Petrol vs Diesel Generators

Whether you are powering your home, or an outdoor project site, or an industrial facility, you need generators that can get the job done. With petrol and diesel being the most commonly used generators, it’s hard to say which type of generator is superior or which is preferable for different applications.

What is a generator?

A generator is a device that converts an energy source into electrical power for use in an external circuit. A generator is basically a machine that makes electrical energy. It has a generator head with wires spinning inside a magnetic field.

Generators play a key role in many households, businesses, industrial organisations and commercial settings, especially during emergencies, power interruptions or events. These equipments can also be used as the primary source of power in regions where access to a main source of power is not feasible. As generators play a very important role in the functioning of a number of systems, broken down or unreliable generators pose major problems, unexpected costs and stressful delays.

What are the types of generators?

Petrol Generator

The generators which use petrol as fuel to run their engine are known as Petrol Generators. Petrol engines are used to convert the chemical energy of petrol into mechanical energy. There is more choice of models for petrol generators. Like cars, this is because petrol generators have been around for longer.

Diesel Generator

A diesel generator is the combination of a diesel engine with an electric generator often an alternator to generate electrical energy. This is a specific case of engine-generator. A diesel engine generator is usually designed to run on diesel fuel. One of the biggest advantages of diesel engines is their fuel efficiency.

Why do you need a generator?

Having a generator would allow you to keep the required appliances running in your home, such as overhead lights, a refrigerator, and even medical equipment. That way, when power eventually comes back, your household won’t miss a beat. Power outages are not known for their good timing. Also, in an outdoor event or an industrial facility, not having a generator would mean that in case of a power outage, the entire operation and production would stop. Hence, a backup generator is essential in all outdoor events and factories and also in certain homes that experience serious power outages.

Things to remember before buying a generator

Fuel Efficiency

You want a generator that is fuel efficient, but also a generator that holds a sufficient amount of fuel. Some generators change their engine speed (RPM) based on the load demand for improved fuel efficiency. Both fuel efficiency and fuel tank size will have an effect on generator performance. The generator run time can be found under the specific details for each generator.


Some generators are much more expensive than others. They also need more maintenance and their specific parts in case of damage also cost higher. But they have a longer shelf life. On the other hand, some generators are cheaper than others but they need to be replaced often. Hence. Depending on your budget you can opt to save some money and buy the cheap lesser known branded generator, or pay extra for the premium brand.


Any generator you want is going to work hard to give you the power output you need. Although some generators have to strain to generate the required power levels, others will generate the same wattage without breaking sweat as they do not need to work as hard to give you the power you need, which ensures that less maintenance is needed to keep your generator running smoothly.


The most efficient generators will only need minimal maintenance and will be less expensive to operate. For example, diesel generators run at much lower temperatures than petrol-fuelled generators, which will make them last longer in Australia’s heat. Regular maintenance and servicing of the generator would ensure that the generator runs for a long time and doesn’t have sudden breakdowns.

Which generator is better?

Although most of us are used to thinking of diesel as the ‘more expensive’ form of fuel compared to petrol, this is not generally the case when it comes to generators. Diesel fuel can still be more costly than petrol, but diesel generators are also much more fuel efficient than petrol generators which can usually consume around 50 per cent more fuel. As a result, portable diesel generators are usually cheaper over time than petrol generators.

Petrol generators are possibly a safer choice for occasional or temporary use. This is valid for a number of reasons. They are usually cheaper and are available in more models and price ranges than diesel generators, one of the few advantages of their reduced capacity. Petrol generators also ran quieter and created less toxic carbon dioxide fumes.
Even diesel fuel is self-lubricating, which means that the fuel delivery system can last longer than the petrol engine – ideal if the generator has not been used for a while. While diesel generators last longer and are less likely to break down, they may be more costly to repair when they do.

Though diesel generators are praised for their fuel efficiency, petrol generators are now being designed with all kinds of economic modes and features to bridge the gap. But a downfall with petrol generators is that they reach a higher temperature than their diesel counterparts. This leads to more wear and tear on the generator parts over time , which means more frequent maintenance and repair.

Finally, most industrial firms will probably justify diesel generators as the best option over petrol generators, but the answer to what’s best just comes down to what your needs are and what you’re going to use the generator for. Those with higher power requirements are likely to choose a heavy-duty diesel generator, whereas those with more modest needs are likely to benefit from a reasonable (and modestly priced) portable petrol generator.

If you’re interested in knowing which generator would work the best for you, or you would like information on our other services, get in touch with the friendly team at Reactive Generators.

Reactive Generators

Reactive Generators directs every effort towards supporting our customers. We work with each client individually to establish their needs, goals, and budget before providing tailored advice and services. Operating across Queensland, we offer skilled technicians in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich. We cater to industrial and commercial clients across the region, providing a comprehensive and end-to-end service. From purchase and installation to maintenance and repairs, you can trust Reactive Generators to get the job done.

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