Portable Diesel Generators

Diesel generators are available in many sizes. They have applications from backup power sources for homes to industrial generators that can power construction sites and large installations. You can get portable diesel generators though the larger generators are usually placed on trailers or mounted on skids.

Diesel Generator Advantages

The advantages of diesel generators over gasoline powered generators is that they are more fuel efficient and are built to run for long periods of time. These generators run at lower RPMs than other generators which helps with less wear and tear on the engine and the alternator.

Diesel generators are also comparatively low maintenance as compared to other types of generators and are meant to have a long life. Also diesel fuel is easier to store and does not deteriorate like gasoline does.

Response to load change is usually faster in a diesel generator due to the direct fuel injection, whereas the in gas engines there is a slight delay due to the fuel mixture and travel time to get the fuel to the cylinders.

Diesel Generators Disadvantages

The disadvantages of diesel generators are that they are more expensive than similar gasoline powered generators. They are also much louder and much heavier than other types of generators.

Diesel generators also tend to cause more pollution than other generators if not properly tuned. On the other hand diesel can be a cleaner burning fuel if the engine is run correctly and tuned for specific use.

One aspect of the Diesel generators is that they will not work properly if there is less than 25% of load put on the generator. This is due to the need to have a proper resistance to the engine working to power a load. This imbalance of work causes issues with the engine control.

Light Duty Diesel Generators below 10kW

Diesel fueled generators in the range of 5000 watts to 10,000 watts are generally portable and meant for lighter duty. These generators usually have an electric start as well as recoil start.

These generators are good for use as a back up power source for the home during power outages. Since these generators are portable you can use them wherever you may need electrical power to run a few appliances.

Primarily the typical use is for commercial shop needs where longer duration and significant load is needed. You can use these generators at a job site to run power tools and lights but will want to make sure that you are using greater than 25% of rated load to ensure proper operation. In most cases it isn’t recommended for use with lighter duty cabin or RV use, camping or tailgate parties as the noise level and load requirements may not be an optimal experience

Medium to Heavy Duty Diesel Generators above 12kW

Diesel generators in the power range of 12,000 watts to 25,000 watts are generally made for medium to heavy duty applications. These generators are usually mounted on skids or trailers and are not as easily portable. Although, a good trailered unit can be an effectively transported and serve the portability needs better than some smaller units.

These heavier duty generators are ideal for use as a back up power source for a large home and commercial buildings during power outages or off grid applications requiring larger amounts of power.

These generators can be used to power heavy machinery as well as tools for long run times. These heavy duty generators can be either air cooled or liquid cooled and require very little maintenance and are also comparatively very fuel efficient.

Diesel generators usually have engines manufactured by reputable companies. Most of the diesel generators that you find on the market have engines manufactured by names like Perkins, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Kubota or Cummins. All these manufactures are known for the quality of their diesel engines. They are specially known for the ruggedness of design, fuel efficiency and long life.

These engines are built to run for long periods of time with little maintenance. Though diesel engines had the reputation of being heavy polluters and being very loud, the newer engines are clean burning engines producing very little pollution as well as running with lower sound levels.

Outlet Receptacles

apg3203-diesel-control-panelMost of the light duty portable diesel generators have 2 or more 120 Volt 20 amp outlets as well as 120 Volt 30 amp L5 twist lock outlets and 120/240 Volt L14 twist lock outlets. They also usually have one 12 Volt DC outlet. Most of these generators come with a Voltmeter and some of them have an hour meter. A ground terminal is standard on all diesel generators.

The medium to heavy duty generators also come with two or more 120Volt outlets, 120 Volt 30 amp L5 twist lock outlet as well as one or more 120/240 Volt twist lock 30 amp L14 outlet and often with one or more 120/240 Volt 50 amp twist lock outlets. These generators often have a volt and hour meters on their control panel.

User and Customer Feedback

bauarbeiterConsumers who bought diesel generators were mostly happy with their performance. Most of them liked their generators because of their fuel efficiency and that they could be run for extended periods of time without any problems.

They also liked the fact that these generators required much less maintenance than other generators and required less oil changes too. Some of them commented on these generators being well built and would last them a lifetime.

Those customers who used the heavy duty generators commented on the durable and fuel efficient engines and that they had used them for extended periods of run times very easily.

Some of the customers who used the smaller portable generators also commented on them being too loud and having to place them at a distance because of the noise.

Accessory Considerations

When you get a diesel generator as a back up power source for your house, you will need a transfer kit to connect it to your electrical circuit. It is recommended that you have a professional wire your transfer kit so that it is safe. See more at Selecting Xfer Switches

For smaller generator units you can get a generator cover to protect it when not in use.

You can also get power cords of different lengths for your generator to help you connect it to your appliances.


When considering a generator for your power needs, whether it be a portable or heavy duty, diesel generators are a better choice when it comes to having a generator that would be run for extended periods of time.

Although the initial cost of diesel generators is more than other generators, their fuel efficiency and long lasting reliable engines means that you would save money over a period of time.

These generators are good albeit loud for use as a back up power source for your home during power outages. They are more suited to construction job sites where you need higher amounts of electrical power for long periods of time. The heavy duty generators are capable of supplying you with power to run your whole house or your commercial establishment. They are also useful as backup for larger establishments as they can be run for long periods without much maintenance.

If you have trucks or other equipment that runs on diesel and you store large quantities of diesel fuel, this type of generator is a great choice in backup or portable power.

Diesel Generator Recommendations

The following are some units that you can purchase directly online for delivery.

These are list prices click through to get latest street price.

3000 Watts to 10kW

Product List Price
Cummins Onan 3.2kW HDZAA-6508A - RV generator set Quiet Diesel Series N/A
Pro Series 5500 Running Watt Diesel Generator N/A
All Power America APG3202 6,500 Watt Silent Diesel Generator $1,699.00

15 kW to 20kW

Product List Price
Generac Protector Series 15kW Diesel Liquid Cooled Standby Single Phase Generator N/A
Generac Protector Series 20kW Diesel Liquid Cooled Standby Single Phase Generator $13,999.99

Winco DE20I4 Winpower Liquid cooled Diesel Generator

Above 25kW

Product List Price
30kW Generac Protector Series Diesel Standby Generator - 120/208V, Single Phase N/A
30kW Generac Series Diesel Liquid Cooled Standby Single Phase Generator N/A
Generac RD04834ADAE Protector Series Diesel Liquid Cooled Standby Single Phase Generator with Aluminum Enclosure, 40kW $17,499.99
48kW Generac Protector Series Diesel Standby Generator - 120/240V Single Phase N/A

And for the really needy, like cul-de-sac levels: No list prices, you’ll have click the links to see the latest street price. Be prepared to have your eye’s bug out these are monsters and you have fork over the dollars.

Product List Price
Winco DX90 90 kW/112 kVA - Mobile Diesel Generator N/A
Cummins 500KW Silent Diesel Generator - EPA Tier 2 N/A
Winco DX100 105 kW/112 kVA Mobile Diesel Generator N/A
Winco DX130 - 130 kW/162 kVA Mobile Diesel Generator N/A
Winco DX175 - 175kW/218kVA - Mobile Diesel Generator N/A
200 KW Perkins Silent Diesel Generator //NON-EPA N/A


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