Types of commercial generators Complete Guide

Are you planning to purchase a commercial generator for your business? It’s important to understand the different types of generators available and how they work before making an informed decision. You can simplify this decision with our comprehensive guide on the types of commercial generators.

Here, we’ll provide you with all of the essential information to make sure you make the right purchase for your needs.


Generators can be an essential energy source for many businesses, warehouses, and even homes. When there are power outages, having an emergency generator can provide electricity until power is restored. There are a variety of types of generators available to meet the needs of almost any space or use. Understanding each type and its benefits is key to selecting the right one for your situation.

The following guide will go over the different types of commercial generators available, their benefits and features, and provide insight on other considerations that may be helpful when selecting the right generator for your needs. Moreover, this guide will also include details on safety requirements and regulations as well as general maintenance protocols associated with emergency commercial generators.

Explanation of commercial generators and their importance

The term “commercial generator” refers to an portable power system that produces electricity for commercial applications like businesses, industry, construction sites and high-end residential homes. Commercial generators are power plants or large-scale back up power sources designed to provide reliable electricity to areas suffering from blackouts, brownouts or downed lines. They are vital in areas prone to natural disasters and emergencies where other public services can be temporarily lost.

Commercial generators come in a variety of sizes and types ranging from smaller portable models used in construction sites and industrial settings, mid-sized mobile units designed for emergency standby applications, larger permanent models capable of supplying multiple buildings or urban distribution networks, and custom built models specifically tailored to meet special technical requirements.

The most important features of any commercial generator include fuel efficiency, sound insulation technology for quiet operation; automatic recharging batteries for starting and running the machine; easy access to service points; maintenance features like oil monitoring systems; digital control panels as well as sophisticated monitoring systems for checking remote operations. Since commercial generators consume a lot of diesel fuel, efficient fuel management is essential for cost savings. Sources of alternative energy such as solar panels can also be integrated into the system when available.

Commercial generators may not just be limited to fuels such as gasoline or diesel but may also include natural gas depending on the application type. Such systems are often used in rural areas that are far off the grid in order to produce dependable electricity when other sources cannot reach them due to geographical constraints. This type of commercial generator is considered by many people as an ideal solution since it provides a steady supply with minimal environmental impact.

Diesel Generators

Diesel generators are an ideal choice for many businesses. They have been around for more than a century and their reliability, durability and efficiency has improved over the years. Diesel generators are found in a variety of applications, from supplying backup power for data centers to powering mobile construction sites.

A diesel generator is powered by a diesel engine and can run on any diesel, biodiesel or Ultralow sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel source. Diesel generators are one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to generate electricity because they typically require less maintenance than gas models.

Diesel generators come in a variety of sizes ranging from small portable units to large stationary units that can produce hundreds of kilowatts (KW) of power. Depending on size, these machines can provide power to businesses such as hospitals, small industry facilities, data centers, schools and construction projects. Some types of diesel generators include stand by, base load and portable generator models that all have their own specific application uses.

Depending on their size, diesel generators can provide either primary or backup power solutions to keep businesses running during blackouts or other unforeseen scenarios where electricity is needed quickly or sustained over a long period of time.

Explanation of diesel generators

A diesel generator is a type of internal combustion engine that consists of two main parts; a generator and a diesel engine. The diesel engine Powers the generator which then produces electricity. It is the most common type of generator and it runs on many different fuels, including diesel fuel, natural gas, or propane. Diesel generators are reliable and efficient sources of power for homes and businesses.

Advantages of Diesel Generators include:

  • Higher efficiency than gasoline generators – Diesel engines are known for their higher efficiency than gasoline engines. This results in lower emissions than those produced by a gasoline generator.
  • Lower running costs – This is due to their high efficiency and extended engine life when compared to other fuels like gasoline or propane. Additionally, the cost to operate a diesel generator is often cheaper per kWh compared to other fuels.
  • Greater durability – Diesel generators have longer operating lives than some alternative fuel generators. This can help reduce long-term maintenance costs as well as save money in replacement over time if they are used frequently throughout their lifetime.
  • Lower noise levels – Since most diesel engines run at low RPMs, they emit less noise than other types of generators, making them the preferred choice for many people who want quiet operation when generating electricity for use in their homes or businesses.

Pros and cons of diesel generators

Diesel generators are a reliable source of frequent and long-lasting power for a variety of industrial settings and remote locations. They use diesel fuel, which is much more accessible than gas, making them ideal for areas with limited access to fuel sources. Additionally, diesel generators have a longer life expectancy due to their natural ability to withstand wear and tear better than gasoline or propane generators. This makes them an ideal candidate for long-term power sources in isolated or hazardous locations—like hospitals performing surgeries.

