The generators that run on propane are known as propane generators. They may be single fuel or bi and tri-fuel.
Propane is a hydrocarbon with 3 carbon and 8 hydrogen atoms (C3H8) in its molecule. Water boils at 100°C and turns into steam. While propane boils at -42°C to become vapour. Propane is called Liquefied Petroleum Gas(LPG) because it is pressurized into a gas cylinder. It turns back into vapour when the pressure is released.
Thus, the mechanism that facilitated its use is in the extraction from the cylinder in which it is supplied. Most applications and appliances such as water heaters, generators, cookers use vapour.In its natural state, it is colourless, odourless and looks like water. Thus, for safety, a smell or an odorant is added to the gas so that a gas leak could be detected. This gas is extremely flammable. In the event of a leak ensure there are no flames or sparks and static electricity in the vicinity, and also allow thorough ventilation. Propane is heavier than air thus sinks to the floor, ensure a proper dispersal of the leak by opening all windows and doors.
Why is Propane used as a fuel?
Propane burns readily with oxygen and has a high energy content. It burns at 1980°C with a blue flame. This means it also burns clean and completely leaving behind only carbon dioxide, water and heat. The heat powers the internal combustion engine. As the engine turns the generator produces electricity.There is 25MJ (Mega-Joules) of energy in one litre of propane. The base unit is Joule it is the unit of work.
And energy is required to do work. A Mega-Joule is a million times a joule. Gas consumption is expressed in Mega-Joules per hour (MJ/hr). This translates to how much gas consumed or work (in MJ) was done in an hour (in this case, turning the engine in RPM).25MJ per litre converts to 6.9kWh. A kWh equals the amount of energy required to run a 1000-watt appliance for an hour. This means, on 6.9kWh you can run this appliance for 6.9 hours on one litre of propane. A twenty-pound tank contains 9.0718litres of propane. This means you can achieve a runtime of approximately 9 hours per tank.
Best Propane Generators in 2021
DuroMax are branded generators produced by DuroPower. It is a privately-owned company, Dexin International Inc., incorporated in 1992. DuroMax offers power, versatility, huge savings and lifelong service, all in one package.
Design and Build
This workhorse from DuroMax runs on a 457 cc OHV, 18 HP engine that runs on gasoline and propane. It revs up with an electric start and has a recoil start that facilitates start-up in the event of a flat battery. The Beast has a runtime of 10 hours at 50 percent load on an 8.3-gallon tank of gasoline. On a full propane tank, it gives a runtime of 20 hours at 50 percent load.
The panel has a low-oil warning light and a voltmeter. It also has individual circuit breakers to prevent overload and keep the electronics, safe.
There are 5 outlets on the panel – two 120V-20A Standard, one 120/240V-50A heavy duty outlet, one 120/240V-30A Twist Lock and one 120V-30A Twist Lock.
It is quiet at 72 dBA from 23 feet. There are a noise reduction muffler and a spark arrestor. It has a heavy-duty steel frame standing on four-point isolated mounts. These absorb vibrations and make for a quiet operation. The unit is portable due to its solid-filled, never-flat rubber tires. There is a high leverage handle for transport over any terrain. It is EPA and CARB compliant.
The XP12000EH is a dual fuel generator that pumps over 12,000 watts of power. You will not only stay powered through a storm but also be able to run many appliances simultaneously. It is also perfect for jobsites, outdoors and recreation. It is a perfect home backup solution as it is dual fuel – propane and gasoline. Using propane doubles the life of the unit due to clean burning that means minimal maintenance.
The DuroMax offers 9500 running watts and a peak power of 12000 watts. It’s called the BEAST because it can run up to 20 hours on propane.
All DuroMaxgensets come with a 3-year warranty, a 12V battery for the electric start, a wheel kit, a toolkit and an owner’s manual.
- Excellent runtime and power output
- Dual fuel technology allows generator to be run on propane or gas
- Low oil shut-off protects engine. Quiet muffler reduces engine nois
- Not parallel ready
Why it is the best of the lot
This generator runs on a clean fuel with a high-octane rating. It also has low carbon and no contaminants thus the engine maintenance is low too. It is dual fuel, thus dependable as the propane cylinders are easily available. This generator is loaded with safety features such as a voltage regulator, low oil shutoff indicator, etc
DuroPower makes the DuroMax generators. It is a California based company that brings you these rugged dependable generators.
Design and Build
The DuroMax XP4850EH has a 210 cc 7 HP 4-stroke engine. The genset features an electric start backed up with a recoil start. A convenience, in case it is a frigid day or the battery as drained. There has a full panel with oil level warning light with automatic shutdown and a key start-switch. There are four outlets – two 120V-20A 3-Prong Outlets and one 120V/240V-30A T wist Lock outlet (NEMA L14-30 3 Pole 4 Wire). It also features one 12V DC output, a circuit breaker and a large voltmeter.
