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Diesel vs Petrol. Which generator is right for me?

It all depends on what your needs are and what you will be using the generator for. Diesel generators are ideal for heavy-duty requirements and situations where consistent, reliable power is essential. They’re well-suited to prime and standby applications on construction, mining, industrial and agricultural sites, particularly when grid access is unreliable or unavailable.

Diesel engines are also renowned for their longevity and durability, providing reliable power for years with proper maintenance.

Petrol generators, on the other hand, are ideal for lightweight, recreational and small trade applications like camping or caravanning. Typically, petrol generators emit less noise pollution and are more suitable to run for temporary, intermittent periods or for low load power requirements.

4 Advantages Of Diesel Generators

1. Highly Fuel Efficient
One of the biggest advantages of diesel generators is their fuel efficiency. They use compression heat rather than spark ignition to burn fuel, allowing for 50% greater fuel efficiency than a petrol generator running at the same capacity. This makes diesel generators a more cost effective and fuel-efficient option, especially for continuous and heavy-duty use.

For example, a 120kW diesel generator has a fuel efficiency between 10.9 and 32.1 litres per hour depending on the load, which is considerably better than a petrol generator.

2. Longer Lifespan
Diesel generators don’t need to work as hard to produce power, meaning they operate at significantly lower temperatures than their petrol counterparts. This means far less wear and tear to the engine, especially with continuous, heavy-duty use.

3. Diesel Is Less Flammable
Diesel is known for its stability, meaning it is much safer to store and transport than petrol. While diesel is still flammable, it is much less likely to ignite if spilt. It also has a longer shelf life than gasoline.

4. Ideal For Long-Term, Heavy-Duty Use
Diesel generators don’t burn as much fuel to produce power and have a higher compression rate. When use is consistent, they can reduce operating costs and your bottom line, making them a cost-effective option for those in demanding agricultural, construction and mining industries. Diesel is also self-lubricating, meaning the fuel delivery system will last longer than petrol when use is consistent.

4 Advantages Of Petrol Generators

1. Quiet Operation
Petrol generators operate at a lower decibel level than diesel generators. This makes them the preferable choice for use in residential areas, campgrounds or other locations where noise pollution is a concern.

2. Petrol Is More Affordable
Petrol is generally more affordable at the pump than diesel, meaning it will cost less to fill the tank of your generator. So, while diesel generators are more fuel efficient, you’re less likely to notice fuel savings if you’re only using the generator intermittently or for low-load applications.

3. Smaller & More Portable
Petrol generators are typically more compact, lightweight and easier to transport than diesel generators. This makes them well-suited to users who require a power source that’s easy to set-up and move around a campground, home or trade site.

4. Great For Short Term, Intermittent Use
Petrol generators have lower upfront costs and the fuel itself is usually less expensive. So, if you only intend to use your generator for the odd job around the home or a monthly weekend away, a petrol generator is the more practical, cost-effective option.