However, diesel engines typically require more maintenance than gasoline or propane in order to ensure they stay running at optimal levels. Additionally, they can be noisy compared to other types of generators, so they may not be ideal for more residential settings where noise is an issue. Lastly, depending on how often the generator is used and the quality of the engine itself, diesel generators can be costly when it comes time to replace the components of the system.

Common uses for diesel generators

Diesel generators are a powerful and reliable source of electricity, typically used in residential, commercial and industrial settings. Common applications for diesel generators include portable power solutions (resorts, quarries, mines), backup home or business power during outages, remote jobsites (construction sites and mining), industrial processes that require constant operation (chemical plants, oil & gas refineries), and specialized equipment like x-ray machines in hospitals.

Unlike petrol-powered generators which rely on spark plugs to create short circuits and ignite the engine’s air/fuel mixture, a diesel generator contains a fuel injection system where high pressure is supplied to the fuel injector nozzle by the diesel pump – the resulting heat creates an almost instantaneous combustion which powers the engine with large torque. In addition to reliability and efficiency benefits, diesel engines often offer longer runtime between refueling compared to gasoline or propane alternatives.

Diesel generators typically feature three key components – an engine (diesel powered or natural gas powered) connected to an alternator/AC generator/stator via a crankshaft shaft (the drivetrain). This ensures consistent energy delivery for all applications requiring continuous power supply.

III. Natural Gas Generators

Natural gas generators, also referred to as gas-powered generators, use the combustible gas to produce electricity. Natural gas is an efficient fuel source and can often operate with lower operating costs than diesel or gasoline-powered generators. Due to the high availability of natural gas in many locations, these units are ideal for standby power, while they can also be used for emergency and mobile applications if necessary.

Natural gas generators come in a full range of wattage capacities which can usually accommodate residential and commercial requirements. Some larger industrial models may require propane or LPG fuels for higher load demands so it’s important to understand your requirements before selecting a model. For residential users who already have access to natural gas lines, it is generally more economical to install a natural gas generator than having propane tanks filled and replaced frequently.

In addition to their efficiency benefits, natural gas units typically have the highest durability ratings over diesel or gasoline powered models due to their cleaner emissions which don’t put extra strain on the engines or fuels system. These machines are also relatively quiet compared other models which can be an attractive option for those with noise level requirements in mind.

Explanation of natural gas generators

Natural gas generators are one of the most popular types of commercial generators due to their efficiency, low maintenance and relatively low cost for operation. They run on natural gas or propane, both of which are piping-grade fuels that make them the preferred choice for larger commercial applications. Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fuel sources available and its relative abundance in certain parts of the world makes it cost effective.

The fuel utilized by any generator is based on its engine type; four-stroke engines are more commonly used in larger-scale natural gas generators while two-stroke engines are typically found in small models. Natural gas generators come with several safety features including automatic on/off switches, electronic governors and a spark arrester chamber to reduce emissions by directing exhaust away from buildings or other structures. They also usually have digital meters that allow users to track fuel levels and machine performance, making monitoring easier and providing an important additional layer of safety.

Pros and cons of natural gas generators

Natural gas generators have become increasingly popular due to their ability to provide reliable electricity on-demand. While natural gas has several advantages as a fuel source for commercial generators, it also has its own unique set of drawbacks. Before investing in a natural gas powered generator, it’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of this type of generator to ensure that it fits your business’ needs.


  • Economical: Natural gas is an affordable energy source, making it an attractive choice for businesses looking to minimize operational costs.
  • Efficient: Natural gas generators generate energy very efficiently, meaning that more power output can be achieved with less fuel consumption.
  • Clean: Natural gas is considered much cleaner than diesel or gasoline when burned as fuel, so businesses can reap the environmental rewards associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions.


  • Unreliable Supply: The delivery of natural gas is heavily reliant on weather and other environmental factors, which can cause delays or supply shortages that prevent your generator from operating at peak performance levels.
  • Installation Costs: The installation process for a natural gas generator is typically more involved than comparable solutions such as diesel or gasoline generators, resulting in higher installation costs and longer wait times for setup.
  • Safety Concerns: Although safety protocol for working with natural gas generators have been improved over time, special measures must still be taken when handling and storing fuel due to potential health hazards associated with routine exposure to high levels of methane and other toxins present in natural gases.

Propane Generators

Propane generators are some of the most popular commercial generators because they are reliable, efficient and clean burning. They typically generate power more quickly than their gasoline counterparts, thanks to their capacity to turn fuel into energy more quickly. When using propane, you also get a cleaner and quieter generator as it produces fewer emissions than gas- and gas-oil powered portable or standby generators. Propane models are also inherently safer to operate due to the absence of flammable liquid fuels like gasoline or diesel and the presence of an onboard fuel tank that converts propane liquid fuel into a gas vapor before electric generation begins.

