Diesel Generator Vs. Petrol Generator: Advantages and Disadvantages

When buying a generator there are many considerations to keep in mind so that the generator fits your needs. Some of these considerations will include size, price, maintenance or engine type. This article is going to run you through the pros and cons on the two main engine types; a diesel engine or a petrol engine.

Diesel engines are becoming increasingly popular as they are fuel efficient and cost effective, but the option of a petrol engine may better fit your needs depending on what they are.

Diesel Generator Advantages:

Diesel generators are becoming one of the most commonly used type of generators. There are many reasons for this but mainly because of their high fuel efficiency which is due to the higher compression in a diesel motor. This means that when compared to a petrol generator a diesel generator will always have that one major advantage. Other advantages of choosing a diesel generator are that:

  • Diesel engines are easier to maintain and cheaper to buy. This is why many businesses use diesel generators to power the business or use them as their back up source of power. It is also the reason many heavy-duty equipment vehicles such as tractors, evacuators and bulldozers use a diesel engine.
  • Diesel engines have a longer lifetime and take longer to depreciate in value. This therefore makes owning one a lot more cost effective. The reason for them having a longer lifetime is because when they’re producing power they do not have to work as hard as a petrol engine would to produce the same amount of electricity.
  • The lack of ignition system is a diesel engine makes it a simpler design and one less thing to go wrong.
  • They can operate at higher loads for longer periods of times.

Diesel Generator Disadvantages:

For all the pros of the diesel generator there are some disadvantages which may make a petrol engine more favourable, such as:

  • The emissions of carbon dioxide per litre of fuel is more in diesel than it is in petrol.
  • Traditionally diesel is more expensive than petrol.

Petrol Generator Advantages:

On the other hand, petrol generators may be more fitting for your needs. Petrol engines and therefore petrol generators have been around for a longer time than diesel generators, leading to some more specific advantages over the diesel type, these include:

  • An increased choice of generator. As they have been around longer than diesel generators there is therefore more choice in the market. So if your need is very specific and it can’t be fulfilled by a diesel generator there may be a petrol one out there.
  • More recent petrol generators are being built with new technology to improve their economy. This is making them compete with the more efficient diesel engine.

Petrol Generator Disadvantages:

Below are some of the disadvantages of the petrol engine generator:

  • Petrol is a much more volatile fuel compare to diesel, coupled with the spark ignition can make working with it riskier.
  • When petrol burns, it burns at higher temperatures than diesel does. The increased temperatures will lead to more wear and tear on the engine of your generator. Therefore, over time, petrol engine generators tend to need more repair and maintenance than a diesel engine would. This means they also have a shorter working lifetime and can be more expensive to own.
  • Unlike diesel engine generators, petrol engine generators are unable to run at high loads for extended periods of time.
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