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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have stumbled across another insane customer. He wants a natural gas standby generator that is also connected to propane. His reason is that he says there is alot of talk about terrorist destroying our gas infrastructure. He needs to be able to keep his radio station that he broadcasts from his house operational if this was to occur. My question is if this is even allowed to be done?
 

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I've worked on turbine generators that were designed to switch fuel types, so I know it's possible.

The only word of caution I have is I know propane burns much hotter, to the extent that people have actually caused fires by trying to run natural-gas furnaces on propane, so I'm not sure what has to altered to make it safe on a generator, but I seriously doubt you can just swap fuel sources and call it good.
 

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Switching from one fuel source to another takes two steps for a Generac first you need to move the lever from NG to LP then second you have to change the fuel source in the controller from NG to LP. A generator set to NG will run on LP just not very well. Check NFPA 54 and 58 I don't think it would be an issue as long as each system was regulated and had separate shut offs.
 

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It depends on what it takes to convert the generator you are using. Generac used to be able to move a selector for changing fuel types. Still the same, though now you need change it in the controller menu as well. Not too bad. The liquid cooled units call for jets to be swapped, so thats likely out of the question. Still learning GE/Briggs so not sure there. Kohler/Onan might be different too. Then its a question of teeing in the gas lines. Physically possible, but legal from a Gas installers point of view, not sure.
 

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I have stumbled across another insane customer. He wants a natural gas standby generator that is also connected to propane. His reason is that he says there is alot of talk about terrorist destroying our gas infrastructure. He needs to be able to keep his radio station that he broadcasts from his house operational if this was to occur. My question is if this is even allowed to be done?

And is this for an "undisclosed location" radio program ? ..........
 

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I'm aware of the process of switching from fuel types but my concern primarily is weather or not it's leal to have the two fuels tied together. The way I see it is there is is a potential of two fuel sources feeding the generator at once which could be dangerous. I don't think they they make a double throw valve which would eliminate the possibility of both being on at the same time.
 

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I'm aware of the process of switching from fuel types but my concern primarily is weather or not it's leal to have the two fuels tied together. The way I see it is there is is a potential of two fuel sources feeding the generator at once which could be dangerous. I don't think they they make a double throw valve which would eliminate the possibility of both being on at the same time.
I don't know of any dangers in mixing the fuels as LP is a byproduct of NG. The motor would perform poorly. Two fuel solenoids controlled by a two position switch.
 

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We have sites that are dual fuel Diesel, Natural gas it is all about how much you want to spend.

What size generator does he want and why not go 100% propane from the get go? It would please Hank Hill
 

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My memory is a bit fuzzy, but call Cummins/Onan and see if they still have this option. I remember it was an option on a RS45000 I got in about 2003, but I did not get the option because I thought it was too costly for the benefit. I went with propane only even though it was located where there was natural, for grid independence. Various factors play into the decision. This one was fully automatic switchover.
 

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We have sites that are dual fuel Diesel, Natural gas it is all about how much you want to spend.

What size generator does he want and why not go 100% propane from the get go? It would please Hank Hill
I installed one at a fire dept. Natural over LP. They wanted this in case some one hit the Nat. gas line while excavating along the road. You can turn off the Nat. gas valve and it never misses a beat.
I'm aware of the process of switching from fuel types but my concern primarily is weather or not it's leal to have the two fuels tied together. The way I see it is there is is a potential of two fuel sources feeding the generator at once which could be dangerous. I don't think they they make a double throw valve which would eliminate the possibility of both being on at the same time.
Not only is it legal but it is required by code for Article 700 and 701 generator installs. 700.12(B)(3) and 701.12(B)(3). For this install it would not be required as it would be a 702 install. But if he's got the money...............
 
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