Generator Conversion kits to Propane or Natural Gas

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Bear, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Thought this might interest some folks here

    Here's a tidbit from the front page.... interesting.....

    Generator Conversion Kits to
    Propane and Natural Gas.

    You can count on gasoline . . . to let you down!
    Gasoline is not a fuel that professionals ever choose to use on backup generators. Hospitals and other large facilities "never" install a gasoline back-up generator. They always use natural gas or diesel. Gasoline has a very limited shelf life and will actually cause engine failure. Worst of all when power outages occur due to ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and all other disasters, the first commodity to be hoarded is gasoline. Sadly, long lines (even fistfights) and rationing at gas pumps are a common occurrence during many disasters. The hurricanes that hit Florida last year were sad proof of that. However, working along with FEMA, we were called upon to be of assistance in helping in areas where gasoline was not even available to run generators. Propane, and especially natural gas, were more plentiful and just the ticket to keep the lights on and the crews working.
    Unfortunately, as some have learned the hard way, if not used often enough, gasoline will gum up the carburetor and will render an engine on the emergency generator useless. Do not get caught with a gummed up carburetor that will not allow your engine to run, on your gasoline generator that you cannot even get fuel for, when you need it the most.​
    Now that you have invested in a backup generator, make sure that it runs when you need it the most. Modify your Generator to run on propane or natural gas or even keep the gasoline option if you like and have the option to run all three fuels on the same engine!

    Propane and natural gas can save you time, money and aggravation.
    Our do-it-yourself change over kits allow you to run your gasoline generator on propane (LP Gas), natural gas, or all three. Propane and natural gas are truly a backup fuel for a backup generator. Your engine will last longer, start better in cold weather and even start next year when you go to use it in an emergency. The best part is, with one of our do-it-yourself kits you can change your engine from gasoline to propane or natural gas all by yourself.

    Why use propane to power your generator?
    If you have propane available you know you can store propane for years because it does not gum up, go bad, or pollute the air like gasoline does. You can use the 100# (24 gallon) cylinders, little bar-b-q grill type 20# cylinders, which is equivalent to 5 gallons of gasoline, or big tanks like 250, 500 and 1000 gallon ASME tanks.

    Why use natural gas to power your generator?
    If you have Natural gas available you would certainly agree that it is probably the most dependable fuel on earth and virtually an unlimited supply. Natural gas is always there. It does not gum up or go stale like gasoline.

    Here are many more of the benefits:

    <!--mstheme--><!--msthemelist--><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><!--msthemelist--><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=baseline width=42>[​IMG]</TD><TD vAlign=top width="100%"><!--mstheme-->[FONT=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Propane and natural gas powered engines provide the same power as gasoline.<!--mstheme-->[/FONT]<!--msthemelist-->

    </TD></TR><!--msthemelist--><TR><TD vAlign=baseline width=42>[​IMG]</TD><TD vAlign=top width="100%"><!--mstheme-->[FONT=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Longer, uninterrupted run times!<!--mstheme-->[/FONT]<!--msthemelist--></TD></TR><!--msthemelist--><TR><TD vAlign=baseline width=42>[​IMG]</TD><TD vAlign=top width="100%"><!--mstheme-->[FONT=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Connect to big tanks or to your natural gas pipe line. <!--mstheme-->[/FONT]<!--msthemelist--></TD></TR><!--msthemelist--><TR><TD vAlign=baseline width=42>[​IMG]</TD><TD vAlign=top width="100%"><!--mstheme-->[FONT=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Your generator will last longer because of larger fuel supply and less running out under load.<!--mstheme-->[/FONT]<!--msthemelist--></TD></TR><!--msthemelist--><TR><TD vAlign=baseline width=42>[​IMG]</TD><TD vAlign=top width="100%"><!--mstheme-->[FONT=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Clean burning Alternate fuel will help extend the life of your engine life.<!--mstheme-->[/FONT]<!--msthemelist--></TD></TR><!--msthemelist--><TR><TD vAlign=baseline width=42>[​IMG]</TD><TD vAlign=top width="100%"><!--mstheme-->[FONT=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Eliminate the "Dirty Port" that gasoline carburetors have that shortens the life of an engine.<!--mstheme-->[/FONT]<!--msthemelist--></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
  2. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Hey, you been following me around? I just checked it out in the extended reading area, lotta good info there, as in the archives.

