Small Diesel Generators – A Future Choice

Small diesel generators sometimes have a bad image. But in my opinion, that is just a prejudice. It is a well-known fact that diesel engines are the most preferred engines in industrial settings. And that has been the case for a great number of years. There is very much experienced with these engines. So you will understand that very important issues like Diesel parts, cost, reliability, and efficiency have been thoroughly evaluated. Therefore it will be no surprise to you that diesel scores good on these issues. Diesel is more reliable, more efficient, has a longer life cycle, and requires less maintenance than engines that run on other fuels. And this is not just the slogan of a commercial, but there are solid technical reasons to back this up.


An important technical issue of internal combustion engines is that a large part of the potential energy from the fuel is converted to heat instead of useful power. And on top of that, some of that power has to be used for cooling the engine to prevent overheating. The temperature of a running diesel engine is much lower than that of any other internal combustion engine, so a greater part of the energy from the fuel is converted into useful power and less of this power has to be used for cooling.


But that is only part of the reason for the efficiency of diesel. Another reason why these engines are more efficient is because of the compression ratio. The compression ratio of a diesel engine is 14:1 up to 25:1 and the compression ratio of a gasoline engine is between 8:1 and 12:1. And the higher the compression ratio, the more efficient an engine will be.


Because of the efficiency, the cost of using a diesel engine will be less than that of a gas engine. To be more specific: the fuel cost of a diesel generator per kilowatt is 30% to 50% lower compared to a gas generator.


And of course, engines require maintenance. And that is yet another reason for the popularity of diesel engines: they require less maintenance and also last longer than gas engines. Partly this due to the lower temperature of the diesel engine we discussed before. But another reason is for the reliability and the lower maintenance cost is the fact that there are no spark plugs or spark wires in a diesel engine. So these parts cannot cause problems will not have to be replaced regularly.


The last prejudice I want to talk about is the fact that many people think that diesel engines are very noisy and smelly machines. And indeed that was true – in the past. But not any longer, because in the past decade’s diesel technology has made great progress. The diesel engine runs more quietly than before. Better insulation materials have been developed (and used). And also the use of mufflers has contributed to the low noise diesel engine.


So being more efficient and less noisy than in the past, I hope you will see that choosing a diesel generator is indeed a choice with a future.

About the author: Daniel A. House

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