Generators are alternate power supplies for homes, hospitals, business establishments, manufacturing companies, and other industrial enterprises. These are also commonly-used main power sources for mobile homes and recreational vehicles. The portable types can provide power to remote construction sites as well as social gatherings in "off-the-grid" locations. Generators can have air-cooled or liquid-cooled engines, and can use gasoline or diesel.
Air-Cooled Versus Liquid-Cooled
Air-cooling systems work by forcing air to the metal fins around the engine cylinder. Liquid-cooling systems, on the other hand, have a radiator and a water pump. The pump distributes the liquid coolant to the engine block through hoses, and the heat from the engine is transferred to the coolant. The heated liquid then goes to the radiator where the air cools it. Modern generator engines commonly use liquid-cooling, but there are still several generator manufacturers that produce air-cooled models.
Manufacturing and Price
Air-cooled engines are generally cheaper to produce than liquid-cooled engines. This is because they need fewer parts and can function without any radiator. Air-cooled engines do not need any coolant. Their chances of overheating are minimal.
Benefits of Air-Cooled Gas Engine Generators
Air-cooled engine generators are less expensive than their liquid-cooled counterparts because they do not require radiators and other liquid-cooling system components. With less components, air-cooled engine generators also are more light-weight. Air-cooled gas versions are more environment-friendly because engines run by gasoline produce cleaner exhaust than those run by diesel. Liquid-cooled engines also tend to release hazardous coolant into the environment if they overheat.
Disadvantages of Air-Cooled Gas Engine Generators
Air-cooled gas engine generators also have their share of disadvantages. Air-cooled engines that fail generally require a major overhaul, and their maintenance and repair tasks tend to be more frequent and more time-consuming. As generators evolve, their technological upgrades more commonly use liquid-cooled systems than air-cooled systems.