Dual purpose converter is a mechanical device that enables the use of two fuel types to fire an engine (spark ignition). In this particular case, an LPG (Cooking gas) will be used as a means of firing your generator engine instead of the regular PMS although you can choose to use any of LPG or PMS as it suits you. It might surprises you to know that the process is simple and easy to understand. Probably a simple analogy of spark ignition engine will throw more light on the working principle of this technology.
A spark ignition engine usually operates on a 4-stroke cycle like your car engine i.e injection, ignition, combustion and exhaust. During the injection cycle, fuel flows through the carburettor, mixes with incoming air through the filter before being administered into the combustion chamber. The spark plug ignites the air-fuel mix and combustion takes place, the energy of combustion pushes on the piston which adds to its to-and-fro movement. The product of combustion flows through the exhaust. Of course, the piston, which was initially attached mechanically to the rotor in the wounded electromagnetic cluster of copper wires, generates electric current through the principle of electromagnetic induction (or Faraday’s laws).
To cut the whole story short, it can be seen from above that the main issue is to get a proper air-fuel ratio into the combustion area. This makes the dual fuel converter very simple and efficient since from design the openings of these devices are otherwise modeled for efficient air-fuel combination.
Hence the dual fuel converter is simple, efficient, maintenance free and has a long service life.
ADVANTAGES OF LPG OVER PMS
- ECONOMY: LPG/NG/Bio-gas used for the generator can be fully burned, thermal efficiency is high. Economic cost comparison: for the cost of 1KwHr, NG is 1/5 of gasoline; LPG is 1/2 of gasoline.
- ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: Gas generator’s exhaust emissions are much better than that of fuel generator, CO emissions decreased more than 90%, HC emissions decreased more than 70%. At the same time, because the gas combustion is soft, the working noise is reduced greatly than the fuel oil unit.
- DURABILITY: no oil pollution or dilution to the lube, and the gas generator works softly, so the life of the machine corresponding increase. If use gas generator, when the generator don’t work for a long time, the gas will not produce the oil slick in the carburetor, so as to avoid the difficulty start or badly filtration of the engine etc.
- Gas availability as compared with PMS which is subject to crude oil price, Forex and Nigeria politics. Hence minimizing or eliminates queuing for PMS at the fuel stations.
For now the writer was not able to see any disadvantages whatsoever in the conversion process. However, with the lower heating value of PMS and LPG is about 44.0MJ/Kg and 45.3MJ/Kg respectively. It can be argued that LPG produces a little higher energy than that of PMS, although comparable. This isn’t seen as a weakness but rather strength as power to the piston will be increased, giving a stable power supply.
Note: * the heating value of fuel is defined as the amount of heat released when a fuel is burned completely in a steady flow process and the products are returned to the thermodynamic state of the reactants.
** the lower heating value is the heating value when the H2O in the combustion products is in the vapour form. The LHV of NG is 44.95MJ/Kg.
ACCESSORIES NEEDED FOR THE INSTALLATION
- Installation kits
- Standard gas hose (3.0m)
- Filled LPG Gas cylinder
- Pressure regulating valve with Indicator
- Jubilee clips
- Spanner 10mm.
COST AND BENEFIT ANALYSIS
The advantages of using LPG-powered generator instead of PMS in terms of cost has been mentioned before. For cases of clarification, it saves the cost of about 1:2 in favor of LPG.
Specifically, 12.5kg of LPG gas cylinder gives a running time of 40-48hrs on 2.8KVA Gen. The cost of 12.5kg of LPG being #3000 max.
If u have been using cooking gas in your kitchen (with naked flame) then usage in a closed system (combustion chamber) is absolutely safe. You might want to argue that the leakage from the gas cylinder can cause explosion, this is absolutely INCORRECT.
A gas will only self ignite, only when certain build of pressure is attained. It therefore becomes difficult for explosion to occur since the gas will be used in an open atmosphere where circulation of air prevent gas gathering. An example of this is a gas plant; despite how the air surrounding the gas plant is polluted with LPG it becomes difficult for self ignition to occur due to atmospheric air circulation. From gas theory, Gas is the least stable form of matter but an unstable gas can never self ignite.
HOW TO GET YOUR GENERATOR CONVERTED TO USE GAS.
Three types of fuel can conveniently be used with the converted generator: Natural Gas (NG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Premium Motor spirit (PMS).
Installation of a special kit is required for you to be able to convert your PMS-enabled generator to use LPG. The KITS are of different types but basically two types can be recommended based on price and fuel availability in this region of the world. One is Chinese made while the other is US. China made is cheaper and works fine while the US type is rugged and more efficient but expensive. But both give the desired results.
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