With oil prices constantly rising and the evidence of global warming becoming more real every day, the race to find viable alternatives to burning fossil fuels is on. Home Gas has been a pioneer of this movement in Cayman from the beginning and continues to introduce new, alternative energy options for the home and business to local residents.
How does alternative energy help the environment?
Since the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century, the industrialized world has been burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gasoline, diesel, etc.) at an unprecedented rate. When burned, fossil fuels release energy, which can be used for lighting and to heat buildings, run engines and so on. Indeed, fossil fuels supply around 90 per cent of the world’s energy.
The problem is twofold: first, fossil fuels are being burned 100,000 times faster than the rate at which they are formed in nature.
At some point, therefore, these fuels will run out. More importantly however, when burned these fuels release green house gases into the atmosphere, which have the effect of trapping heat inside the earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming.
Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, oil in particular, and finding alternative sources of energy is the most obvious way to tackle climate change. Propane, as the by-product of processing natural gas, is abundant, affordable and makes an excellent alternative form of energy. The US Environmental Protection Agency lists propane as a clean fuel.
When burned, it produces 80 per cent less toxic emissions than diesel or gasoline. Home Gas has long been committed to providing environmentally friendly alternatives to Cayman’s population, both in terms of household appliances and vehicles, and offers a full range of propane-fuelled alternatives for everything from water heaters and clothes dryers to lawn mowers and everything between.
Switching from oil to propane on the road Motor vehicles have always been powered by diesel or gasoline and in the US the transportation sector accounts for 28 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions due to the combustion of fossil fuels. It need not be this way, however.
Driving a greener vehicle doesn’t have to mean purchasing a brand new electric vehicle either. With the installation of a conversion or assist kit, it is now possible for four stroke engines of any kind to run partially or entirely on propane.
Smaller motors are also being built to run specifically on propane with 90 per cent less emissions. Diesel Assist Kits For diesel engines an easy to install propane injection system makes diesel engines run on dual fuels, using both at once.
The system injects just enough propane into the combustion chamber to ignite the diesel for a more effective burn. With diesel assist systems 100 per cent of the fuel will be combusted, as opposed to around 65 per cent without. Performance is therefore optimised and the engine becomes more fuel efficient, as well as releasing less harmful emissions.
These systems reap the highest rewards in Cayman. Home Gas has installed these kits on Mack and Son’s trucks and as a result they are now enjoying improved mileage, reducedmaintenance costs, better torque, more horsepower and, of course, less black smoke and emissions entering the atmosphere. Gas Conversion Gasoline engines can also be easily converted to run on propane.
With these dual fuel systems the engine will use gasoline to start up but will then seamlessly switch to propane to run. When the propane tank runs dry, the engine again switches back to
gasoline use. Users can also manually switch between the two.
A mono-fuel liquid propane injection system is also available, for those wishing to run their gasoline engines solely on propane for more torque in heavy commercial applications. Again, not only does this mean less harmful emissions are being released, but engine performance is improved, the life of the engine is extended and maintenance is required less often.
Converting small motors Onyx’s EnviroGard propane conversion system kits, offered by Home Gas, can be used to convert any four stroke gasoline application to run on liquid propane gas.
These kits can be installed on any motor of 8 to 37 HP, thus making lawn mowers, utility vehicles, generators, leaf blowers and so on, greener, more efficient and cheaper to operate.
Lawn mowers are traditionally some of the worst offenders when it comes to emissions: in a single 8-hour day of operations, a lawn mower could emit as many greenhouse gases as the average car does over the course of 30 days. Additionally, gasoline spilled on ground soil during refueling is extremely damaging to the environment as well as being flammable.
Conversions kits are an excellent and cost effective way of making an existing engine run more cleanly. However, consumers in the market for a brand new motor of any kind would want to consider purchasing the greenest option available.
The Zipper Lawn Mowers offered by Home Gas are built to run exclusively on propane eliminating the above issues completely while providing an easy and comfortable way to keep the garden ship-shape.
Is being green more expensive?
No. Unfortunately, many people are deterred from making positive, more environmentally-responsible changes by the cost of doing so: they are often under
the impression that it is more expensive to be green. This is not necessarily the case, however, especially when it comes to propane. Consider the following:
• Propane is generally 30-40 per cent more economical than diesel or gasoline.
• Propane is more fuel efficient giving you better performance for volume of fuel.
• Propane burns cleaner, meaning engine life is extended and less maintenance is required.
• An estimated 700 million gallons of gasoline are accidentally spilled each year during refueling. There is no risk of spillage with propane.
• Fuel theft is no longer an issue when running on propane.
• Unlike gasoline which goes bad over time, propane can be stored indefinitely.
It’s up to each one of us to make lifestyle changes, large and small, to build a greener future. These changes need not mean sacrificing one’s little luxuries and will often actually represent long term savings for you, as well as being kinder to the world around us. It’s a win-win situation when you switch to propane.