For a genset with nearly 5000 watts of surge capacity, it has a small footprint. without the wheel kit, it is only 23.2 inches in length, 17 inches high and 17 inches wide. There are solid, never-flat rubber tires. The high leverage handles turn upwards and make it easy to move like a wheelbarrow over on all surfaces. There is an over-sized noise reducing muffler cum spark arrestor that is mandatory on camping areas and job sites for safety. It produces a 69 dBA of noise at 7 meters, thus quiet as a human conversation. It is a simple out-of-the-box operation with a heavy-duty frame with four point fully isolated motor mounts for smooth quiet operation
This XP4850EH produces power for 20 hours on a 20-pound tank of propane and for 8 hours on a 4-gallon fuel tank of gasoline at 50% load. With such a power-producing capacity and noise reduction features this is a perfect genset for outdoors and home. A flip switch brings you the dual fuel advantage anywhere.
The XP4850EH delivers 4850 surge watts and 3850 running watts of power. Though a cleaner fuel, running on propane reduces the output by 10 percent.
- Duel fuel thus dependable
- Compact with a small footprint
- Electric start
- A bit loud when the load is heavy
- Could be made parallel ready
Let’s take a detailed look at what you can get with this compact portable generator.
Power & Run Time
DuroMax XP5500EH is equipped with dual-fuel technology that enables you to choose the fuel type according to your preferences. No matter whether you’re willing to power heavy-duty power tools or high voltage appliances, the DuroMax 225cc OHV engine won’t disappoint you at all.
It’s important to understand that the DuroMax XP5500EH portable generator provides only 4275 rated watts when it’s running on propane. However, you can get a running wattage of 4500W by shifting to gasoline. Similarly, the generator can provide electricity for 9 hours when it’s running on gasoline. But when it’s on propane, it will generate electricity for only 8 hours.Make sure that you do not run power sensitive electronic devices on XP5500EH because it has a relatively high THD (<12%).
Electric start Feature
Personally, we do not like the pull-start mechanism as it requires plenty of power and strength. And we’re glad to know that Duromax offers an easy-to-use electric starter with this generator.
Strong & Portable
DuroMax XP5500EH is an ideal option for heavy outdoor use and tough environments because it has a strong metal construction. Although the generator weighs around 127 pounds, you can easily move it from one place to another with the help of a folding handle and wheel kit. However, if you’re willing to take it to a distant location, you’d have to use a vehicle.
Complies with Emissions Standards
The DuroMax XP5500EH is an environment-friendly generator because it’s CARB-compliant and EPA-approved.
Low Oil Shutoff
What’s the purpose of checking the fuel level again and again when you have the low oil shutoff feature in your generator? Yes, DuroMax XP5500EH comes with this amazing feature so you may not have to worry about your investment.
DuroMax XP5500EH is a powerful portable generator designed to fulfill your power consumption needs during power outages. It provides an extreme level of comfort with its amazing features like dual-fuel technology, MX2 power boost, electric starter, and low-oil shutoff. We’re pretty sure that you’d hardly find these advanced features in any other generator of this category. If you have any questions about XP5500Eh, feel free to get in touch with us.
BEST FOR HOME
The Pulsar is a powerful candidate for your power needs. The cutting-edge technology of this hybrid is an outstanding acquisition for anyone’s power needs. The dual fuel gives you a double security of using gasoline and propane which are easily available. With the added benefit that propane can be stockpiled and burns clean.
Design and Build
This generator has a 420cc, 15 HP OHV engine that starts with an electric push start and a recoil back-up. The battery for the electric start is included. The panel has six outlets – four 120V outlets, one 120V/240V twist-lock outlet and one 120/240V-50A RV outlet. It has a tubular steel frame with a black powder coating, the rest of it blue. The entire rig is mounted on solid rubber tires that never puncture. There is a fold-down handle that locks when raised.
Due to its patented Switch and Go Technology you can flip a switch to go from gasoline to propane and vice versa. This makes this a dependable genset which is ideal for home use, outdoor activities and jobsites.
To get an idea of the total wattage required by you simply add the running watts of everything to be powered simultaneously. Then select the highest running watts and add its starting watts to the previous total. This total is the total wattage you need from your genset.
As the Pulsar PG10000B16 offers 10,000 watts of peak and 8000 watts of rated power on gasoline. The genset gives 9000 watts of peak power and 7000 watts of rated power on a 20-pound LPG tank.
The hour meter helps schedule the maintenance to keep the unit is a working condition for a long time. There is a circuit breaker that automatically shuts off in the event of an overload. The unit can be restored to working condition by pressing the individual AC breaker with each outlet.
