A generator (electrical) is a device that converts mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy. Generators often use motors, turbines, engines, cranks, pistons, or other sources of mechanical energy. Likewise, generators may use chemicals or other materials that produce electricity when mixed or ignited. Generators do not produce electricity itself, but simply produce a flow of electricity by forcing electrons from an external source to flow through an electrical circuit. Generators are used for a wide variety of purposes and are available in many different forms
TYPES OF GENERATORS
Of all the options on the list, gasoline generators
are among the most common, primarily because gasoline is readily available and these generators are on the low-end of the cost scale. However, gasoline is usually unavailable during power outages, because it requires electricity to pump. Gasoline generators
are available in small sizes, ideal for portable models, but the fuel is highly flammable. Gasoline lasts less than one year when stored, and gas prices are comparatively higher than diesel, propane, and natural gas. Gasoline generators
produce relatively high emissions, do not typically last as long as some other models, and do not tend to start well in colder temperatures
Diesel Fuel Generators
Diesel is the least flammable of all the fuel sources, and is almost as readily available as gasoline. These engines have long lifespans, and perform more efficiently while lasting longer under heavy, rigorous use, so long as they are properly maintained. Diesel generators are affordable to operate, though these units typically cost more than gas generators. Some states, counties, and municipalities allow farm operations to purchase diesel at a reduced tax rate, or without tax levies at all. Additionally, diesel generators start relatively easily in cold environments. However, diesel fuel is only good up to 24 months in storage, and storing large quantities can be expensive. Like gas, it`s often impossible to pump diesel during power outages. Because diesel engine emissions are quite high, some areas limit the number of hours these engines can be operated per day due to environmental concerns. Moisture in the fuel ruins it (unless it is emulsified diesel, discussed below), so it is not well suited to wet environments, such as those near lakes and rivers or outdoors in the elements. Diesel generators require regular maintenance by a qualified mechanic, and are heavier engines, therefore less portable.