Q&A: Why I Was Told Not To Do a Propane Conversion?
Recently our customer has replied and brought this to our attention with comments made to our YouTube channel.
The main reason for the negativity around propane is due to bad experiences from folks who either pieced together their own DIY kits, or have purchased kits from another company, all of which did not perform to their expectations.
Grenergy has spent a year testing and studying why other kits fail. Much of the R&D went into the fuel plate adapter alone, and time spent in and out of the engine test laboratory to ensure our propane kits perform just as good as gasoline.
Upon our observation we found the limiting factor in running propane was mechanical and not the fuel. This points to the demand regulator. The demand regulator is very particular in how it operates, it is not a set it and forget it type of regulator.
Comments pulled from YouTube Channel:
Reasons for not doing the propane conversion:
1 - Less power - gasoline has more BTU (these 1800Watt comparisons are irrelevant everyone knows the 2200 can operate continuously at higher power) A fair test is to increase the load until they both stop working, propane will always stop first
2 - Way more expensive (about $20 a 20lb tank will go about 20 hours versus 2.5 gallons of gas for about $5)
3 - Shorter engine life due to higher operating temperature and higher rpm to compensate the less BTU for the same load
4 - Gasoline is available everywhere at any time of day or night
5 - More space required for storage (a propane tank is about 5 gallons running the generator for 20 hours - compare that to 5x8=40 hours on gasoline)
6 - Honda warranty void
7 - $300 Investment for the conversion kit 8 - having less propane pressure affects the generator output power as the tank empties - gasoline is not dependent on pressure
Reply to Cyber1:
1.) Everyone knows running the generator continuously at high power will trip the over load alarm and/or automatic shutdown. There’s a reason why Honda named their generator “EU2200i” meaning 2200 watts surge, and 1800 watts continuous. It even says this in their FACTORY user manual.
If you want to run a side-by-side comparison with gasoline and propane engine on an engine dyno at 110% load. Gasoline fueled engine will knock, causing pre ignition, eventually detonating the engine. Propane has a higher-octane level than gasoline, and when coupled with proper air/fuel ratio, allows the engine to run harder under load.
ANY engine regardless of fuel type, stops running if it’s not setup properly. I’ve seen 1000 horsepower race cars use E85 fuel on the drag strip, and E85 has much lower BTU’s than gasoline. There is plenty of proof on YouTube. This observation alone voids your argument.
2.) Every person in California wishes they could pay $2.50 for gas. Let alone, gas that isn’t like piss water. A handy man knows to run carbureted small engines on recreational fuel or non-ethanol fuels. Rec fuel is more expensive than propane if you don’t go to a propane refill station.
3.) If propane is 80% less efficient than gasoline. How is it both less BTU’s, and runs hotter than gasoline???
You do realize your math and science don’t add up.......I’m not sure what you were smoking during class lectures, but it obviously isn’t marijuana.
Fun Fact: Propane is 80% efficient. That just means propane needs to run 20% more fuel by volume to make the same ONE horsepower.
If your generator is both running hotter and at higher RPM, either your generator is junk, or you pieced together your own DIY propane conversion and had a bad experience with it, rather than buy a kit from a company that guarantees their kit to run right out of the box with no further setup.
4.) Gasoline is NOT available anytime anywhere. Try getting gas in a middle of a natural disaster. For those who has been in that situation, it’s not fun.
You’ll be happy to know that propane has 10x longer shelf life than gasoline. Keeping a tank in your back yard for emergencies won’t hurt and you’ll actually thank yourself.
If anyone finds this guy on the side of the road waving his empty gas can. Ignore him and go about your normal day.
5.) Yes, one BBQ size propane tank is equivalent to roughly 5 gallons of gas.
An average propane tank that is 15-20lbs is 13x13x18 inches (LxWxH) in size. Two tanks side by side to run 40hrs takes up 26L x 18H inches of space.
You’re saying a container of gasoline that runs the same 40 hours, takes up 5x8 feet or “60x96 inches” is less space?
Wow......I would pay good money to see this guy build a house.
Fun fact: One gallon of LPG weighs 4.2lbs and one gallon of gasoline weighs 6.3lbs.
6.) Honda warranty is only for 3 years. After the warranty is over, and then what? Most folks keep their generators for 5-10 years. Running on cleaner alternative fuel that produces 80% less soot and gunk reduces and simplifies generator maintenance. Especially not having to clean the carb.
But you sir, seem to enjoy your free time cleaning carburetors all day. Please leave your name and number for folks who would love to send work your way.
7.) I rather give $300 dollars away to my marriage counselor than listen to this dude talk nonsense.
8.) Since the 1950’s warehouse forklifts ran on propane without issues, and the engines used in forklifts are much larger than what’s in your portable generator. If there were major issues when propane tank empties, propane usage would not be popular to this day.
Your lack of knowledge of propane is apparent when you wrote this post. On the kit there are two regulators, one of the regulators steps down propane tank pressure from 200psi to 1/2psi, or 11 inches of water column. The demand regulator only requires 1/2psi of pressure to operate properly. Natural gas from your home outputs only 1/4psi.
So how is it possible for a gas-powered engine to run on propane or natural gas with so little pressure?
First of all, volume of fuel is important. Pressure comes secondary. Try running a marathon while breathing through a straw. Exactly, you won’t even finish the first mile without passing out.
Size your propane tank accordingly to your generator and you won’t have any issues. Many RV’s are already equipped with two 30lb or 40lb tanks and this should be enough for a 3000-4000watt generator.
Both fuels are good and both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re going to argue, argue while looking at both sides based on unbiased facts.