When it comes to operation and maintenance, propane models require minimal effort. To keep your propane generator running at peak efficiency and reliability, all you need do is routinely check its oil levels, air filter assembly and other components such as spark plugs – all detailed in each manufacturers manual. Depending on your needs, there is wide range of commercial grade power output available with various makes and models of industrial propane generators — from 1-kW portable models up to 100kW stationary plant types designed for the industrial marketplace.

Explanation of propane generators

Propane generators are a type of commercial generator that is powered by a fuel source called propane. Propane is an inexpensive, reliable choice for powering commercial generators due to its high-energy density and abundance in many parts of the world. It is also versatile and can generate power in both continuous and standby modes.

Propane generators come in various shapes and sizes, from small portable units to large industrial-grade machines. Depending on the amount of power they are designed to produce, they can be used for many applications including backup power, off-grid living, camping adventures and job sites. Propane generators usually feature aluminum or steel enclosures for superior performance and durability in harsh environments. They also offer longer fuel supply options than gasoline-powered generators have due to the fact that propane is stored in pressurized tanks or cylinders as liquid or vaporised gas. These tanks are easy to store onsite or transportable when needed, making them a convenient solution for numerous applications ranging from residential use to extensive commercial projects.

Properly maintained propane generators deliver consistent performance while using significantly less energy than similar gasoline powered counterparts — up to home 25% overall efficiency according to certain studies. In addition, because propane has non-toxic emissions it is more environmentally friendly than gasoline engines – making it an attractive choice for both indoor and outdoor application alike where noise pollution may be a concern.

Pros and cons of propane generators

Propane generators are an excellent choice for a variety of commercial applications, from powering homes and small businesses to providing backup power for larger facilities. Here are the pros and cons of these powerful machines:


  • Propane generators are a reliable source of emergency or backup power in areas where an uninterrupted supply might be difficult or costly to obtain.
  • Their fuel – propane – is relatively clean burning and has a high energy content, meaning that you can generate more power with smaller amounts.
  • Unlike gasoline and diesel fuel, propane doesn’t go bad over time, lowering the risk of tanking up on bad fuel.
  • They’re also quieter than other types of generators, making them suitable for indoor use in enclosed spaces without excessive noise pollution.
  • In most cases, they’re also more efficient than other types of generators when it comes to converting energy into useful electricity.


  • The tanks used to store propane can take up a fair amount of space depending on how much is needed. It’s important that these tanks are kept away from any potential sources of ignition such as heat sources or sparks in order to prevent any accidents from occurring.
  • For outdoor use, extra measures must be taken in order to ensure that no rain or moisture affects the tanks which could potentially cause adverse reactions with the fuel itself.
  • Propane is slightly more expensive than other fuels such as gasoline or diesel so you may find your operational cost is higher when using this type generator compared to other fuels alone.

Common uses for propane generators

Propane generators are an excellent choice for those seeking a dependable, portable source of power. They can provide electricity to everything from home appliances and tools to recreational vehicles and motor homes. Propane generators are also widely used commercially, in applications as diverse as construction sites, large event venues, disaster alleviation efforts and more. Many people find them preferable to gasoline- or diesel-powered generators due to their cleaner emissions and the fact that propane is widely available across the United States and Canada.

Common uses for propane generators may include:

  • Home backup power: Propane generators can provide a versatile source of electricity during periods of power outage due to severe weather or other natural disasters. Most propane generator models offer features such as auto start-up and remote activation/shutdown with remote monitoring capabilities.
  • Boating: Propane is a much cleaner fuel than gasoline, making it an attractive option for boaters looking to reduce their environmental impact while cruising near marine ecosystems. Small boats may use portable propane units, while larger vessels can benefit from integrated onboard systems using storage tanks that hold enough fuel for hours of running time.
  • Job sites: Because propane is a much cleaner burning fuel option than either gasoline or diesel, construction sites often opt for them due to the reduced risk of airborne particulate matter pollution (smoke). Not only does this help reduce the impact on local air quality but it also reduces cleanup costs associated with larger-size gas or diesel particles laying across the job site exterior after operation ceases at day’s end.


In conclusion, there are several different types of commercial generators available with various features and benefits. It is important to understand the different types of generators, their advantages and disadvantages, and determine which type of generator will best meet the needs of your facility. These generators may range from small portable models that are typically used for emergency backup power to larger diesel or gas powered models designed for longer use. In addition, many can be configured to provide additional power output through multiple load banks.

Ultimately, the decision as to which type of generator is right for your facility should be based on a number of factors including availability of fuel sources, expected usage time (standby vs standby plus running time), climate conditions where the generator will be used, and whether a certain brand or model will meet all your requirements. Consideration should also be made as to how well the generator suits your budget and overall needs. By choosing a reliable commercial generator that meets all these needs you can improve your facility’s energy efficiency while having peace-of-mind during an emergency.

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