane-generators.com/natural-gas.htm>

    Pipe material? I see repairs are made with a flexible pipe, not sure of
    the material. There are also blurbs about flexible Stainless pipe, and
    braided SS connecting lines.

    Document pipe layout, and label. This may even be a required code.

    Theres plenty of conversion kits for all sorts of small engines, shouldn’t
    be a problem to fine one for the one you have.

    Cheers.
     
  5. Rick Samuel

    Rick Samuel Guest

    If I were doing a setup, I'd forget about gasoline, LPG & NG only
     
  6. Per Rick Samuel:
    I can see that - especially for something that is used so
    infrequently.

    But this one came as a gas unit and I figure converting it, I
    might as well keep the gasoline capability so if my son-in-law or
    one of my daughters loses power I can be The Good Guy and lend
    them my little gennie.

    Sounds like if I'm shopping for an install in the back yard, I'm
    looking for an "outdoor tap for a BBQ".
     
  7. Bob F

    Bob F Guest

    You may need a higher pressure regulator than the standard unit supplied by the
    gas company.
     
  8. You

    You Guest

    Well, a lot depends on the NG Supplyer, the contractor that put in the
    neighborhood system, and the design of that distribution system.
    If you have a Propane Carb, NG will be the same.

    Some Gensets will require to be deRated and some will not. It depends on
    what the Engine Rated Horsepower is, compared to the Genend Rated
    Load, Horsepower Demand is.
     
  9. daestrom

    daestrom Guest

    I haven't run one myself, but my co-worker has and he says one advantage
    of running on NG versus gasoline is that the crankcase oil lasts longer.

    With a much cleaner burn, and any blowby of the rings is all NG/air, the
    oil doesn't get dirty as fast.

    daestrom
     
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