    Definately a good area to explore. BTW there is a Discovery Chanal program on the 'chem trails' on TV tonight at 1100 hrs (pacific) ooops shoulda posted that. snowbyrd [beat]

    cool follow me if you can (see below)

    the off road desiel is called coolaid and is alot cheaper that regular disel fuel. just like useing heating oil in your vehicle, gotta look out for the Fed tax thing, Ponder it, heating oil, desiel, off road desiel, kero and such all good for your genny, truck, heater, ect ??[dunno] and it stores very well [winkthumb] snowbyrd, again, love the edit thing.
  3. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Sorry didn't mean to follow you too closely.... gotta work on my "Stealth" mode..... [LMAO]
  4. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I like that they are the official Yamaha seller. I don't have a generator yet, but when I'm able to get one, a "triple fuel" yamaha model would probably be my choice rather than converting something myself.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Diesel is better all around, and since it is not for on road use, the federal taxes are not applied. Get it at a farm co-op, and chances are they won't even ask if you are infrequently there, or after they get to know you. Propane typically is higher priced than either gasoline or diesel, but is a reasonable conversion option if you already have a gas engine. Firing propane in a diesel still requires a fraction of diesel for ignition, so you need both fuels on hand, at least the setups I've seen, spec'ed and started. I've never seen a three fuel engine that used diesel, but that does NOT mean they don't exist. Diesel engine firing cycles have to be extensively modified to run on gas, mostly because the cylinder pressures WILL cause destructive detonations.
  6. ripsnort

    ripsnort Monkey+++

    Good diesel engines are fantastic - incredibly reliable, long lasting and trouble free - but diesel fuel doesn't store well compared to propane. You can also run alot of your house with propane. Stove, water heater, space heater, lights. And a thousand gallon tank can be put underground.
  7. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    How long does a tank of propane or ng remain "useable"?
  8. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    As long as the tank don't leak it will last indefinately. Don't gum up, no loss of btu or anything.
  9. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    in MHO propane has one thing going for it. If you don't use the generator for 5 years, it will most likely start and run . When you shut it of, it is off! Most people shut off the ignition on their generators and do not turn off the fuel. The gas in the tank goes bad and the gas in the fuel bowl does even worse. Then 2 years later when the next ice storm or what hits, they try to start it and it doesn't start.

    The problem with propane in a SHTF situation is that it is not portable. You have what you have in your propane tank and for most purposes that is it. You can move the small 20 lb or larger 100 lb tanks and connect them, but no scrounging gas from your car or from the tractor etc or even going to the gas station for it under most situations. The people that I know who have one also seem to ignore the rule that an air cooled small engine does best if the oil is changed ever 25 hours. 3 or 4 tanks of gas and instead run them until the low oil shutoff kills the engine and then call me about their no good generator and what about my warrenty and I shouldn't have to pay for a service call and changing oil. I still think that a slow turning diesel engine that will run on the dyed diesel they sell in the northeast for fuel oil is the best way to go. With oil changes and a good filter it will run for 100's of hours and most houses have 100 or more gallons in the basement in the rural areas at all times.

    I tell people that if they have a kit with their gas generator that has a spare spark plug, an ignition tester, looks like a spark plug with a clamp on it, a spark plug wrench, a wrench that will let then drain the carb fuel bowl, oil and a gas stabalizer carb cleaner combination, and a good flashlight, that in 90 % of the times they can get the generator started or restarted. At least that is my success rate when they pay $50 plus for a service call.

    If you are going to have a generator, learn basic maintainence and service it. If you do you will be happy with any system and any fuel. If you don't, you will have the least trouble with propane or natural gas. I would hate to count on natural gas in any real situation. When a tornado strikes, or there is a wildfire, it seems like the first thing they do is turn it off to keep it from feeding fires or creating them and it takes a major infrastructure to pump it to the house. In most rural areas it isn't even an option.
  10. padkychas

    padkychas Monkey+++

  11. Rancher

    Rancher Specialist

    I've converted two gensets to propane using these kits. Very simple to do and both units ran great.
  12. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    the prices on the tri fuel Yamahas aren't bad out of the box and ready to go either. Cool site.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Link? I've been looking at a Honda gas unit simply because they are quiet enough to escape notice.
  14. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

  15. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

  16. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    OK, since this post is from the way past, I'll go ahead and give an update on my generator conversion.

    I have a "cheap" Briggs & Stratton generator that I got from HomeDepot on clearance. Using the site in the original post, I bought a conversion kit and installed it. No big issues, had to do some tweaking to the air filter housing but that was about it.

    Now for the fun part, starting it. I press the little "primer" button on the back of the regulator like the directions say to, but it takes for ever to get the thing started. Now what I do is, crack the gas valve enough to allow some gas into the carb, then turn it back off. This allows the generator initially start on gas, then by the time the gas that is in the float is gone, the propane is there and it works great.
  17. padkychas

    padkychas Monkey+++

  18. vegasrandall

    vegasrandall Monkey+++

    we had trucks when I was in the air force that ran on gas or diesel,no propane option.
  19. I didnt see any mention of conversion to HHO through water. Its much more technical but, could be an absolute replacement for carburated engines.

    I think it was patented by a guy in the 80s the was cruisin around in a VW bug running off hydrgen. The idea is to use a high volt DC circuit juicing a container with a homemade thingamabob in it that electrocutes the water and separates the hydrogen from oxygen. Then the hydrogen is pulled into the carb.

    Never done it myself but, there is a ton of stuff on the line.
  20. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    something else to keep in mind using propane and starting a device of any kind from a fresh LP tank feed via an extension hose - with the new safety tank valve that "gas rush" from a suddenly fully opened valve can cause a shutdown - that's exactly how the safety feature is supposed to work ...

    starting your gas generator and eazing open that propane tank isn't the worse idea in the world ....
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