Understanding the Key Differences Between Stationary Engines and Portable Generators

Date Posted: 10 April 2023 

Learn about the key differences between stationary engines and portable generators. Make an informed decision on which to get at Jono & Johno.

Are you tired of your power source failing you in the middle of a project or when you're out in the great outdoors? Fear not! We have two options that could save the day: stationary engines and portable generators! But wait, what's the difference between them, you ask?

Well, dear reader, that's exactly what we're here to explore. In this article, we'll dive into the intricacies of these two powerhouses, from their power output to their fuel type, mobility, noise level, and price. So sit tight and get ready to learn about the key differences between these two powerful tools.

What is a Stationary Engine?

Let's start with stationary engines. Simply put, a stationary engine is a type of internal combustion engine that is designed to run continuously in one place, typically providing power for stationary equipment such as generators, pumps, or compressors.

These engines are commonly used in industries such as agriculture, construction, and manufacturing, as well as in emergency backup systems for hospitals, data centres, and other critical facilities. Stationary engines can run on a variety of fuels, including diesel, natural gas, propane, and gasoline, and they come in different sizes and power outputs depending on the specific application.

What is a Portable Generator?

Now let's shift our attention to portable generators. These contraptions are aptly named as they are engineered to be easily transported and provide power on the go. They are typically powered by petrol engines and use a generator to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Portable generators are available in various sizes and power outputs, ranging from petite units that can fit in your trunk to colossal beasts that can power a small village. They are often used in outdoor activities, such as camping, boating, and tailgating, and also serve as vital backup power sources in the event of emergencies or natural disasters.

Some portable generators are equipped with noise-reducing technology, making them a popular choice for outdoor events or for use in residential areas with noise restrictions.

Differences in Power Output

One of the most significant differences between stationary engines and portable generators is their power output. Stationary engines are renowned for their sheer brute force, boasting a Herculean power output that can sustain heavy machinery and equipment, such as compressors and pumps, over prolonged periods.

This makes them ideal for powering heavy machinery and equipment, such as compressors and pumps, which require a constant power source. However, their prodigious power often comes at the expense of fuel efficiency, and they may also discharge higher levels of noise and noxious emissions.

onversely, portable generators are designed to be lean, mean, and green power machines. These machines are compact in size, but in their size belies their impressive fuel efficiency, emitting fewer pollutants and producing less noise. This makes them better suited for powering smaller electrical appliances and devices, such as lights, televisions, and refrigerators. Portable generators are also commonly used for outdoor activities and as backup power sources in the event of power outages.

Differences in Fuel Type

One of the most striking contrasts between stationary engines and portable generators is the type of fuel they consume. Stationary engines commonly run on either petrol or diesel, whereas portable generators are often fueled by petrol, propane, or natural gas, each with its unique set of benefits and drawbacks.

Petrol engines are widely recognised for their high energy density and rapid combustion kinetics, rendering them well-suited for applications that demand prompt and dependable power delivery.

Nevertheless, they are also infamous for their noxious emissions, low thermal efficiency, and susceptibility to fuel instability issues.

In contrast, diesel engines have earned a reputation for their superior fuel efficiency and durability. This has made them an ideal choice for heavy-duty industrial uses that require extended periods of continuous operation.

The downside with diesel engines, though, is that they often produce more pollutants. They also require more rigorous maintenance to ensure their optimal performance.

There are better alternatives, including propane and natural gas. These have gained traction among users because of their cleaning combustion. They also have lower emissions—however, their energy density and availability post limitations on their usage. Not to mention their storage and transport require extra precautions to ensure safety.

Differences in Mobility and Portability

Stationary engines are typically designed to remain in a fixed location, powering machinery or equipment that is immobile. In contrast, portable generators are designed to be transported from place to place, making them more versatile in their application.

Generators often have features like wheels and handles that make them easier to move around, which increase their portability. They can be employed in a larger range of circumstances thanks to their mobility, including outdoor gatherings, construction sites, and emergency scenarios.

Portable generators may forgo some power and efficiency in order to be more portable, which could come at a price. While stationary engines may be better suited to heavy-duty industrial applications where mobility is less crucial, they can frequently produce more constant power.

Differences in Noise Levels

Stationary engines and portable generators are on different extremities of the spectrum when it comes to noise levels..

Due to their size and tremendous output, stationary engines, especially those used in industrial settings, can be rather noisy. To reduce their impact on the surrounding area, these engines frequently need soundproofing measures.

On the other hand, portable generators have advanced significantly in recent years, and they are now much quieter than they were.

Due to the availability of silent generators, they are a fantastic option for applications where noise pollution is a concern. A silent generator is always appreciated if you live in a populated area.

It's important to remember that the type of gasoline being utilised can also affect noise levels. For example, diesel engines are known to be noisier than gasoline engines. The engine or generator's size and design might also have an impact on the noise level.

Choosing the optimal option for your needs involves taking the noise level of an engine or generator into account.

Which One Should You Choose?

It can be difficult to decide between a fixed engine and a portable generator, but your particular requirements and tastes will ultimately determine which option is best for you.

A stationary engine can be the best option if you require a dependable power supply for a long-term or permanent application. For demanding industrial tasks, its power output, toughness, and fuel efficiency make it a sensible option.

On the other hand, a portable generator can be a better option if you require a flexible and portable power source for sporadic use in remote areas. It is a great option for outdoor gatherings, camping vacations, and emergency circumstances due to its portability and simplicity of usage.

Noise level, fuel type availability, and environmental impact are additional considerations to take into account. Even though stationary engines may be noisier and produce more air pollution, they provide a more steady and dependable power production. Although portable generators might be more environmentally friendly and quieter, they might not have the same power and longevity as fixed engines.

Shop Stationary Engines and Portable Generators at Jono & Johno!

Whether you choose a stationary engine or a portable petrol generator will depend on various factors such as power needs, fuel type, mobility, noise level, and budget. Ultimately, the optimal choice will depend on your specific needs and requirements. If you're looking for high-quality stationary engines and portable generators, be sure to check out Jono & Johno for a wide range of options to suit your needs. Honda stationary engine, lawnmower engine, chainsaw engine, petrol stationary engine — name it, we have it!