What Are the Different Types of Generator Fuel and Their Effect on Generator Performance?

Generators can run on different types of fuel to produce electrical energy. The various types of fuel can affect generator performance and come with certain advantages and disadvantages.

What Types of Fuel do Generators Use?


  • Advantages: Easy to find and easy to transport and store.
  • Disadvantages: Higher costs, lower energy density, short shelf life.


  • Advantages: Higher energy density, lower consumption, longer shelf life.
  • Disadvantages: Diesel fuel can be more costly, difficulties in storing and transportation.

Natural Gas:

  • Advantages: Cleaner combustion, lower emissions, widely available.
  • Disadvantages: Requires a gas distribution infrastructure, energy density is lower compared to other fuels.

Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG):

  • Advantages: Cleaner combustion, easy to store and transport, widely available
  • Disadvantages: Energy density not as high as petrol and diesel.


  • Advantages: More eco-friendly, derived from renewable resources
  • Disadvantages: Energy density may be comparatively lower than other fuels, production costs may be higher.


  • Advantages: Lower costs, easy to store and transport.
  • Disadvantages: Energy density lower than petrol and diesel.

What Are the Effects of Fuels on Generator Performance?

  • Energy Density: The quantity of energy that a fuel carries per unit of weight. Higher energy density provides longer operation time.
  • Clean Combustion: Cleaner combustion means lower emissions and less maintenance.
  • Ease of Storage and Transport: The easier it is to store and transport fuel, the more practical it is to run the generator.
  • Cost: Fuel cost is generally an important factor in determining the type of fuel to be preferred.


Petrol Generator Performance

Petrol Generators are usually designed for portable and light-weight applications. Their performance can be bring advantages or disadvantages for certain requirements and areas of use. These are some of the factors affecting the performance of a petrol generator:

Energy Density Petrol may have a lower energy density per unit weight. This may require more frequent fuel replenishment.

Ignition Performance: Petrol generators generally have a capacity for fast ignition and a higher instantaneous power. This feature is advantageous especially in emergency situations and fast energy requirements.

Cost: Petrol may be more costly than other fuel types such as diesel or natural gas. However, petrol generators are generally less expensive.

Noise Levels Compared to Diesel Generators: Petrol generators can generally run more silently than diesel generators. This feature provides an advantage especially in applications where noise levels are critical.

Emissions: Petrol generators generally have cleaner combustion and lower emissions. This may help reduce environmental impact and have lower ecological effect during operation.

Maintenance: Petrol motors generally need less maintenance. Diesel motors may be more durable but they are more complicated with higher maintenance costs.

Easy Fuel Storage and Transportation: Petrol is usually easier to store and transport. Storage and transportation of diesel may generally require more attention and care.

Petrol generators may be a suitable choice for situations that require portable electrical energy. Nonetheless, alternative fuel types such as larger capacity diesel generators or natural gas generators should be taken into account for long-period or continuous energy requirements.


Diesel Generator Performance

Diesel generators are generally preferred for industrial applications and situations where continuous generator power is required. These are the main factors that affect diesel generator performance:

High Energy Density: Diesel fuel has a higher density per unit weight and this provides for longer operation periods and more power production.

Lower Fuel Consumption: In comparison to petrol generators, diesel generators generally have lower fuel consumption. This means saving on costs for longer periods of operation.

Durability and Lifespan: Diesel engines are generally more durable and designed to last for a long time. This is an advantage for applications that require continuous or longer use.

High Instantaneous Power: Diesel generators usually have a high instantaneous power capacity. This is important for situations that require instant high power.

Wide Capacity Range: Diesel generators commonly have a wide range of models offering different capacity levels. This provides suitable choices for many different applications.

Noise Levels Compared to Petrol Generators: Diesel generators are generally louder than their petrol counterparts. However, noise levels can be reduced in advanced technology models.

Fuel Storage and Transport Disadvantages: Diesel fuel requires more care in managing storage and transportation. Fuel purity and stability is important.

Emissions: Diesel generators can often cause higher emissions. Nonetheless, modern diesel generator models can be fitted with filter systems in line with eco-friendly technologies and regulations.

Diese generators are generally preferred for continuous or high-capacity power production requirements such as industrial facilities, hospitals, infrastructure projects and emergency situations.

What Are the DifferencesBetween Petrol and Diesel Generators?

Petrol and diesel generators are different in many ways because of the different types of fuel they use. There are the basic differences between petrol and diesel generators:

Fuel Type:

Petrol generators use petrol as fuel. These types of generators may be lighter and more portable.

Diesel generators use diesel as fuel. Diesel fuel generally has more energy density and is thus more suitable for longer operation periods.

Energy Density:

Petrol generally has a lower energy density. Consequently, petrol generators may require more frequent fuel delivery.
Diesel fuel has a higher energy density per unit weight and this means longer periods of operation.

Fuel Consumption and Costs:

Petrol generators may generally be more fuel consuming and this means more frequent fuel delivery along with higher operating costs.
Diesel generators have less fuel consumption than petrol generators.

Purchasing Costs:

Petrol generators are generally cheaper to buy. However, operating costs (fuel costs) may be higher. Diesel generators are generally more expensive but as they are more fuel efficient, they may provide cost benefits over longer operation periods.

Durability and Lifespan:

Petrol generators are generally lighter in weight and less complicated, but they may be less durable compared to diesel generators. Diesel engine generators are generally more durable with a longer lifespan. They have a more dense and durable structure.

Noise Levels:

Petrol generators usually run more quietly. Diesel generators may often be louder, but modern models can have reduced noise levels.

Both types of generators have advantages and disadvantages; so the specified requirements, budget and the type of application should be considered in choosing the right one.