7 Advantages of Natural Gas Generators in Emergency Standby Power Applications
Diesel fueled generators have traditionally been the standard in emergency backup power systems. However, recent events have given system designers and electrical contractors reason to reconsider natural gas generators as a backup system.
Given the increase in major weather-related events in 2017 and the similar predictions for 2018, those responsible for backup power have learned from past experiences and are assessing installations early this year.
Here are seven reasons to consider natural gas generators in emergency backup applications.
1. Cost of Fuel is Less
Natural gas is about 1/10 the cost of diesel. With longer outages and the increase demand for diesel fuel, the expense can escalated. Natural gas provides cheaper extended run times and gas utility infrastructure is, in many areas, redundant and is reliable as an emergency fuel source.
2. No On-site Fuel Storage
On-site storage of diesel fuel requires local jurisdictional approvals. There can be many considerations unique to site requirements that makes diesel fuel storage a complex and complicated task. Pipeline natural gas does not have these complications.
3. No Regularly Scheduled Fuel Maintenance
Facility managers must regularly maintain diesel fuel tanks or risk the fuel going bad. Diesel fuel shelf life is less than 12 months. Degradation, tank and filter maintenance, microbial contamination, and water acclamation are all challenges of having on-site diesel fuel.
4. Avoid Flooding, Delivery Issues, and Accessibility
In an emergency, diesel fuel replenishment can be extremely difficult. Flooding, damaged and impassible roads are common after a natural disaster. Diesel fuel deliveries during an emergency like these are not guaranteed. Recently, refinery and transport failures have made the demand for diesel so extreme that government state of emergencies were established.
5. Avoid Fuel Spills and Cleanup
Diesel fuel can spill and potentially need to be disposed of. Human errors leading to diesel fuel spills do happen and can be very costly.
6. Better Air Quality
Natural gas is clean burning and produces much less air pollution than diesel burning generators in standby installations.
7. Flexible Installations
It is much easier to utilize natural gas fuel in certain locations such as roof tops, restricted space, or in a secure areas where fuel deliveries prove a technical challenge.