How a Propane Generator Works

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Some generators burn propane to create electricity.

A propane generator is a mechanical device that is used for the purpose of producing electricity. The electricity is created by converting motorized power from the combustion of propane into electrical energy.


Converting Propane Into Electricity

Propane is a flammable hydrocarbon gas. When a propane generator is in use, it will burn the propane, creating heat and energy. A mixture of ammonia and water are present inside the generator. The temperature of this mixture is raised by the heat produced from the burning propane, bringing the mixture to a burning point and creating ammonia gas. The ammonia gas then flows from the generator.

Portable and Standby Generators

A portable propane generator will provide electricity for a short amount of time, usually no longer than a few hours. A standby propane generator is larger than a portable propane generator and can provide electricity for several days because propane is usually stored underground in storage tanks.


Automatic and Manual Generators

Some standby propane generators have a transfer switch that will automatically turn the generator on when the power goes out and off when the power comes back on. Portable propane generators and some standby models must be manually turned on and off.



Liana Thomas

Liana Thomas began writing professionally in 2008. She has written for various websites, specializing in arts, entertainment and media topics. Thomas studied literature with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.