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Old 04-25-2017, 01:26 AM   #1
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Electric - OR - Gas ??

I will be dry camping this weekend at the track with the temps forecasted to be lower 90's . . I will be runnning the genny and wondering which setting to put the HW heater on? Last year I just turned it on to gas, buy really did not know any better.... My thought process was that it would have less electrical draw on the genny ...
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:09 AM   #2
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With a 6.5kW genny, you have more than enough capacity to run your electric water heater.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:22 AM   #3
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Either way you're burning propane.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:32 AM   #4
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If generator load isn't the issue, as Spindrift noted, then I would say the water heater is more efficient on gas. Reasoning: A typical gas fueled heating appliance is about 80% efficient. An internal combustion engine is about 20% efficient. Even though the water heater will be 100% efficient with it's electricity use, the amount of propane required to generate that electricity will be more than what the water heater alone would use.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:39 AM   #5
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Oh yeah forgot to mention my sources. Heating appliance efficiency: I read it on a label on a water heater at a big box store.

Internal engine efficiency: I remember something about that in thermodynamics class once upon a time, in a land far far away.
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:33 PM   #6
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What's the end game here? To save $$ on propane? If the genny is already running, take advantage of it.
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:47 PM   #7
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so I am hearing that it is 6 of one, half dozen of another . . Basically does not matter which setting . ..
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:09 PM   #8
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I must be dense since now I have absolutely no idea what you're trying to accomplish.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:50 PM   #9
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Hmmm. Somehow I interpreted the original question to be a consideration of which option would extend the propane supply to last the duration of the camping trip.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:46 PM   #10
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Each time you convert energy from one form to another, there is a loss.

So, my money is on heating water with gas is the most efficient. If you use electric, you are adding on more conversion step.

gas -> Heat

or

gas-> electric->heat
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