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diesel vs gasoline generators: which is better?

posted in 03/14/2024
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People worldwide rely on electricity to power their everyday electrical equipment. Electricity is critical to homes, hospitals, businesses, etc. Electricity is distributed through the grid and flows from the generating plants or units to the end user. Continuous power is required to ensure no interruption of service. This is especially important in hospitals, shopping malls, security centers, airports, etc. Even brief power outages in these facilities can be dangerous.

The generator is used as a backup power source during a power outage. They can help ensure a continuous power supply to critical facilities. Most generators run on diesel or gasoline.

In this blog, MATCHUP shares the differences between diesel generators and gasoline generators so that customers can easily choose the generator that suits their needs.

diesel vs gasoline generators

diesel or gasoline generator

Both diesel and gasoline generators come with their advantages and disadvantages. Overall, they both serve as viable choices for portable power generation. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to understand the distinctions between the two before finalizing your decision.

One of the main differences between diesel and gasoline generators is their fuel source: diesel generators rely on diesel fuel to produce electricity, while gasoline generators use gasoline.

diesel generator

A diesel generator is a compact apparatus designed for electricity generation. It operates by combusting diesel fuel to produce energy, which is then transmitted through electrical outlets for charging electronic devices such as phones and laptops. Various types of diesel generators are currently accessible in the market:

#1. Portable Generators – Portable generators are compact and easy to transport by hand, making them ideal for situations where a lightweight yet powerful power source is required. Makes it easier to power basic appliances at home or in the office.

#2. Standby Generators – Backup generators are larger but still relatively compact and can fit comfortably in most backyards without causing property or landscaping damage. Able to provide adequate power to homes and businesses during power outages or emergencies.

gasoline generator

Gasoline generators, although smaller than diesel generators, emit more noise due to their compact size and higher RPM. Nonetheless, they are more fuel efficient, consuming less fuel per hour than diesel models with similar power output.

Gasoline generators are ideal for a variety of settings, including small homes, cabins, and camping trips, and they continue to be popular.

Use of portable petrol generators

diesel generators vs gasoline generators: what’s right for me?

The primary distinction lies in their power output, with diesel generators offering greater power compared to their gasoline counterparts, ensuring a more sustained and consistent power supply over extended durations.

For instance, a 5kW portable diesel generator typically yields around 20% more power than its gasoline equivalent. This characteristic renders diesel generators optimal for supplying power during emergencies or outages, especially when uninterrupted power is imperative, such as in medical crises.

When deciding between diesel generators and gasoline generators, it’s crucial to factor in your intended usage. Let’s have a side-by-side comparison of each feature of diesel and gasoline generators. 

1) gasoline vs diesel fuel

Let’s first discuss gasoline and diesel as fuels for generators. 

Gasoline is more flammable than diesel. If you’re storing fuel in an area with high heat sources or open flames, as in a garage, diesel is a much safer choice because it has no risk of accidental ignition.

Diesel also has a longer shelf life than gasoline. In good conditions, diesel fuel can last 6 to 12 months without additives. Gasoline, on the other hand, only has a shelf life of about three months without additives. The shorter shelf life means gasoline must be handled and used at two to four times as much as diesel. This usage requirement can add substantial costs to owning a generator.

Another benefit of diesel fuel is that it may be more readily available than gasoline in an emergency. Since most vehicles and small generators run on gasoline, fuel competition will increase during a power outage. However, diesel fuels fewer generators and cars. This means you’ll have to spend less time waiting at the pump to refill the tank.

2) Efficiency

One of the advantages of diesel generators over gasoline generators is fuel efficiency. Diesel generators use less fuel than gasoline generators.

Because in a diesel generator, compression ignites the fuel. Fuel and air enter the engine separately. Only air is compressed, which allows the engine to run more efficiently by using less fuel.

In contrast, gasoline generators reduce fuel efficiency by mixing fuel and air in the carburetor before compression.

Since diesel generators are more fuel efficient, they can run longer on the same amount of fuel. As a result, operating costs will be significantly reduced.

3) Noise And Heat

Gasoline generators are known for their quiet operation, making them suitable for environments where noise is an issue. They are also generally easier to activate, making them ideal where noise needs to be minimized. In comparison, diesel generators tend to produce more noise.

4) maintains

Compared to diesel generators, gasoline generators offer a cost-effective solution, require minimal maintenance, and require no special operating equipment. They are versatile and fit into tight spaces where diesel engines cannot fit.

Nonetheless, gasoline generators have a shorter lifespan as they require manual starting, whereas diesel generators are started automatically by an electric starter motor.

5) air-cooled or liquid-cooled

Generators are either air-cooled or liquid-cooled. Whether the generator is diesel or gasoline-powered, liquid cooling units are generally more expensive and used for larger projects.

Homeowners who want a generator for occasional short-term power outages may consider an affordable air-cooled gasoline generator. For extended or long-term use, such as job sites and remote sites, liquid-cooled diesel generators—though more expensive—may be the best option.

6) Running In Cold Temperatures

When it comes to running well in cooler temperatures, gasoline-powered generators have clear advantages. Because diesel generators use compression rather than ignition sparks, cold weather conditions can make it difficult for them to generate the heat needed for combustion. 

7) Durability

Diesel generators need less maintenance than gasoline generators. The longer the gasoline generator runs, the higher the temperature. Diesel generators don’t have this problem. That’s why diesel generators are more durable. 

8) application

Gasoline generators are ideal for low-demand situations and occasional use. Due to their quieter operation and reduced emissions, they work well as backup power sources for homes. Additionally, they tend to be more affordable and come in multiple models with different features.

In contrast, diesel generators excel in high-demand scenarios that require large amounts of power output. Diesel engines can withstand heavier workloads over longer periods compared to gasoline engines. Essentially, diesel generators are designed to be a robust solution for heavy-duty applications.

generator manufacturing factory


In the end, most industrial companies will probably justify diesel generators as the best option for gasoline generators. Still, the best answer depends on your needs and what you’ll be using the generator for. Those with higher power requirements may opt for a heavy-duty diesel generator, while those with fewer power requirements may benefit from an affordable gasoline generator.

If you need a home backup generator, a portable generator for camping or workplace power, MATCHUP has a range of new generators to suit your needs. If you’re not sure which model is best for your situation and power needs, please feel free to contact one of our team members. They will be happy to discuss your options with you to help you find the perfect generator.

As reliable portable generator manufacturers, we can advise you on which type is best for you. Contact our team of experts today!

diesel vs gasoline generators FAQ

In a diesel engine, when fuel is injected into the cylinder, the fuel and air mix.

In a gasoline engine, fuel and air are mixed in the carburetor and the sucked air is mixed in the pipes.

Since mixing must take place immediately after fuel injection, the diesel generator set requires a specially designed combustion chamber to smoothly mix diesel and air. 

In a diesel engine, the mixture is compressed into heat energy, while the mixture of fuel and air in the cylinder of a gasoline engine is marked by the spark plug; diesel is less volatile than gasoline, and the number of gallons per gallon is more significant. Calorific value, that is, 5dm3 diesel can get more power than 5dm3 gasoline.

Typically, gasoline has a shelf life of about three months, while diesel has a shelf life of six to twelve months under proper storage conditions (cool and dry).

Still, experts recommend using fuel stabilizer additives on gasoline that has been stored unused for more than a year and recommend refilling it with fresh gasoline every six months, preferably in early summer and winter.

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