Petrol Generators Vs Diesel Generators

The struggle of the Nigerian Power Sector  means Nigerians must look to keep their houses powered up by getting alternative power sources. The most common alternatives available to the average Nigerian is the petrol or the diesel generator. Picking a suitable option can be difficult, this makes the Petrol generators vs Diesel generators a compulsory debate.

There are a lot of things to consider before picking a suitable alternative energy source. The load is the basic attribute considered, the price too but there are other things you must consider for the long run like:

  • Which of them is more efficient?
  • What happens when it develops a fault or needs to be serviced?
  • And most importantly, which one has a longer lifespan?


Petrol Generator Advantages

  • The cost of petrol is a great advantage but there are other advantages. One of them is that there are more model options for a petrol generator.
  • Petrol generators are less polluting than their diesel generator counterparts. They are less noisy and produce less CO2 per litre.
  • Petrol generators can be used for low load application requirements.



Petrol Generator Disadvantages

  • Petrol is much more volatile than diesel, meaning it’s not safe to carry large quantities. Petrol generators use a spark ignition system, meaning a higher risk of explosion.
  • Another disadvantage of petrol generators is that they reach very high temperatures. This causes more wear and tear on the generator over time.
  • Petrol generators require frequent maintenance and repair. This ultimately leads to a shorter life span.
  • Also, petrol generators cannot run at high loads for extended periods.


Diesel Generator Advantages

  • Most of us are used to thinking of diesel as the ‘more expensive’ fuel compared to petrol but that isn’t the case when it comes to generators. Diesel fuel per litre is more expensive than petrol fuel but the diesel generators biggest advantage is that it’s more fuel efficient than petrol generators. Diesel generators burn about 50% less fuel over any given period of time. This efficiency is due to the diesel motor’s higher compression. This puts diesel generators ahead of petrol generators when a like for like comparison is done and makes portable diesel generators less expensive over time.
  • Diesel generators guarantee low cost of ownership; they last longer than petrol generators, cost less to run and take longer to depreciate. Diesel generators last longer because they don’t have to work as hard as petrol engines to get the same power output. This implies that its engine parts are under less stress.
  • Diesel generators are also self-lubricating, making their fuel delivery system last longer than that of a petrol generator.
  • Also, diesel generators are safer because they lack an ignition system. This detail means one less thing to fail.
  • Finally, diesel generators can operate at high load levels (60-100%) for prolonged periods.



Diesel Generator Disadvantages

  • Diesel generators emit more CO2 per litre of fuel than petrol generators. There’s a twist to this as their engines use less fuel than their petrol counterparts. This means they tend to emit less CO2 over time (depending on how long you use them for).
  • Cost is also a great disadvantage as diesel is more expensive than petrol. Diesel generators tend to last longer and are less likely to fail but are more expensive to fix when they do.
  • Diesel generators don’t hold up well if not used frequently.



The Verdict

It’s a pretty close match, industrial companies would prefer diesel generators for their heavy-duty future but it really comes down to what your needs are. If your use is not frequent and your load is light, petrol generator works fine. If you’ll be using the generator continually, have high load and looking to save cost in the long run, diesel generators are perfect.

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