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Old 04-01-2011, 11:25 AM
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Default propane generator run time



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I was wondering. For those of you that have propane powered generators, how long does it generally run on a given amount of propane? I realize there are alot of variables such as generator size, load, and tank size. It would be nice to see some numbers.
Old 04-01-2011, 11:32 AM
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Most in the 3-4k watt range burn about 1.5 lbs per hour at 50%. 5-7k watt will burn about 2-2.5 lbs per hour at 50%.

Some of the smaller inverter models that have been switched to propane will get alot better.

Hopefully I will own a propane gen someday

BIH
Old 04-01-2011, 11:53 AM
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Check the specs. on your generator. It should tell how much it uses at 50% load, 80% load, etc.
Old 04-01-2011, 09:13 PM
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Size is everything. Based on a recent ice storm induced power outage, I went through about 80 gallons in 84 hours of constant operation of my 15KW generator.
Old 04-01-2011, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by webfarmer View Post
Size is everything. Based on a recent ice storm induced power outage, I went through about 80 gallons in 84 hours of constant operation of my 15KW generator.
80 gallons of propane or gas?
Old 04-01-2011, 09:23 PM
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I think 80 gallons of propane would be about 320 lbs. So that's about 4 lbs an hour.
Old 04-01-2011, 09:23 PM
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Default 25 kw

I have 25 kw and a 1000 gal tank i can run everything in my home at same time and it use is 3 gal a hr
Old 04-01-2011, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigislandhikers View Post
80 gallons of propane or gas?
The fuel is propane.
Old 04-01-2011, 10:11 PM
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A propane genny IMO isnt very economical mine is a 13 k it runs wide open all the time and i have a 500 gal inground tank which cost me 1700.00 to fill it last time and I emptied it in one week when i was running it solid to build my garage,i will never buy another,I did buy a little honda 2000 watt gas genny,it runs all my lights,fridge,tv,fan ect and it runs about 10 hrs on a gal of gas,it cost me 900.00 if im spending another 4000.00 for power it will be solar panels,I might even sell my 13 k this summer and buy solar.Just my 2 cents from exp.
Old 04-02-2011, 12:57 AM
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I have a Generac 8000 watt propane. I will not run it full time. That is a real waste of fuel. Mine burns .94 gallons per hour. This would use a 100 pound cylinder per day running it non stop. Mine is for running my pump only at 1/2 hour per week to pump water which we then store in 10 -7 gallon water cans. The good thing about propane is that it lasts forever. No need to put anything in it just let it set. I will be adding a 500 gallon tank this summer and with my 2 100 pound cylinders Ill have near 550 gallons in reserve.

During that 1/2 hour while we are filling the jugs which takes about 20 minutes we will also use that power for a few other things like an electric saw or my small 110 mig welder. But 1/2 hour per week is as much as we can afford to use it.

I have 3000 watt gas generator(honda) for running 110 stuff short term like my frig and freezer. 4 times per day to keep things cold. We are building a small solar array for backup for low load stuff. There is no real cheap way to have a Generator running 24/7. Even powered by wood gas would require tons of wood for fuel. There is no real cheap way to replace the grid power you have now. Our plan is to use fuel that will never go bad and ration it to last as long as possible. Kingfish
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:48 AM
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Yeah, not cheap to run for sure. Mine starts automatically after an outage and turns off when power is restored. In a SHTF scenario where power is lost long term, I'll run it only 2-3 hours per day to keep the freezer and fridge to temp, batteries charged or whatever.
Old 04-02-2011, 09:00 AM
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http://www.propane-generators.com/

They have conversion kits for any gasoline powered generator, including tri-fuel (natural gas/propane/gasoline) and have charts that show run time.
Old 09-30-2015, 03:13 PM
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I have the Honda EU2000i gen with the Motor Snorkel tri-fuel conversion kit. Just picked it up today.

Of all of the units I looked at, this gen is by far the most quiet, especially when running on LP and using the Eco-throttle switch function. You cannot hear the engine on our back deck when you stand in our front yard, or in the street, or even in the street behind us (only 50' away in either case).

