Petrol, Gas, Battery or Electric?
Keith Christian was out and about with Calor and the Greengear team checking out some of the latest LPG powered equipment on offer.
There is great choice in terms of what you can run equipment on nowadays and the decisions that can be made depending on what is required of that equipment. We have been here before with battery powered lawn mowers using car batteries, the wonderful Wheelhorse Electrac garden tractor with its rack of batteries, gas powered ride ons and greens equipment and of course the huge range of light mains electric equipment (LME). Tarpen were offering a mains electric hedge cutter back in 1949.
Petrol and diesel have been with us for a very long time but recent changes with the introduction of bio fuels and increases in the percentage content of bio ethanol in everyday fuels is starting to cause problems if left in fuel tanks for longer periods of time. In the extreme this will require large amounts of long term stored fuel to be cleaned before use and may mean that smaller machines left for any length of time may need to be drained prior to storing to avoid fuel contamination and a visit to the local dealership.
Increasing use of lithium ion batteries with longer operating times both in the domestic and commercial markets is making life easier for some users although at the top commercial levels this can be expensive and still requires stand by batteries for longer operations. Electric is limited to mostly domestic operations due to cable length and petrol and diesel may be a problem because of storage and contamination issues.
Using LPG, liquid petroleum gas, is not a new concept on bigger machines using a gas conversion and a large propane bottle slung in a bracket close to the engine. Calor’s Greengear team have taken this concept to a new level by providing factory supplied equipment already fitted with specially designed gas carburettors and connections and brackets to take different sized gas canisters or bottles as required.
Greengear have a range of rotary lawnmowers that can be run on gas canisters lasting up to 45 minutes or on a 22 inch self-propelled machine a gas bottle giving four hours of running time. This is complimented by a range of water pumps and generator sets that can be hooked up to any size of gas bottle with running times up to 40 or more hours with more equipment planned for the future.
There is a huge amount of data relating to emissions, consumption and technical specifications available from Greengear to support environmental issues and comparisons to other fuel sources and environmental issues.
Interestingly the competition would seem to be with battery powered units but it may be that current issues with bio fuel contamination make the gas powered equipment more attractive as the gas carbs are left clean and the bottled gas can be stored for years without a problem. Ideal where equipment is used for standby or emergency use where petrol may be an issue with quantity and long term storage.
Greengear is a global initiative which has been developed to displace petrol engines in every day life. Consisting of around 50 dedicated LPG products made possible by ‘Enerkit’; a unique compact carburettor allowing any engine to easily use LPG. Greengear can be segmented into different categories. Calor GB have identified two of these categories as key areas of interest: Power equipment and Garden equipment.