Unveiling the Power Behind Generac Generators: What Makes Them Run?


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Generac generators are one of the best investments you can make for your home or business. They provide backup power during outages and help keep your essential systems and appliances running smoothly. But have you ever wondered what runs a Generac generator? How does it produce electricity? In this blog, we will dive into the intricate workings of a Generac generator and give you a better understanding of the power source that keeps your life running smoothly.

From the engine to the alternator, we’ll break down each component and how it contributes to the overall operation of your generator. So sit back and relax as we explore the inner workings of a Generac generator.

Understanding the Power Source

If you’re wondering what runs a Generac generator, the answer is an internal combustion engine. Specifically, most Generac generators utilize either a gasoline or propane fueled four-stroke engine to generate power. The engine is fitted with a starter motor, alternator, and other components that allow for the conversion of fuel into mechanical energy and then into electrical energy.

This process involves the combustion of the fuel inside the engine, which powers the pistons and turns the alternator, producing electrical power that can be used to run appliances and equipment. It’s important to note that the type of fuel used can affect the engine’s performance and lifespan, so it’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for fuel type and maintenance. Overall, understanding the power source of your Generac generator is essential for proper operation and maintenance to ensure reliable and efficient performance when you need it most.

Gasoline or Propane for Portable Generators

When it comes to choosing a power source for your portable generator, there are two main options: gasoline or propane. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs and circumstances. Gasoline generators are typically more affordable and readily available at most gas stations.

Additionally, they provide more power and are ideal for heavy-duty use. However, they come with a considerable risk of fire and are not as long-lasting as propane generators. Propane generators, on the other hand, are more expensive and require a separate fuel tank.

They are safer to use and more environmentally friendly as they produce fewer emissions. They also have a longer lifespan and are better suited for long-term power outages or camping trips where a reliable source of energy is essential. Ultimately, choosing between gasoline or propane generators depends on your needs and priorities.

If price and power are your top considerations, gasoline is the way to go. However, if safety, durability, and efficiency are crucial, you might want to opt for a propane generator.

what runs a generac generator

Natural Gas or Liquid Propane for Home Standby Generators

When it comes to choosing between natural gas or liquid propane for a home standby generator, it’s important to understand the differences between these power sources. Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel that is delivered via pipelines and is typically more affordable than propane. On the other hand, liquid propane is stored in a tank on your property and is generally a more reliable option during power outages.

Ultimately, your decision may depend on factors such as the size of your home, your budget, and the availability of natural gas in your area. It’s best to consult with a professional to determine the most suitable option for your specific needs.

The Engine: Heart of the Generator

When it comes to Generac generators, the engine is the heart of the unit. It’s the powerhouse that runs the generator and produces the electricity you need. The engine inside a Generac generator is typically a gasoline or diesel-powered internal combustion engine.

This engine converts the fuel into mechanical energy, which then drives the alternator to produce electricity. The type of engine used depends on the specific Generac model you have, but they are all designed to be efficient and reliable. You also have the option to get a Generac generator that is fueled by liquid propane or natural gas which can offer even more efficient and environmentally-friendly operation.

No matter what type of engine your Generac generator has, it’s essential to keep it maintained properly to ensure it continues to operate at peak performance. Regular oil changes, air filter replacements, and other routine maintenance tasks can help keep your engine running smoothly for years to come.

Air-Cooled and Liquid-Cooled Engines

The engine is undoubtedly the heart of a generator, responsible for converting fuel into the electricity that powers our homes, businesses, and lives. When it comes to generators, there are two main types of engines: air-cooled and liquid-cooled. Air-cooled engines rely on fins and fans to dissipate heat, while liquid-cooled engines use a cooling liquid, such as water or coolant.

Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Air-cooled engines are typically smaller and more portable, making them ideal for small applications, but they can struggle to dissipate heat and maintain consistent performance in high temperatures. On the other hand, liquid-cooled engines are more durable, efficient, and better suited for larger applications, but they are often more expensive and complicated to maintain.

Ultimately, the choice of engine type will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the generator and its intended application.

OHV (overhead valve) Engine for Efficiency

The OHV (Overhead Valve) engine has been proven to be a highly efficient system for generators. As the heart of a generator, the engine is responsible for powering the entire machine. The OHV design consists of a set of rocker arms, pushrods, and valves positioned above the engine block, allowing for faster and smoother combustion.

This increased efficiency means the engine produces more power per unit of fuel, reducing fuel consumption and overall expenses. Compared to other engine designs, the OHV system requires less maintenance and lasts longer, making it a reliable choice for anyone looking for a high-quality generator. So, if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient and reliable generator, consider getting one with an OHV engine – it will be a decision you won’t regret!

