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Many people look for gas generators as their backup power solution.
However, dual fuel generators give you a more dynamic alternative.
Aside from offering multiple fuel options — like gas AND propane — the best dual fuel generators are equipped with advanced features to meet your electricity generation needs safely.
But what is a dual fuel generator, and what should you look for when making a purchase decision?
What sets dual fuel generators apart from other types of generators?
Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know to find the right dual fuel generator for your needs.
What Is a Dual Fuel Generator?
As the name implies, a dual fuel generator is a generator that is capable of running using two different sources of fuel.
For example, the Ecoflow Smart Generator (Dual Fuel) runs on propane (LPG) and/or gasoline, giving users added versatility in emergencies.
A dual fuel generator can serve as a last-stand power supply in an extended blackout or severe storm.
Having two fuel sources to power your generator helps ensure you have access to reliable power — even if one runs out.
Why Buy a Dual Fuel Home Backup Generator over the Alternatives?
To bridge the power gap in a blackout, it’s advisable to have several backup options.
Propane (LPG) gives an additional option that’s well-suited for emergencies. It’s easy and safe to store — and unlike gasoline, it has no expiry date.
If you rely on an EcoFlow portable power station to supply clean, renewable electricity during a power outage, adding a dual fuel generator to your setup is an excellent way to provide an extra layer of protection if disaster strikes.
Which Dual Fuel Generator is Best?
There are many dual fuel generators on the market — and many different features to consider.
For a dual fuel generator you can rely on, check out the EcoFlow Smart Generator (Dual Fuel). It runs on LPG and gasoline with a 20kWh storage capacity using a standard propane tank, providing worry-free backup power.
EcoFlow Smart Generator (Dual Fuel) was designed from the ground up to be better than other fossil-fuel-powered home backup generators, boasting features like a concise LCD screen, easy maintenance, intuitive app controls and monitoring, and four start methods.
There’s even more good news if you’ve already invested in the EcoFlow power ecosystem.
Smart Generator (Dual Fuel) integrates seamlessly with the DELTA Pro, DELTA 2 Max, and Power Kits.
When paired with your EcoFlow DELTA Pro, DELTA 2 Max, or a Power Kit, you’ll burn up to 40% less fuel than a standalone generator.
What gives the Smart Generator such outstanding efficiency when paired with other EcoFlow products?
- EcoFlow’s power ecosystem enables direct DC-DC charging, giving you 10% more efficiency.
- Proprietary X-Stream technology makes charging compatible EcoFlow products with a Smart Generator 30% more efficient
With a built-in pressure regulator, plug-and-play design, and auto-switch between fuel modes, the Smart Generator makes propane and gas easy to use without you needing to do a thing.
Built-in safety features include a carbon monoxide detector, temperature protection, engine oil alert, fuel alert, and overload avoidance. Each has clearly visible indicators on the unit and — excluding the fuel alert- — can trigger an auto-shutdown, keeping you and the rest of your power system safe.
What to Look for When Choosing a Dual Fuel Generator
You can’t make an informed dual fuel generator purchase decision without considering the crucial factors below…
1. Power Output
Power output is an essential factor to consider when shopping for any type of generator,
Ensure the generator can output enough power to meet your electricity consumption needs.
Typically, manufacturers provide a generator’s starting and running watts. Both are crucial to understanding what appliances you can — and can’t — operate.
A generator’s running wattage specifies the maximum amount of electricity the unit can output for periods longer than a few minutes. If the total wattage requirements of the appliances you wish to operate simultaneously exceed the generator’s AC output, you’ll either need to shop for a higher output model — or run fewer devices.
Starting watts — or surge power — indicates the maximum electricity a generator can deliver in a short burst. Many high-wattage appliances require significantly more power to start than run — up to three times as much or more.
Motor-driven appliances like refrigerators and washing machines can be particularly demanding. Don’t forget to check the starting wattage of the appliances you want to operate with your generator. Otherwise, you might not even be able to switch them on.
Fossil fuel generators come in various sizes and running AC outputs — from a thousand watts to tens of thousands. Unlike solar generators — which can deliver up to double their running watts in surge power — fossil fuel-powered generators rarely produce more than 10% of their operating output as starting watts.
For example, Smart Generator Dual Fuel offers the following AC outputs
- Gasoline — Running Watts: 1800W Starting Watts:1900W
- Propane (LPG): 1600W (1700W Peak)
Portable fossil fuel generators usually offer operating AC outputs between
Make sure you consider fuel storage capacity as well. The more fuel you can store, the longer the runtime during extended blackouts and worst-case scenarios like natural disasters.
2. Noise Level
Traditional gas and diesel generators are LOUD.
