As evident, electricity is the main source of power used routinely from running home appliances to providing productive and conducive work environment at workplaces to operating any industrial endeavour. And whenever there is a need of uninterrupted back up power, generator has been the common alternative source of power, its application varying from the industrial to personal needs.
The factors taken in account while deciding on a generator include the required wattage capacity which depends on the number of appliance required to be operated in case of power failure. For instance, appliances with heavy load capacity like refrigerators, air-conditioners and computers need greater wattage. Secondly, based on the capacity of power generation, the price range varies, as also the greater maintenance needed for high capacity generators.
As not all requirements are the same, similarly the generators too come in various types – each with its own unique feature. Some of the classifications of the generators are as follows:
Based on Fuel
Kerosene Generators – These generators are the most cost effective as kerosene does not cost much and are mainly used for small standby power applications.
Diesel – These types of generators are suitable for larger loads and industrial purposes. It has a long stand-by time and is power efficient.
Petrol – Petrol operated generators are more suitable for residential and lower load uses as these generator sets cannot run on high loads for too long. However, petrol generators are more economical than diesel generators.
Gas Generator – The chemical oxygen generator uses hydrazine as fuel to boost up the auxiliary power unit or emergency power unit. It is mostly for home use.
LPG Gas – LPG consists of hydrocarbon gases, butane and propane and offers a silent generator, high fuel efficiency and low maintenance costs. LPG is a green fuel with low pollution. These cost effective generators are usually small and compact, useful for low load residential purposes.
Natural Gas – Natural gas acts as substitute of chemical fuel and is another green fuel option. It emits low amount of nitrogen, sulphur and other gases. It is cleaner and cheaper because it consists of coal and oil.
Propane – It is a fuel refiner that consists of natural gas and refined crude oil. It solves the problem of all home needs.
Biodiesel – It is a green alternative, made from vegetable oil or recycled cooking oils. It produces significantly less emissions, is safer to store and has better lubricating properties than petroleum-based diesel. Also, biodiesel blends (a mixture of diesel and biodiesel) too can be used to power generators.
Some of the advanced models available such as Tri Fuel Generator from Powerland also give the convenience of running on three kinds of fuel (propane, natural gas and gasoline) by simply changing the fuel source without any mechanical alterations.
Based on Cooling System
Air cooled – These generators have single-cylinder, air-cooled engines that may produce a lot of noise and aren’t that effective but are more economical.
Liquid cooled – Liquid cooled generators are priced higher and have multiple-cylinder, liquid-cooled engines that provide a steadier operating temperature and substantially less engine noise due to the sound-reducing qualities of the water jacket.
Air-cooled versions run by kerosene, produce cleaner exhaust than those run by diesel whereas, liquid-cooled engines tend to release hazardous coolant into the environment if they overheat.