There are a few things you should look for when searching for good portable gas generators.
First, it has to be powerful enough to be useful, and it is important to pick the right fuel source (propane, natural gas or gasoline?).
Second, also important to consider is just how mobile the unit will have to be. If the gas powered generator has to be moved or transported by one person then some of the models that are labeled as “portable” might not be necessary light weight enough and they will be very difficult to manage.
So one of the preliminary steps is to determine the specific application of your portable gas power generators – what exactly are you going to use it for? The easiest way to do this is to add up the necessary wattage of all of the appliances that will have to be used simultaneously by that generator. If you are going to use it for camping or with a recreational vehicle, then a small portable gas generator will probably suffice. Smaller appliances like a radio, a small television or a DVD player will probably take a few hundred watts each so you can manage your usage fairly easily.
If the intent is to use gas powered generators to provide electricity for an entire home, then something more substantial will be required. It may be more difficult to add up the wattage of the different appliances that will be used.
Home appliances that generate heat tend to use a lot of power. If you eliminate using appliances like clothes driers, steam irons, electric bbq grills and etc., then you can get a much smaller model. Considerably more power is also required if you need to run a central air conditioning unit. Many appliances draw more power while starting up so it’s better to go a little bit higher than to go to low. If you need help to determine your household electric power consumption, this home power generator chart will give you a quick simple estimate.
The fuel source is also an important consideration. Portable gas generators that are more common and more powerful will be available for the same price as compared to a portable natural gas generator or propane powered units. If cost is not as much of an issue and it is important to have a clean burning machine, the natural gas or propane would obviously make better options than going after diesel counterparts.
There is also an advantage to having propane as fuel source as it is easy to store and transport. It is also likely that it will be used for other applications like a barbecue or a lantern.
Choosing Between Natural and Propane Portable Gas Powered Generators
For a few hundred dollars, gas powered units are available that will handle any camping applications and would be suitable for emergency use in the home.
Models like the Blue Max GEN 1250 is very portable at just $140 and weighs only about 39 pounds. The power output is 1250 W so it should be possible to run a few small appliances with it. If something a little larger is required and it is possible to move something around that weighs just over 100 pounds then Blue Max GEN4000B 4000 W model will handle multiple appliances or power tools simultaneously. It will cost between $300 and $400.
To compare something with similar power in a propane powered generator, consider the All Power America APG3535CN. It will deliver 3500 W of power which is only slightly less than the Blue Max GEN4000B. It retails for about $500. If burning clean fuel is important or if it will be much easier to use propane then they will likely be worth the extra money. One of the downsides of using propane portable gas generators is that it can be both smelly and messy.
Natural gas generators are most often used as backup generators for the entire home. It is not nearly as common to see one used as a portable gas power generator. It is much more likely that there will be generators that run on both natural gas and propane or will handle both of these and gasoline as well.
Obviously, a system that can run all three types of fuel is going to cost more but it will be much more versatile. A good comparison to the generators mentioned above would be the Winco HPS6000HE. These are tri-fuel gas portable generators that have consistent output of about 6000 W. It retails for about $1600. Given the versatility and the power output, it would be a worthwhile investment for those that require regular usage of a gas powered generator.
Portable Diesel Generator – Benefits and Disadvantages of Diesel Power Generators
Shopping for a portable diesel generator? Read this guide to discover pros and cons of diesel power generators and reviews of Kubota and Yanmar diesel models.