Whether you’re using one for your home or at a campsite, noise can be a nuisance to yourself and others.
The best fossil fuel generators have a noise-dampening feature or a low noise output to limit the noise during operation.
(Source: Hearing Health Foundation)
Dual fuel generators typically produce noise levels between 50 and 90 decibels when operating. Gasoline generators will almost always be noisier than propane.
The operating noise level of Smart Generator Dual Fuel ranges between 56-67 dB at a distance of 20 feet (considered the safe operating distance for fossil fuel generators. It reduces operating volume with noise-dampening construction and housing the motor in thick shielding.
3. Starting and Switch Types
Most generators use either recoil (manual) or an electric starter for their starting mechanisms. Only more advanced devices like the Smart Generator Dual Fuel have auto-start.
Many gas generators only provide a manual start method with a pull cord. Manual starting mechanisms require you to pull the cord fast and hard to kick-start the generator. It requires some physical effort and may fail if the cable breaks.
The electric start is a simple push-button solution but only works if the internal battery is charged.
If you’re caught in an emergency or power outage, a generator must be easy to get up and running. With multiple starting methods, you have options if one fails.
Additionally, check for other features like a transfer switch or switch-and-go function. These let you change fuel sources without turning off the generator, providing added convenience.
4. Fuel Monitoring
Smart Generators give you real-time visibility of performance and fuel consumption. Sensors are placed on critical components to measure oil pressure, fuel flow, coolant levels, and other crucial metrics.
Fuel consumption monitoring is imperative to monitor for gas and propane fuel sources. Advanced systems like the Smart Generator Dual Fuel offer remote control and monitoring from the EcoFlow smartphone app.
Receiving alerts when you’re low on fuel lets you know when it’s time to re-up before an emergency.
5. Safety Systems
Safety should always come first.
The best generators have built-in safety systems to protect against potential damages or risks for the user.
Examples of safety technologies might include fuel alerts, engine oil alerts, carbon monoxide detectors, overload avoidance, and temperature protection.
If the device is ever low on fuel, you’ll receive an alert reminding you to add more. If your engine oil runs too low, it’ll auto-shut down to prevent permanent damage.
The carbon monoxide alert automatically shuts the generator down when too much CO is in the air.
Dual-fuel generators work best in low-temperature environments. Therefore, many automatically shut down to prevent the batteries from overheating.
How Does EcoFlow’s Smart Dual-Fuel Generator Perform?
With a 1600 to 1800W output and a 1-gallon gasoline tank, you can produce 5.4kWh with gas or 20kWh with propane (LPG).
Using the LPG alone gives you up to 12.5 hours of runtime. Or, if you use it with a DELTA Pro or DELTA 2 Max, you can quickly recharge your portable power station in just a few hours using Smart Generator Dual Fuel.
Gas is easily found anywhere you’d fill up your car, but it’s tricky to store and “goes bad” in 6-12 months.
Propane is slightly harder to come by but still readily available. LPG is also more efficient, easier to store in bulk and the most eco-friendly fossil fuel.
Combining easy access to gasoline and propane’s many additional benefits gives you the best of both worlds.
Thanks to its innovative direct DC-DC charging and proprietary X-Stream technology, you can save up to 40% on fuel consumption by pairing Smart Generator Dual Fuel with the DELTA Pro or DELTA 2 Max portable power stations.
EcoFlow Dual Fuel generators have four starting options:
- Manual (Pull cord)
Multiple start options provide you with added convenience and safety. You can get up and running even in challenging situations.
Smart Generator Dual Fuel features real-time monitoring and control with the advanced EcoFlow app. You can easily monitor your generator remotely through your smartphone from anywhere with an internet signal. You can control output levels, set the battery level for auto-start, switch on Eco mode, and remote start or stop your unit.
You also get maintenance reminders to change the oil or swap parts when needed.
EcoFlow’s smart dual-fuel generator has all the must-have features of the best generators and then some, delivering exceptional backup power when you need it most.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dual fuel generators are useful in a wide range of scenarios. They’re valuable in many situations, particularly as a last line of defense for solar generators or battery backup power. Because you have the option to use two types of fuel, they offer versatility that can be a lifesaver in an emergency.
Dual fuel generators have much to offer, but choosing the right one with features you can count on is essential.
The EcoFlow Smart Generator (Dual Fuel) is a backup power option that you can rely on in virtually any situation.
Knowing that you have a dual fuel generator you can trust in an emergency helps ensure your family’s safety and gives you peace of mind.
Enjoy features like real-time app monitoring and control, four starting, robust AC output and capacity, and seamless integration with DELTA Pro, DELTA 2 Max, and Power Kits.
Check out the EcoFlow Smart Generator (Dual Fuel) for yourself today!