For those who have this unit, I was wondering what type of run time you are getting for LP using the kit.

I have been trying to find specific data concerning load / no load conditional runtimes for 20 LB / 5 gal LP containers.

I noticed bigislandhikers's post and wanted to know if that was a general rule of thumb, or would the info also apply to my specific gen.

FYI, the manuals do not specify this run time data. The conversion kit is an after market add-on.

I'm trying to store enough LP for the hurricane season we are currently in. We are constantly losing power, even when there are no storms. My goal is to get through 1-2 weeks of keeping an indoor fridge / freezer and a small outdoor half-size freezer cool to prevent food spoilage. I intend to run the gen periodically to keep the freezers cold, but not run the gen full time. I have already notated and calculated the wattage and amp / hours for both devices, but I'm having trouble locating data on usage and runtime of the EU2000i using 20 LB LP cylinders. Also, I did search the forums here and did not find an answer more specific than what bigislandhikers posted above.

Natural gas would be the preferred solution and would eliminate some of the storage / cost issues.

Unfortunately, the power company does not supply natural gas to our area yet. Go figure. We're in the city in an area that was fully developed 35-40+ years ago, and even has buried service for the other utilities. Kind of odd, but it is what it is.

According to other data and what the techs told me at the Honda dealership, they can get a single gallon of gasoline (not LP) to last about 8 hours. I was somehow hoping for a 20 LB LP tank to last at least twice that long, hopefully even a full day.

Anybody have any practical experience using this unit on LP? Or any real-world data on LP run times?

Thanks for your help guys (and gals)!

~M.O.A.
Old 09-30-2015, 05:37 PM
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After conducting even more 'interwebs' (sic) searching, I discovered a wee tidbit of info concerning my gen's engine and some generic performance / usage data here:

http://www.motorsnorkel.com/propane-...-rate?___SID=U

http://m.engines.honda.com/models/model-detail/gx100


GX100 engine Net Power Output: 2.8 HP (2.1 kW) @ 3,600 rpm
EU2000i rated AC output: 1.6 kVA
Maximum rated output: 2.0 kVA
DC output: 8 A (used only for charging 12v automotive or deep cycle / marine batteries)


BASIC PROPANE GENERATOR FACTORS:

-It requires 2 horsepower to produce 1000 watts of energy per hour under load

-Under load, each horsepower consumes 10,000 BTU per hour

-Propane contains 92,000 BTU per gallon

-Propane weighs 4.2 pounds per gallon

-Cylinders are rated by their weight capacity of propane

-Bulk tanks are rated by gallon


LP Cylinder Capacity:
Size Gallon Capacity Total BTU Capacity
20# 4.8 441,600


BTU consumption:
Generator Wattage Engine Horsepower Full Load 75% Load 50% Load
1850 3.5 35,000 26,250 17,500

There is more data there on that link I culled this info from, but honestly, I'm no math major. Some of it seems a bit confusing to me. I simply want to know in real-world terms, how many 'at load' work hours can I expect using this gen at average temperatures of between 60°F and 100°F, with a "full" 20 LB / 4.4 to 4.717 gallons (depending on outside operating temperature and if your gas dealer is actually giving you the 15 or 20 gallon @ 80% capacity limit of a cylinder fill).

Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?
Old 09-30-2015, 06:55 PM
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There are no longer any true 20 pound tanks. As you suspected, they are all down to 17 pounds or less. It's not unusual to get just 3 gallons of propane in an exchange or owned tank.

I suggest using 30 pound tanks. They hold a true 7 gallons of propane.
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Old 09-30-2015, 09:52 PM
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Propane has approximately 10% less BTU's than gas. If your generator will run 8 hours (and that rating for the Honda assumes 1/4 loaded or 500 watts average per hour) on 1 gallon regular unleaded than it should run about 7+ hours on propane. But there is a caveat. Sometimes Propane is actually more efficient than the gas if the jets are properly adjusted for your elevation.

So if you have a 4 gallon propane tank (20 lbs) that would give you 28+ hour run time at 1/4 loading.

