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What Do Industrial Generators Run On

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  • 23-02-2022
What Do Industrial Generators Run On

Are you wondering, what do industrial generators run on? We look at the range of fuels that generators can use to provide power. Find out which type of generator fuel works best for you.

What Do Generators Run On?

When it comes to industrial generators, there are all different varieties. All these distinct types can vary according to their size, application, and the external source or mechanical energy they use.

The definition of an electric generator is actually quite simple. It is a machine that can convert mechanical energy into electricity.

The main purpose of these machines is to provide backup power when outages occur. However, you will find that there are generators that will serve the purpose of being an operation's only source of power.

These generators are used in mining, gas, and oil situations.

Generators are usually classified by their external source or type of mechanical energy. So in order to talk about different generator types, you must talk about the different kinds of electric power generation.

Below is a small guide to describe the varying types of generators and how they compare to each other.

Natural Gas

Some generators rely on underground access to natural gases. This external source is far more environmentally friendly than alternatives such as diesel or gasoline.


Though propane is more environmentally friendly than gasoline and diesel, it is also not much better.
Propane is often used when natural gas is not an option.


These are the most popular choice for fuel used for industrial generators.


These are usually used for shorter periods of time.

What Do Industrial Generators Run On?

That was just a brief list, with various other external sources being possible. Other examples of external sources include solar, wind, hydro, and coal.

Nuclear energy is used mainly in power plants to utilise power for the grid. Hydrogen is another source that you will find being used in laboratories.

Businesses, medical centres, hospitals, and homes will tend to rely on generators that use gasoline, diesel, or natural gas to convert to electricity.

Other Generator Types

Diesel Generators

The most popular choice on the market right now is diesel generators. These generators are so popular as they can be used in all kinds of different ways.

Diesel is also quite common, so therefore very easy to purchase either in small quantities or in bulk. The power produced by diesel generators can be much lower in cost than other alternatives.

This is because diesel generators have higher efficiency ratings and the diesel itself has a higher energy density.

Natural Gas Generators

The most popular choice on the market right now is diesel generators. These generators are so popular as they can be used in all kinds of different ways.

This means that the fuel can be bought in bought, kept in safe conditions, and when the time comes there will always be enough to power the generator when it is required.

This type of generator is better for the environment than other types and will reduce emissions, as natural gas is a completely clean-burning fuel.

Hydrogen Generators

These generators are not easy to get your hands on, but this doesn't mean that you should completely disregard the whole option. This kind of generator is known for being highly safe, as well as being easy to move and quite low maintenance compared to many other generator types.

They are also far more efficient than other generator varieties because pound for pound, they produce more energy than other fuel sources. One more benefit to using hydrogen to power a generator is that it is incredibly easy to find, mainly from different water sources.

It is also very clean. Hydrogen is low cost, and the fuel doesn't release toxins into the atmosphere. This makes hydrogen generators one of the most widely used environmentally friendly energy sources.


How an Industrial Generator Works

A generator serves the purpose of being a backup and standby source of electrical power that is ready to begin operating whenever there is an outage in the main power supply.

If a business does not have a reliable backup generator, then it can experience a consequential loss of revenue during an outage, and more importantly, depending on the type of business, the safety of its customers and workers can be at risk. The majority of industrial generators are designed to deliver power in an emergency, and they will begin providing power automatically when the main power from the utility provider has shut off.

The generator will then return to its standby mode when power is restored. A generator does not just manufacture electricity out of thin air. Instead, it works through a scientific principle which is known as electromagnetic induction. This means that the generator uses mechanical or chemical energy and converts them into electrical energy.

This conversion occurs through the harnessing of the power of motion. The motion is used to force electrons from an external source through an electrical circuit. This process converts them into electrical energy.

What Kind Of Generators Are There?

Industrial Generators

Industrial generators are typically considered to be standby generators but on a whole different scale to the type that was mentioned previously.

They are installed in industrial environments where power is in incredibly high demand. This power can be for all kinds of functions such as machinery and robotics to lighting systems and computer setups. To handle all that load, these units are very large capacity generators.

They are extremely robust and are able to have a long and continuous supply of electricity. This is why the generators themselves are so large.

industrial - What Kind Of Generators Are There?

Standby Generators

The definition of a standby generator is not set in stone and can mean different things to different organisations. These generators are commonly fixed to the ground, but this is not always the case.

They are much larger than the average portable unit and are available for both industrial, commercial, and residential applications.

Standby generators are usually powered through the use of propane, natural gas, or diesel. When a power outage occurs, then the automatic transfer switch (ATS) will disconnect the property from the main power supply and transfer the electrical load to the standby generator.

When the power is eventually restored to the mains, then the ATS will switch back over again.

Portable Generators

Portable units are commonly used to power small but essential appliances within a home, during outdoor events, or on camping trips. Of course, as the name implies, these generators are movable.

If the generator is powered by gasoline, then it can typically run anywhere between 7 hours to around 12 hours.

But depending on the particular model, some can run for over 18 hours or even for a full 24 hours.

Of course, though, the running time of each model will depend on its load. This refers to how much power is being generated at a time and what the generator is actually powering.

Invertor Generators

Inverter generators are often lightweight and can often also be considered portable.

Powering electronics with a generator can be a tricky task, but this is exactly why inverter generators are so valuable.

These generators have all kinds of different applications, but they are most commonly used for microwaves, computers, mobile phones, and other electronic equipment.

The mechanics of this generator are different from other portable generator types. The power from the engine is a high-frequency AC, and it is then converted into DC by an alternator.


The generator has an inverter which will then convert the current back to AC.

The extra steps made to generate electricity, as well as the fact the initial AC is high frequency, result in a current that is more stable. This then leads to less harmonic distortion.

This means that the electricity is as good and safe as the currents provided by mains electrical supplier. This also translates into energy efficiency. The generator can adjust the voltage to the exact amount needed to handle the necessary load.

 Generators For Sale

If you are looking to stay as prepared as possible when it comes to powering your events, call us today on 01172 541069 for help choosing the right generator for you. 

Now you know the requirements for common appliances you might be using at your events, get in contact to find the right generator for you.

Alternatively, see our range of generators here;