How Long Will a Generator Run on Propane?

How Long Will a Generator Run on Propane

A power generator has probably become a part of every house nowadays. You can find different types of power generators when visit the marketplace. Among them, the triple and dual fuel generators have gained eyeballs of late. The benefit is obvious with such generators since you can operate them using multiple fuels. Such generators commonly use propane as fuel in most cases. Now, the question is how long will a generator run on propane? Is propane a cost-effective fuel for power generators at home or office? Find answers to these questions in the following section of this article.

Theoretical Calculation

First, we need to establish some basic metrics:

  • 1 gallon of propane contains 91,452 BTU of energy content, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
  • To produce 1 kWh of electricity, we require 3,412 BTU of energy.

Assuming 100% efficiency, a propane generator could theoretically produce 26.80 kWh of electricity per gallon of propane.

Here are some theoretical calculations for different generator sizes:

  • A 10kW generator should run for approximately 2.68 hours per gallon of propane (at 100% output). However, in reality, a 10kW generator typically runs for about 32 minutes on a gallon of propane.
  • A 20kW generator should run for approximately 1.34 hours per gallon of propane (at 100% output). In reality, a 20kW generator runs for about 16 minutes on a gallon of propane.
  • A 24kW generator should run for approximately 1.12 hours per gallon of propane (at 100% output). In reality, a 24kW generator runs for about 13 minutes on a gallon of propane.

Propane Generator Efficiency

  • Propane generators are not 100% efficient (far from it).
  • To calculate how much propane a generator uses, we need to consider its efficiency.
  • The formula for propane generator propane usage is as follows:
  • Generator Propane Usage = Propane Generator Size × Rated Load × Running Hours / (26.80 kWh/Gallon × Propane Efficiency)

Let’s break down the components:

  • Propane Generator Size: This is the size of your generator (e.g., 1000W, 10kW, 22kW, etc.).
  • Rated Load: The load percentage (25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%).
  • Running Hours: The duration you plan to run the generator.
  • Propane Efficiency: The actual efficiency of the propane generator.

By plugging in these values, you can calculate how much propane your generator will use.

Practical Considerations

  • The discrepancy between theoretical and practical running times arises due to efficiency.
  • Real-world factors like engine efficiency, fuel delivery, and other losses impact the actual runtime.
  • Therefore, it’s essential to consider both theoretical estimates and practical experience when planning propane usage for your generator.

Remember that these calculations provide a general guideline, but actual performance may vary based on specific generator models and conditions. Always consult your generator’s specifications and consider real-world efficiency for accurate planning.

The Benefits of Using Propane Generators

Propane generators come with multiple benefits, which are discussed in the following section. Knowing these benefits is crucial to understanding the benefits of such generators with precision.

  1. Better Shelf Life

The shelf life of LPG fuel is high since it works without requiring burnable energy. Keeping the fuel in pressurized containers makes sure that the fuel lasts for many years. On the other hand, gasoline degrades in a few months. When compared to gasoline, propane comes with a far better shelf life. Moreover, people invest in expensive stabilizers to prevent gasoline from going bad. In the case of propane, you will not find a similar hassle of buying a new stabilizer.

  1. Better for the Environment

Propane produces fewer emissions than other fuels that have been used for running home generators. Therefore, it is safer for the environment. At the same time, it reduces health troubles for your household members. According to the studies, propane causes lesser carbon monoxide emission when it is used as a generator fuel.

  1. No Maintenance Hassles

The generators that use gasoline and diesel create large carbon deposits. As a result, such generators must undergo regular cleaning to retain their efficiency. On the other hand, you do not need to deal with such cleaning hassles with the propane generators. You can run generators on propane for months without worrying about its maintenance. Without maintenance, such generators will not lose their efficiency.

  1. Easily Available Generator Fuels

At times, homeowners find hassles in finding the generator fuel. As a result, they cannot run the generators for months. Choosing a propane generator can reduce such hassles. This fuel is available widely in different places. Therefore, you can find it easily at the local and online stores and keep it in your home without much hassle.


Hope this article has provided you with enough insight into how long will a generator run on propane. If you are looking for a propane generator, you can invest in the tri-fuel generators from the leading brands. For example, you can try a Pulsar generator if you want a high-quality propane generator.

Gavin’s Garage is a leading generator superstore, which offers details reviews on different types of generators. You can purchase new and refurbished generators at our online store. Find the best generator for your home with us.