ETA: I should mention that if you are running on propane that you may not achieve full load wattage. This would mean that instead of 2000 watts you might only achieve 1800 watts.
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverrat View Post
I was wondering. For those of you that have propane powered generators, how long does it generally run on a given amount of propane? I realize there are alot of variables such as generator size, load, and tank size. It would be nice to see some numbers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by M.O.A. View Post
After conducting even more 'interwebs' (sic) searching, I discovered a wee tidbit of info concerning my gen's engine and some generic performance / usage data here:

http://www.motorsnorkel.com/propane-...-rate?___SID=U

http://m.engines.honda.com/models/model-detail/gx100


GX100 engine Net Power Output: 2.8 HP (2.1 kW) @ 3,600 rpm
EU2000i rated AC output: 1.6 kVA
Maximum rated output: 2.0 kVA
DC output: 8 A (used only for charging 12v automotive or deep cycle / marine batteries)


BASIC PROPANE GENERATOR FACTORS:

-It requires 2 horsepower to produce 1000 watts of energy per hour under load

-Under load, each horsepower consumes 10,000 BTU per hour

-Propane contains 92,000 BTU per gallon

-Propane weighs 4.2 pounds per gallon

-Cylinders are rated by their weight capacity of propane

-Bulk tanks are rated by gallon


LP Cylinder Capacity:
Size Gallon Capacity Total BTU Capacity
20# 4.8 441,600


BTU consumption:
Generator Wattage Engine Horsepower Full Load 75% Load 50% Load
1850 3.5 35,000 26,250 17,500

There is more data there on that link I culled this info from, but honestly, I'm no math major. Some of it seems a bit confusing to me. I simply want to know in real-world terms, how many 'at load' work hours can I expect using this gen at average temperatures of between 60°F and 100°F, with a "full" 20 LB / 4.4 to 4.717 gallons (depending on outside operating temperature and if your gas dealer is actually giving you the 15 or 20 gallon @ 80% capacity limit of a cylinder fill).

Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?
For various sizes of both the Honda and Yamaha inverter generators, this website has the exact numbers.

http://www.centralmainediesel.com/or...2000i_Tri_Fuel

For instance, a Honda EU2000i consumes this much propane:
1/2 load - .101 gallons per hour
3/4 load - .206 gallons per hour
full load - .297 gallons per hour.

So a Honda EU2000i (the 2k Yamaha consumes almost exactly the same) can run at full load for 14.8 hours on 4.4 gallons of propane (typical barbecue tank size) or 15.8 hours on 4.7 gallons of propane.

By comparison, it could run at full load for 18.2 hours on 5 gallons of gasoline (far cheaper to buy containers for and easier to get filled IMHO) and run at its rated wattage.

You can also see how much gasoline and natural gas these generators consume at these loads. Be sure to note that when running on propane, the maximum wattage of a generator originally designed to run on gasoline will be about 10% less than what it's rated for.

This site also has these data for propane generators and natural gas generators (generators specifically designed to run on these fuels).
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:28 PM
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I have a 2.5kw propane generator that works very well, but it depends on what you plan to use it for. I only use it for shorts periods to recharge my batteries, run a microwave, or charge a laptop while in use.

I have also used it a few times to run a/c for about 2 - 3 hours.

The biggest advantage that I have found for propane over gasoline is that it is easier to store and has an indefinate shelf life.
Old 10-03-2015, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue Doh Myn View Post
The biggest advantage that I have found for propane over gasoline is that it is easier to store and has an indefinate shelf life.
True. The other big advantage is not gumming up carburetors or injectors like liquid fuels. Also if you wait and gas pumps are down, you may have a better chance of buying propane during an outage. Finally, you can get a dual tank regulator that allows you to change tanks while the generator is running.

I have a Powerland 8500W (peak) tri fuel. Running watts is 7000. It's supposed to use 2.4lb/hour at 50% load; so that's 8 hours on a 20 lb tank and 12 hours on a 30 lb tank. According to M.O.A.'s conversion factors, that'd be 0.6 gallons/hour.

I'm running N.G., but my Honeywell 12kW would go through 1.61gal/hour at 50% and 2.57gal/hour at 100%. Oink!
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