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Understanding Industrial Generator Types and Applications

Uninterrupted standby power is crucial for sustaining the functioning of various industries. To meet this demand, industrial generators have become indispensable tools, providing reliable and backup power during utility outages or in off-grid locations. These generators come in various types, each optimized for specific applications. The three primary types of generators are:

Diesel Generators

Diesel generators are widely used across industries due to their robustness and efficiency. These generators operate on diesel fuel, which is readily available and offers high energy density. Diesel generators come in various sizes, ranging from small portable units for residential use to large industrial-scale generators capable of supplying power to entire facilities.

Key advantages of diesel generators include:

  • Fuel Efficiency: Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than gasoline engines, providing cost-effectiveness over the long term.
  • Stability: Diesel generators can handle heavy loads and maintain stable power output, making them suitable for critical applications.
  • Durability: These generators are built to withstand challenging environments and have a longer lifespan.

Natural Gas Generators

Natural gas generators utilize natural gas as their primary fuel source. They are commonly found in areas with a natural gas supply or where emissions regulations are a concern. Natural gas generators are preferred for their cleaner emissions profile and lower operating costs compared to diesel generators.

Key advantages of natural gas generators include:

  • Lower Emissions: Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel, reducing emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gasses.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: In regions with abundant natural gas supply, these generators offer a cost-effective solution for long-term power generation.
  • Quiet Operation: Natural gas generators typically produce less noise during operation.

Propane Generators

Propane generators run on propane gas, a byproduct of natural gas processing and petroleum refining. These generators are often used in areas where natural gas infrastructure is limited or unavailable. Propane is stored in tanks, providing a portable power solution for various applications.

Key advantages of propane generators include the following:

  • Portability: Propane generators do not rely on a fixed fuel supply, allowing easy transportation and use in remote locations.
  • Clean-Burning: Propane combustion produces fewer emissions, making it an environmentally friendly choice.
  • Long Shelf Life: Propane can be stored for extended periods without deterioration, ensuring a reliable backup power source.

Each type of industrial generator applies to different industries based on specific requirements. Kohler generators support a myriad of applications, here are just a few:


Municipalities often use industrial generators to power critical infrastructure such as emergency services, water treatment plants, sewage systems, and traffic signals. Diesel generators are commonly employed for their durability and fuel efficiency, ensuring continuous operation during emergencies or natural disasters.


Educational institutions, including schools and universities, rely on a steady power supply to maintain a conducive learning environment. Industrial generators are essential for powering classrooms, computer labs, lighting, and heating, especially in regions prone to frequent power outages. Diesel or natural gas generators are frequently chosen for their reliability and ability to handle varying load demands.


The telecommunications industry heavily depends on uninterrupted power to maintain connectivity and communication networks. Industrial generators are backup power solutions for cell towers, data centers, and communication infrastructure. Natural gas generators are often preferred for their cleaner emissions, making them suitable for urban or densely populated areas.


Hospitals and healthcare facilities require a continuous and reliable power supply to operate life-saving equipment and maintain patient care. Diesel generators, with their stable power output, are extensively used as backup power sources in these critical settings. Propane generators may also be employed as an alternative in areas with limited natural gas or diesel fuel access. Life safety codes require onsite fuel, which would limit the use of natural gas.

Data Centers

Data centers house servers and IT infrastructure that must operate 24/7. Any power disruption can lead to data loss and service interruptions. Data centers rely on redundant power sources, including natural gas and diesel generators, to ensure uninterrupted operations during power outages or grid failures.

For help selecting or sizing a generator, contact Kinsley at