Low-Oil Shutdown for Engine Protection

One of the most critical components of a generator is its engine, which acts as the heart of the entire machine. Without a fully functioning engine, a generator cannot produce power. As a result, it’s no surprise that many generators come equipped with various features to protect their engines, such as low-oil shutdown.

This feature ensures that the engine automatically shuts down if the oil level drops below a certain point, helping prevent damage that can result from running the engine without sufficient lubrication. The low-oil shutdown feature is critical in ensuring that the engine remains healthy and can operate efficiently over the long term. Additionally, this feature ensures that the generator is always ready to spring into action, even during times when oil levels may be low due to various reasons such as leaks or spills.

By preventing the engine from running without adequate oil, low-oil shutdown technology limits unnecessary wear and tear and extends the life of your generator’s engine. In summary, the engine of a generator is its most crucial component, and it deserves all the protection it can get. The low-oil shutdown feature helps in keeping your engine healthy and prolonging its lifespan, which in turn, ensures you have power whenever you need it.

When investing in a generator, it’s essential to consider models with this feature and regularly monitor the oil level to ensure that the engine remains in top condition.

Control Panel: Managing the Generator

If you’re wondering what runs a Generac generator, the answer is simple – the control panel. The control panel is the brain of the generator and is responsible for managing all aspects of its operation. From starting and stopping the generator to monitoring its performance, the control panel ensures that the generator runs smoothly and efficiently.

It enables you to customize settings based on your needs, such as setting the transfer switch and adjusting the voltage output. With the control panel, you can also check the generator’s status, diagnose any issues, and schedule maintenance tasks. So, if you own a Generac generator, learning how to operate its control panel is essential to keep it running well and to prevent any potential problems.

Circuit Breakers and Outlets for Power Distribution

When it comes to managing a generator, the control panel plays a crucial role in ensuring smooth power distribution. A control panel typically consists of circuit breakers and outlets that are used for power distribution. These components help to ensure that the generator is supplying power to the right places, and that any potential issues are quickly identified and addressed.

The circuit breakers act as a safety mechanism by interrupting the flow of electricity in the event of an overload or short circuit. This prevents damage to the generator and ensures that it continues to function properly. Meanwhile, the outlets allow the generator’s power to be distributed to the various parts of the building or facility that require it.

Managing the generator’s control panel requires a good understanding of the different components and how they work together. It’s important to ensure that the circuit breakers are properly adjusted to handle the expected load, and that all outlets are correctly wired. Regular maintenance and inspections are also essential to prevent any issues from arising and to keep the generator functioning smoothly.

In the end, a well-managed control panel can make all the difference in ensuring that a generator operates efficiently and effectively. Properly distributed power can keep a facility running smoothly and prevent any costly downtime. So, whether you’re using the generator as a backup power source or as a primary source of electricity, investing in a well-designed and properly maintained control panel is essential.

Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) for Seamless Power Switching

The automatic transfer switch (ATS) plays a crucial role in managing the generator in a building. This device seamlessly switches power supply from the main power grid to the emergency generator when there is an outage. The panel ensures that there is no interruption in power supply, which can cause significant disruptions in building operations.

This is especially crucial in facilities like hospitals, data centers, and other critical infrastructure where power interruption can cause serious consequences. The control panel is responsible for managing the generator, monitoring systems, and triggering the ATS to transfer power supply to the backup system when needed. It is essential that the ATS is regularly maintained to ensure that it functions optimally in critical situations and that it is capable of handling the building’s power requirements.

By using an ATS, building owners can minimize the risk of power outages and ensure that operations continue with minimum interruption.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Generac Generator

In conclusion, what runs a Generac generator is like the energizer bunny on steroids – it keeps going and going and going. Harnessing the power of an efficient and dependable engine, a Generac generator is fueled by the earth’s natural resources to keep you plugged in even in the most challenging of conditions. So whether it’s the rumble of the gas engine or the sizzle of propane, just know that what runs a Generac generator is the heart and soul of your backup power source.


How does a generac generator work?
A generac generator works by using an internal combustion engine to convert fuel into electricity.

What size generac generator do I need for my home?
The size of generac generator you need for your home depends on its wattage capacity, which can be determined by calculating the total wattage of all the appliances and electronics you want to power during an outage.

What type of fuel does a generac generator use?
A generac generator can run on natural gas or liquid propane, which are both commonly used as fuel sources for backup power generators.

How often do I need to perform maintenance on my generac generator?
It is recommended to perform regular maintenance on your generac generator every 6 months or 100 hours of use, whichever comes first, to ensure it operates at peak performance and reliability.