Portable Diesel Generators
Perhaps the most important difference between a gasoline and a diesel engine is the way they ignite their respective fuels. Gasoline-fed engines ignite their fuel using a spark plug with a high-tension ignition system. On the other hand, diesels use the very high compression of air which generates enough heat to ignite their fuel. This difference leads to a lot of advantages for the diesel engines. And because of these, it is not surprising that they should be mated with electrical generators, both the huge types that can power entire towns and the small portable kind designed as a back-up power supply for homes or small businesses.
One of the effects of the difference in the way a diesel engine ignites its fuel is its enhanced fuel efficiency. Typically, it will use up only half of what a gasoline engine does to provide the same amount of power. For this reason, diesel generators are better suited for longer operations.
As they are expected to be operated for longer periods than their gasoline-fed cousins because of their fuel efficiency, they are designed to be sturdier and tougher. Also, they can generate greater torque at lower speeds, thus prolonging engine life. While common portable gas generators can run up to 1,000 or even 2,000 hours before expiring, or at least before requiring major maintenance work, one that runs on diesel can function without problems up to 20,000 hours.
The only maintenance that is necessary for a diesel engine is a regular oil change at about every 100 hours. It does not have spark plugs to clean or replace periodically. Neither does it have a carburetor that also requires regular flushing and perhaps overhauling.
Portable diesel generators are also better suited for use on your boats or yachts or anywhere where dampness may be an issue. This is because they do not utilize a high-tension electrical ignition system which could get grounded when wet.
As with everything else, there are a few downsides to the portable diesel generator.
Perhaps the greatest objection to investing in one is its higher cost. It can sometimes cost three times as much as the gasoline versions. One of the reasons for this is that their component parts are more expensive. And this also means that in the event of a breakdown, you may have to replace these expensive spare parts.
Older diesel engine designs tend to be noisier and this could be a problem if you have to use it in populated areas. However, with new designs that can run on lower RPMs the noise emitted is greatly reduced.
In the long run, therefore, it appears that a portable diesel generator is a better choice. If the purchase price is not a problem, invest in them.