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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Modifying a dual fuel generator to also use natural gas?

I was thinking about getting a portable generator for my house. The Firman dual fuel generator appeals to me because it gives me the option to run on either gasoline or propane. https://www.costco.com/Firman-7500W-...100417697.html

After looking at how my house is set up and location of the natural gas line to the house, I was thinking it may be worth considering natural gas as my primary fuel so I wouldn't have to worry about running out of fuel during a hurricane

My question is; how would I go about making the dual fuel generator run on natural gas? I've seen dual fuel generator conversion kits for about $40


I was thinking that kit would be applicable if the generator was gasoline only, but since it is dual fuel, this wouldn't be applicable.

In this case, would it be better to just buy a gasoline only generator and then add the conversion kit (I guess that would mean I wouldn't have propane as an option)?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 10:52 PM
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On a dual-fuel unit, you would likely need to adjust the metering on the secondary regulator, assuming the natural gas was supplied at sufficient pressure.

As an example, a 20KW generator fully-loaded on propane will consume 122 cubic feet of gas an hour. That same generator fueled on natural gas will consume 245 cubic feet of gas an hour. It’s twice the amount of fuel in cubic feet an hour on natural gas than on propane. Plus there is a 15 percent reduction in the power output of the generator on natural gas vs propane.

Last edited by tabora; 10-07-2019 at 11:01 PM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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On a dual-fuel unit, you would likely need to adjust the metering on the secondary regulator, assuming the natural gas was supplied at sufficient pressure.

As an example, a 20KW generator fully-loaded on propane will consume 122 cubic feet of gas an hour. That same generator fueled on natural gas will consume 245 cubic feet of gas an hour. Itís twice the amount of fuel in cubic feet an hour on natural gas than on propane. Plus there is a 15 percent reduction in the power output of the generator on natural gas vs propane.
Thank you for the response. I am new to all of this so please forgive my lack of the proper terminology; is the secondary regulator already built in the generator from the factory or is that something I would need to purchase separately?

Also, what is the best way to meter the amount of natural gas going into the generator? I think there should be sufficient pressure since I would tapping directly from the pipe coming into the house. Is that a safe assumption?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 12:56 PM
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Thank you for the response. I am new to all of this so please forgive my lack of the proper terminology; is the secondary regulator already built in the generator from the factory or is that something I would need to purchase separately?
The secondary regulator is already installed on a dual fuel unit. Look for the propane inlet; the regulator should be right behind the panel.
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Also, what is the best way to meter the amount of natural gas going into the generator? I think there should be sufficient pressure since I would tapping directly from the pipe coming into the house. Is that a safe assumption?
There is usually an adjustment valve (load-block) on the secondary regulator output side. You'll need to check what pressure is coming off your primary natural gas regulator. Here's a link to a chart that will help you determine if you can run on natural gas: Natural Gas Generator Pipe Size Chart
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 04:13 PM
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Having looked at the Firman unit further, I would not recommend it if your goal is to run primarily on natural gas, which is my understanding. The purpose in setting up a natural gas generator is generally ease-of-use and long-run capability. Something like the Generac 7.5Kw which includes a weather housing and a 50A Load Center for under $2000 would probably make you happier in the long run: https://www.norwall.com/products/7-5...ad-Center-ATS/ Briggs & Stratton and Champion also have similar offerings...
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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I am looking for a portable generator because I would like the ability to take the generator with us when we go camping or for the occasions that I need a portable source of energy when it is not feasible to run an extension cord. For those times, having a portable generator that I can operate on gasoline or propane would be nice.

When using the generator to power the house when power is off for a couple of days (hurricane season in coastal South Carolina), using natural gas would be a nice option, but I wouldn't want to be beholden to natural gas if there was ever a problem with the gas lines.

I guess I am looking for the one size fits all situations magic bullet. Hope that makes sense
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Today, 01:03 AM
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You don't want the Firman if you're camping. That's a LOUD unit. Maybe a
Westinghouse iGen4500DF Dual Fuel Inverter Generator - 3700 Rated Watts & 4500 Peak Watts would better suit your needs:


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Today, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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You don't want the Firman if you're camping. That's a LOUD unit. Maybe a
Westinghouse iGen4500DF Dual Fuel Inverter Generator - 3700 Rated Watts & 4500 Peak Watts would better suit your needs: https://www.amazon.com/Westinghouse-...fsclp_pl_dp_11
Even if I got a more quiet generator like the Westinghouse or any other brand, I would still be in the same situation; wanting to have the option and convenience of using natural gas.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Today, 08:57 AM
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I am looking for a portable generator because I would like the ability to take the generator with us when we go camping or for the occasions that I need a portable source of energy when it is not feasible to run an extension cord. For those times, having a portable generator that I can operate on gasoline or propane would be nice.

When using the generator to power the house when power is off for a couple of days (hurricane season in coastal South Carolina), using natural gas would be a nice option, but I wouldn't want to be beholden to natural gas if there was ever a problem with the gas lines.

I guess I am looking for the one size fits all situations magic bullet. Hope that makes sense

And you want a 7000watt for camping? a 7000watt will be quite loud
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Today, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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I am looking for the portable generator primarily for times when we lose power so we can comfortably remain in the house. It would be nice to use it for other purposes when/if needed so I am looking for it be versatile for those situations and to be able to use different fuels (propane, natural gas, and gasoline).

That's why I started this thread, to see if it is possible and if so, how to adapt a dual fuel or a normal gasoline generator to be tri-fuel capable.
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