Natural Gas vs. Diesel: Pros and Cons

Posted by rlnenergyservices on January 19th, 2016

The choice of fuel is very important for a business using a primary or even a standby power generator, because both diesel and natural gas have unique attributes that affect how suitable they are for different contexts.

  1. Environmental Regulations

First of all, natural gas is superior to diesel in terms of emissions. Any site that has a stricter set of standards for emissions should use natural gas, because it releases much less nitrous gas and essentially zero particulates. That makes it much easier to comply with environmental regulations.

  1. Reliability

Next, consider reliability. Many times, when the main power source goes down, there is some kind of emergency. This emergency might make it difficult to move around the site due to heavy wind, snow, or other obstacles. That means the standby source needs to be able to operate on its own without any repairs or interference.

The decision is especially important for emergency services like hospitals and urgent care centers: standby generators kick in when the main power source fails, so it is critical to make sure the standby is as reliable as possible.

Natural gas runs on an underground line, so this cannot be interrupted by downed trees or floods or any other natural impact from the environment. That translates into 24/7 uptime and reliability. That kind of reliability is exactly what a standby needs to be, because having the standby go down when you need it most would be a major disaster. 

  1. Cost Efficiency

Finally, natural gas has a significant edge in costs. Natural gas is quite cheap in today's economy (compared to diesel), and trends point to this being the case for a long time. That translates into thousands of dollars of savings if the generator has to run for a hundred hours in a year.

Natural gas prices are projected to remain low for the foreseeable future, so installing a natural gas generator is a good option both now and for the coming years in which it will be in use.

The bottom line is that natural gas is cheaper, more reliable, and cleaner than diesel. It's the best choice across many dimensions when you are deciding how to fuel your standby. It should be the default choice for most Alberta gen-set and generator situations due to these particular advantages.

There are benefits to each, but there are three distinct advantages to choosing natural gas over diesel.

About the Author:

RLN Energy Services is an Edmonton, Alberta based company that specializes in the sale and resale of heavy power equipment. It is a privately held corporation with a team of highly experienced & skilled technicians in mechanical and electrical industries. RLN Energy Services provides sales of various power system equipment that includes natural gas equipment, portable power plants, diesel generator sets, turbine powered equipment & more. Along with the sale of power equipment, they also focus on training specific services for the maintenance, safety, switching operations & associated tools in the industry.

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Joined: August 22nd, 2014
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