A 100 lb propane tank will run a generator for about 24 hours, and it can vary depending on the size of the tank. There are also different liquid fuels to choose from. Here is a chart that demonstrates fuel options and hours of power output:
- Gasoline (1 gallon) 4
- Diesel Fuel (5 gallon) 20
- Propane (20 pound cylinder) 12.5
- Natural Gas(1000 cfm @40% efficiency) 10 hr. 50 min.
- LPG (50 lb canister) 10 hr. 7min.
Propane generators run on propane, and depending on the generator input, can run a smaller or larger tank of propane.
Most generators will now take a cylinder of any size, but check your manual before purchasing one to make sure the canister runs on that model of generator! They also have recently been made with electric start for ease of starting.
How big of a propane tank do I need for a generator?
The size of the propane tank depends on the application. As a rule of thumb, a small generator may use only a 20 pound or smaller cylinder, or run for at most 4 hours. Larger generators are more forgiving and will run for up to 12-24 hours.
A 20-pound cylinder of gasoline will run a generator for at least 4 hours and as much as 24 hours. This means you can have enough gas on hand to power your entire house during an extended power outage. A larger cylinder of gasoline will run your whole house with no problem, but it takes up more space than the smaller gallon containers.
Propane cylinders are sold in both 20-pound and 50-pound sizes. The former will power most small generators for two to four hours, while the 50-pound cylinders are best for home use for up to 12 hours at a time. Most generators require a 50-pound cylinder, but check before buying one! Propane dealers can usually tell you what size fuel tank it takes.
How much propane does a generator use per hour?
Depending on the type of generator and other factors, a 50-pound tank of propane will run a generator for anywhere from 9-18 hours. Smaller propane tanks will only run for several hours, while larger tanks will last up to 24 hours. Expect to burn about 2-3 gallons per hour.
How much does it cost to fill a 100 pound propane tank?
Average Propane prices
For the last ten years, propane prices have been relatively stable. The price of 1lb of LP gas in California has ranged between $3.28 and $4.00 per lb for the past ten years. When we look at this price range, it appears that the cost of propane fuels is not very volatile over time, a feature we will discuss later on in the article.
Propane prices vary depending on where you live and your generator size. Prices can range anywhere from $3.85 to $7.00 per gallon at the wholesale level. Prices will fluctuate depending on the market as well, just like any other commodity.
How much does it cost to operate a propane generator?
Propane generators are relatively efficient in terms of power output and fuel costs as well. Operating or running a propane generator for four hours on a 50-pound cylinder of propane yields about 2 gallons of propane that can be used for cooking or heating purposes.
Is it cheaper to run a generator on propane or gas?
The national average propane price is about $3 per gallon, which is the same price as unleaded gasoline. But Propane is priced much higher in some areas of California, ranging from $4 to $7 per gallon at the wholesale level. The cost of propane fuels is not very volatile either though, especially when we compare it to gasoline prices over time (see graph below).
Why Run A Generator on Propane?
Propane is a great fuel for both cooking and heating in most parts of the country. It is available nearly anywhere, even in small towns. Propane can be stored indefinitely, unlike methanol or ethanol; it has a very high energy density (has more power than fuel volume), and it has a much lower cost of production than gasoline or other fuels like diesel, kerosene or natural gas.
In many areas of California, you will pay twice as much for propane as you would for gasoline when using the same refilling station. This is because the price per gallon at a station tends to fluctuate more over time than in other locations that have a more stable market price.
Propane is also a very clean fuel, reduces emissions and produces less pollution than gasoline or diesel. It burns cleaner than any other alternative fuel, making it an environmentally friendly source of energy. Propane is the most efficient heating fuel; one gallon can heat a home for two to three weeks during the winter with little effort on your part. There are also significant tax credits for buying both small and large propane tanks!
How Long Will I have Power with Propane?
A single 100-pound propane tank can run most generators for 24 hours without refueling. A 50-pound tank will last for twelve hours on a small generator, but only six hours on larger units.
Typical home backup generators with propane systems have a 50-gallon tank. Electrical generators with larger propane tank sizes will run for several additional hours after being depleted of fuel. The amount of time the generator can last is dependent on the size of the generator and available volume of fuel to power it.
You can expect a 7kW propane power generator to run for about 65 hours based on a full 100 gallon tank. This size of generator will typically run only critical systems and appliances such as sump pump, refrigerator, well pump and basic lighting. A minimum of 15kW backup generator is recommended to provide relatively a usual day of power consumption. In the event of emergencies, it is of course always recommended to be very conservative with your power consumption.
What Types of Generators are Available?
Propane gas powered generators come in many different sizes and technical specs to meet any needs. Here is a good introduction to the most popular types available on the market:
- Lightweight back-up generators: These generators are lightweight, portable, battery operated and relatively inexpensive. They typically have a maximum output of 800 watts or less (700 watts in emergencies). The average output is approximately 600 watts. These are the smallest types of portable generators and most are designed to provide power for essential appliances, not to power an entire home during an outage.
- Light commercial generators: These are designed for use in recreational vehicles, boat trailers, or other mobile appliances pulled behind a car. They typically have a maximum output of 1kW (1000 watts) but can pull up to 4kW if you get the right unit. These units are ideal for smaller businesses or to power your entire house during an outage.
- Large commercial generators: These types of generators are used in large cities like New York City and Los Angeles; they run thousands of homes all at once. It is necessary to have a large commercial generator for your home in order to power your heating system, air conditioner, refrigerator, freezer, and other major appliances. Commercial generators are much more expensive and weigh a lot more than other portable generators available on the market.
How Long Will it Take to Run my Propane Generator?
Propane tanks typically contain five or ten gallons of liquid propane. Depending on how much power you are using each day, it typically takes between five and seven hours to use up one of these 5-10 gallon propane tanks. If you choose a larger tank; then your generator will run longer without refueling.