Natural gas is widely used as a fuel source for standby generators. It’s convenient. It’s reliable. But to ensure your generator system will be reliable during a power outage and through the life of the generator, attention must be paid to the installation of the natural gas fuel supply.
Improper installation of the fuel supply tends to be a common failure point for natural gas standby generator systems. With an inadequate or unstable fuel supply, the generator could starve for fuel and it may not be able to reach maximum power output. It may run successfully without load, but fail when it tries to take the building load. Or it may not start at all.
Fuel issues are often detected during the initial startup of the equipment. At this point, the natural gas fuel supply to the generator has already been installed, and if it needs to be fixed you may be looking at additional costs and project delays. To avoid the issues, here are a few tips to help ensure your natural gas generator installation goes smoothly.
Tips for Installing Natural Gas Generators:
- When sizing the gas piping, use the 100% load cubic feet per hour (CFH) fuel consumption rating listed on the generator fuel specifications + 10%, and calculate piping bends into the total feet.
- Verify that the water column pressure is within the acceptable range of the generator fuel specifications.
- The fuel pressure regulator should be located 8-10’ away from the generator fuel inlet.
- The regulator vent should point down or have piping installed to protect it. If moisture gets into the regulator vent, it can freeze or corrode components causing the regulator to fail.
- The flexible fuel line (flex line) should be installed as straight as possible. Some flex lines have a liner that can kink and restrict flow if they are bent at 90 degrees.
To view a typical fuel system diagram for a natural gas generator, see our Example of a Standard Natural Gas Generator Installation.
(Note: the electrical DC control wiring on this diagram is for a Generac Industrial generator system; control wiring may vary depending on your generator make and model.)
Clifford Power Systems, Inc. provides dependable generator equipment, service, and rental. We are solely focused on power generation and offer professional consultation to meet all your project needs. Contact us at any of our locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, or Arkansas.