- Reliable engine
- Dual fuel advantage
- Fuel efficiency
- Switch and go technology
- Four 120V, one 120V/240V twist-lock, & one 120/240V 50A RV Receptacles
- Could be parallel ready and quieter
BEST FOR HOME
5. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready
Champion are the market leaders in power generation equipment. They have years of experience in providing clean, durable and dependable power. Their products set standards of performance and customer service in the industry.
Design and Build
The Champion has a 224cc, single-cylinder OHV engine with an automatic low-oil shut-off sensor.
The unit comes with a touch start and the battery is included. The push- button electric start has an internal battery that charges while the genset is producing electricity. There is a volt guard that protects against power fluctuations and surges. It comes with a Cold Start Technology that optimizes the genset to rev up on frigid days.
The fuel selector allows you to switch between propane and gasoline. There is a propane inlet to attach the hose and a 3.4-gallon gasoline tank. The runtime on a full fuel tank is 8 hours with a noise level of 68 dBA from 23 feet.
The panel has four outlets – one 120V-30A RV(TT-30R), one 120V-30A locking(L5-30R) and two 120V-20A(5-20R) outlets.
The intelligauge monitors the volts, Hertz and hours. This allows for easy monitoring of power output and scheduling maintenance. The unit is easily manoeuvrable as it has foldable handles and never-flat rubber tires. It is EPA and CARB compliant.
The Champion 76533 is not only a terrific addition to your recreational vehicle. It is also a cost-effective solution to power outage and emergencies.
The Champion 76533 is a dual fuel genset that offers ready portable running power of 3800 watts and 4750 starting watts. It is perfect for powering your recreational vehicle or four-wheel drive. It is also perfect for off-the-grid living.
The propane hose and engine oil are included. All Champions come with a three-year warranty and a lifetime technical support.
6. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready
This is a dual fuel generator by an industry leader with many years of experience and proven expertise. This out of the box genset instantly provides you with 3400 watts of portable power.
Design and Build
This gasoline and propane fuelled generator holds 0.6 quarts of 10W-30 engine oil. It has a low oil shutdown indicator that shuts down the engine when the oil heats up or level is low. The engine has a convenient electric start with a three-position ignition switch. The quick touch panel gives you control at one spot. The unit has 4 outlets – one 120V-30A RV, two 120V-20A household outlets and one 12V DC outlet with a dual USB adapter.
It revs down when the load is low and revs up when demand rises. This way it saves fuel and prolongs the engine life.
At 59 dBA the unit is ultra-quiet making it perfect for camping, tailgating and other outdoor activities. While it can also serve as a standby at home in the event of an emergency or blackout. Due to the built-in inverter, this unit can offer clean power with less than 3% total harmonic distortion(THD) and a pure sine wave of power. Since propane has a long and stable shelf life you do not need to worry about having gasoline on hand all the time.
The Champion can offer you surge 3400 watts and 3100 running watts for 7.4 hours over a full tank of gasoline. On propane, it offers a surge power of 3060 watts and a running power of 2790 watt. The unit will run for 14 hours on a 20-pound tank at 25% load. There is a Safety Fuel Selector Switch that ensures easy and safe operation on either fuel.
The Champion is accompanied with a battery, propane hose, engine oil and a 3-year warranty and a lifetime technical support.
7. PowerMate 6958 DF7500E
These generators are comparable to the best in the industry, just select the model according to your needs.
Design and Build
The 420-cc OHV engine with a 12V button start and recoil system comes with a low-oil shutdown. This feature prolongs the engine life by preventing damage. The dual fuel feature makes it reliable and durable. The 7-gallon gasoline tank with a fuel gauge offers runtime of 10 hours at 50 percent load. You can connect a 20 or 30-pound tank to powerup for 5.3 – 8 hours at 50% load.
There is a fuel selector dial to switch between fuels. It also provides an easy access to LPG connection.
The automatic voltage regulator protects the electronics from voltage fluctuations and swings. The PowerMate maximizes your power options with four outlets – two NEMA 5-20R – GFCI, one NEMA L5-30R and one NEMA L14-30R. There is a digital multimeter that tracks the maintenance schedule.
The unit is 200 pounds in weight. It is 46.6 inches in length, 27.5 inches in width and 24.8 inches in height. There is a fold-down locking handle with never-flat tires on an ergonomically designed frame for maximum portability.
On propane, the performance drops by approximately 10% with 6750 running watts and 8500 surge watts. It can simultaneously power appliances, tools and devices with its dual fuel, portable power anywhere and anytime.
The PowerMate has a surge power of 9375 watts and running power of 7500 watts on gasoline.
There are a fuel gauge and an hour meter. The unit has a 2-year consumer warranty and one-year commercial warranty.