We rely on electricity to do nearly everything — from communicating with family and friends to cooking and performing many other essential activities.
Most of the time, we can rely on power grids and utility providers. But home backup power provides an alternative, protecting us during power outages, natural disasters, or other emergencies.
While home generators work great, they typically rely on a single fuel source. A dual-fuel generator offers additional backup for solar or traditional fossil fuel generators, giving you and your family a last line of defense in case of an extended blackout. And while dual fuel generators don’t provide completely clean energy, thanks to technological advancements, you can find dual fuel generator options that maximize fuel efficiency for a more eco-friendly solution than traditional fossil fuel generators.
What Is a Dual Fuel Generator?
A dual fuel generator is a backup power source that offers two fuel options for generating power. Dual fuel generators can help keep your heating and cooling systems, lighting, and essential appliances running during a power outage or if you’re staying off-grid.
Conventional power generators rely on a single fuel source. Unfortunately, they are prone to running out of power during extended emergencies. Being reliant on a single energy source, whether it’s solar, diesel, or gasoline, simply gives you fewer options to keep your home up and running during a prolonged power outage.
Unlike conventional fossil fuel generators, many dual-fuel generators can use propane (LPG) or gasoline as energy sources. You can keep multiple LPG canisters in storage and use them if gasoline or solar-generated power runs scarce.
How Does a Dual Fuel Generator Work?
Dual-fuel generators use a combination of propane, natural gas, diesel, or gasoline. They typically switch between fuels — manually or automatically — based on the required power output or if one of the fuels runs out.
Different fuels have their advantages and limitations. Using two fuels, you can capitalize on each type’s benefits and reduce any downside. Also, having two fuel options — like gasoline and propane — gives you many more opportunities to refill and store your fuel.
Pros of Dual Fuel Generator
Here are the advantages of using dual-fuel generators:
Many portable dual generators run on a mixture of natural gas and diesel, with diesel utilized primarily during ignition. Once the generator is running, it adds natural gas to the engine.
Traditional dual fuel generators typically run 75% on natural gas and about 25% on diesel mix. Since natural gas produces more power per unit and burns for longer, you’ll increase efficiency compared to a single-fuel diesel generator.
The new EcoFlow Smart Dual-Fuel Generator offers even further efficiency and can provide 12.5 hours of runtime using propane (LPG) alone. You can also seamlessly pair Smart Dual Fuel Generator with the EcoFlow DELTA Pro or DELTA Max Portable Power Stations and Solar Generators to give you even more home backup and off-grid energy options.
Dual fuel generators are typically more eco-friendly than single-fuel gasoline or diesel generators. The EcoFlow Smart Generator’s highly efficient engine, combined with cleaner propane, creates less greenhouse gas emissions than other single or dual fuel generators.
Cons of Dual Fuel Generator
Below are the disadvantages of a dual-fuel generator:
Gas is Difficult to Store
If you use gasoline as one of your fuel sources, you may face challenges with storage. Gas degrades in a few months, so you need to use the gas sooner rather than later.
For long-term storage, you may need to use a gas stabilizer, which adds costs to usage. Some cities may have codes limiting how much gas you can store since it can be a fire hazard. Many fire codes will restrict the amount of gas stored in a home to under 25 gallons (95L).
Propane is a more stable resource. It has a longer shelf life that can last nearly a few decades without degrading. Also, propane tanks are much safer and easier to store.
You’ll need to monitor the performance of your system if you use two fueling types. Maintenance includes checking the engine and tanks and periodically cleaning to avoid residue or pipes clogging. Depending on the type, it may cause increased maintenance, which comes with the territory.
The EcoFlow Dual Fuel Smart Generator is easy to maintain. A side-access door enables easy access to any parts or swapping out oils. As a result, you’ll experience much less hassle than with other dual generators.
Why Should You Use a Dual Fuel Generator?
You should use a dual generator over a standard or bi-fuel generator for many reasons. Even if you own a portable power station or solar generator, you may still want an additional backup. A dual generator performs many essential functions during severe storms or extended blackouts.
Multiple Sources of Fuel
The primary reason to purchase dual generators is access to multiple fuel sources. As mentioned earlier, some fuel types perform better than others, depending on the situation.
For example, propane works better in hot weather, while gasoline burns better in freezing temperatures. The climate and season may dictate what resource works best for your situation.
In areas prone to natural disasters, one fuel source could run dry. A dual generator provides an additional refueling option if one energy source is scarce.
Extra propane canisters are easy to store at home and can keep you and your home safe from power outages.
Plugging in a propane tank with an EcoFlow Dual Fuel Generator is simple. Most dual fuel generators that use propane have a connection that lets you conveniently use the same tank as your gas grill.
You can easily purchase additional propane tanks from hardware and grocery stores or gas stations.
Switching between fuel sources means you can maintain your backup power source for longer. When the generator runs out of gas, it can switch to propane or vice versa.
The versatility lets you keep your power going. During extended blackouts, having a longer runtime is critical to maintaining power until the grid comes back online.
When dealing with a natural disaster or power outage, you might not always have enough of one fuel to keep your generator going. Dual generators offer more options to refill, helping to ensure that you’re always prepared.
Being prepared is especially critical in areas prone to extreme weather or wildfires. Natural disasters can cause significant destruction and block roads, cutting off access to fuel supply sources like the nearby gas station.
Dual generators give you peace of mind. If you can’t access gas, you can switch to propane as your primary agent.
If you’re using an EcoFlow DELTA Pro or DELTA Max solar generator or portable power station, the Smart Dual Fuel Generator kicks in automatically when they run out of power. You’ll always have an additional backup option to ensure you have electricity for your home — even during extended blackouts.
Dual fuel generators serve as a last-stand backup solution to power your home for any unexpected situation. When combined with a solar generator or portable power station, you’ll have a fossil fuel option for when your solar or battery power runs out.
Finding the right dual fuel generator lets you maximize efficiency and durability. At EcoFlow, we offer an entire ecosystem of backup options, including the EcoFlow Dual-Fuel Smart Generator.
Explore our dual generator and other smart backup power ecosystem options today to ensure your home always has the power it needs — even in an extended blackout.