Two new technologies that save you money on the jobsite
Commercial-grade light towers and prime-rated
generators can now run on readily available propane.
Two new towable, propane-fueled technologies
promise to make powering and lighting your jobsite more affordable.
Kohler Power Systems' new 30-125REZGT line of towable
generators can be fueled by an onboard or external propane tank, as well
as natural gas. Designed for prime applications, it's available in a 125 kVA
model today; 30-, 50- and 70 kVA models will be launched in the coming
months. And Magnum's new MLT4000S
Solar Hybrid Light Tower offers long-lasting jobsite lighting with onboard
propane generator backup.
Propane is a readily available, low-cost
choice for fueling equipment on your jobsite no matter where the project is
located. In fact, many construction firms are already familiar with propane
due to its use in temporary
construction heaters, construction equipment such as forklifts, or floor
care products such as burnishers, polishers, and strippers. Your local propane
provider can help you budget and plan for this equipment, and they provide
expert and personalized service when providing and refueling onboard propane
tanks or external propane storage.
The new mobile generators and light
towers share one other cost-saving trait: They're both eligible for our Propane
Heat and Power Incentive Program, which offers incentives of up to
$8,500 to professionals who purchase the equipment and share their
experiences with us. Applying for these incentives can make a smart
investment pay off even faster. Get
all the details and apply online here.
Mobile generators have traditionally been powered by diesel engines.
Construction firms that needed to power construction trailers, auxiliary
equipment, or specialty equipment such as dehumidifiers before utility
power was brought to the site had little choice but to pay the high costs
of diesel. Today, the cost of using and maintaining diesel products is
expected to rise even further as the
market transitions to the EPA's tougher Tier 4 emissions standards.
Kohler's 30-125REZGT line is a game changer. It's the first line of
generators of this size that can accommodate an onboard propane tank or
connect to an external propane source. It's also the first propane generator
of its size with a ruggedized, prime-rated engine, meaning it has the
hardened valves and other modifications needed to allow continuous
In addition to providing a greener, cleaner alternative to
diesel fuel, propane can also offer construction firms significant energy
savings. Kohler estimates the hourly operations cost advantage of propane
over diesel at 15 to 20 percent. That's particularly valuable on
construction sites, where these generators typically operate full-time,
rather than on standby, says Anne Feudner, product manager for Kohler Power
Systems. "In construction, you're actually putting runtime on it, so the
hourly fuel savings add up pretty quickly when you're running these 8 or
more hours a day."
Without the optional fuel tank, the 125kVA model
offers an immediate fuel savings payback over an equivalent diesel unit,
Feudner says. With the fuel tank option, the payback timing is based on
expected run-hours. In either case, the payback is even better with the
Propane Heat and Power Incentive, which ranges from $1,000 on models
without a tank to $3,500 on the 30-, 50-, and 70kVA models to $8,500 on
the Kohler mobile generators fact sheet to learn more.
"Harnessing the sun to illuminate the dark is a bright
idea," says Dave 'Mac' McAllister, vice president of business development
for Magnum Power Products. "But ensuring that you have light even on a
cloudy day is brilliant."
That's the idea behind Magnum's Solar Hybrid
Light Tower, which uses propane backup to ensure the lights stay on even
when the photovoltaic panel isn't charging. Magnum chose propane as the
backup fuel early in the product's development process because it was the
most environmentally friendly and readily available fuel, McAllister says.
"The fuel was already used with the majority of our customers to power
forklifts, floor sweepers, and portable heaters," he says.
"[Propane] was already used with the majority of our customers
to power forklifts, floor sweepers, and portable heaters."
unit carries two 35-pound propane cylinders (the same size as used in
forklifts), and like Kohler's generator, it offers significant operational
savings over diesel models. Operating 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, the
unit would consume about $16 of propane per week versus $112 of diesel.
The savings stack up to about $5,800 per year. In addition to a $3,500
Propane Heat and Power Incentive, the unit may be eligible for
additional federal and state rebates and incentives.
savings aren't the unit's only innovation. Magnum developed its own LED
light fixture for the tower so that the manufacturer could control the
cost and design for the specific application. "One of the LED light's
biggest advantages is that they are instant on and off," McAllister
says. "The metal halide lamps in our existing towers can take up to 10
minutes to come on and reach full intensity. They also require up to 15
minutes of cooldown before they'll restrike." LEDs also provide excellent
localized lighting, McAllister adds, and they need to be replaced less
often than metal halide bulbs.
With little maintenance needed and
low fuel consumption, it's possible to operate the unit unattended. A
7-day programmable timer can be set to bring the lights on or off. The
unit is ideal for residential, commercial, and industrial settings where
silent operation is important, McAllister says.
Here's how to learn