Generator, Knowledge

Air Cooled V/S Liquid Cooled Generator- Guide With Complete Information

As we know that a DG Set is used to provide electricity at the time of main grid power failure. During the operation of the power generator, they create an extra amount of heat & for better output this is very important to manage the heat level of the Genset engine. Mainly a DG Set present with either air cooling or liquid cooling feature. But do you know what is the difference between both of them? Here in this article, we will share the knowledge of the Air-cooled v/s liquid-cooled generators.

To protect the interior parts of a diesel generator against any damage or want to get continuous operation, the basic thing is the cooling feature. Basically the small size commercial & home generator present with an air cooling feature. Where the Genset components get the outside air to manage the heat. But this factor is not worked with the large industrial power backup. So the manufacturer of industrial generators avails them with the liquid cooling feature. Now in this post will discuss differences between Air-cooled & liquid-cooled generators with various features, pros & cons of both types of DG Set.

What are Air-cooled generators?

The Air-cooled generators using the surrounding air to get the temperature down. This atmosphere air makes the Genset engine cool & blows different internal parts. This will prevent the generator from overheating & provide the surety for long-duration operation. The air-colled system is mostly used in the portable DG Set & standby generator which are present with up to 22 kW power output. Manufacturing of an Air-cooled Genset is either open ventilation or completely enclosed.

The open ventilation Air-cooled DG Set used atmospheric air for the cooling & release back heat air back in the atmosphere. But in the enclosed Air-cooled Genset the air is recirculated inside the DG Set to cool the internal parts of the generator. This Air-cooled generator having the potential of overheating cases. That means the temperature of Genset goes high, the engine will stop working.

Pros & Cons of Air-cooled generators



What are liquid-cooled generators?

The high power output liquid-cooled generator uses oil or coolant to keep industrial diesel generator temperature down including engine & other parts. This DG Set mainly uses a radiator & water pump. The water pump distributes the coolant to the engine block & similarly the heat of the engine is transferred into the coolant. The flow of this heat pass through the radiator which cooled with the air. Most of the high rated power 3 phase or single phase generators which is higher than 22 kW manufacture with the liquid cooling feature.

As compared to buying an air-cooled DG Set, these liquid-cooled generators are more expensive but also they are more durable & powerful. So if you have a plan to get high-rated back power & long-duration service, the liquid-cooled generator is an ideal choice. In short, when you compare the differences between Air-cooled v/s liquid-cooled generators check the durability & performance.

Pros & cons of liquid-cooled generators



Difference Between Air-Cooled And Liquid Cooled Generators

List of a few of the major differences between Air-cooled v/s liquid generators.

Size of Genest: The size of air-cooled generators is smaller as compared to liquid-cooled generators. It is easy to install and can sit directly on the soil or a block of concrete. The weight of the liquid generators is four times greater than the Air-cooled system. Due to its larger size, it requires power equipment to move them from one place to another. This system is placed on a prepared bed or a pedestal.

Cost: The size of the generator directly affects its cost. Air-cooled generators have simple and less complex designs. With a small engine and small capacity, the price of the generator decreases which makes them affordable.

Whereas liquid or water-cooled generator systems have complex structures and sophisticated designs. This makes them more powerful, durable, and expensive.

Efficiency: You need to install a liquid cooling generator system when there is a requirement of large powers. Liquid-cooled diesel generators have a power capacity of 15 kW whereas natural gas or propane has 22kW. This enables them to work effectively in hot climates too, where the temperature rises above 120 degrees.

Air-cooled generators are generally admired to use for small businesses or households. It offers power up to 22kW which makes them a good fit to use at home as we require less power for home usage. Also, this system is ineffective in high and critical temperatures.

Maintenance: As far as maintenance is concerned, it is deeply involved in both the system. Air-cooled generators are easy to maintain and tend to take less time. The water-cooled generator comprises of complex and sophisticated structure, therefore it requires more money and time in monitoring.

Air-cooled requires monitoring of oil level checks and batteries which can be done within few minutes, thereby saving a lot of time. Liquid-cooled generators require checking of antifreeze levels, lines, connections, and potential leaks. This may involve a lot of time and also deep knowledge about them.

Noise levels: Generators or Gensets always produce a considerable amount of noise while operating them. When it comes to noise level, air-cooled generators are always louder than liquid one.

In an air cooling system, the sound comes when the air flows over the engine to make it cool. There is no alternative method or solution to this problem, so all you left is with the noisy generator. But the liquid cooling noise pollution is low & with the help of generator canopy you can reduce it more.

Uses: Air-cooled generators are mainly used in homes for using appliances. Also, they draw less power and are a good source of power backup during power outages. Air-cooled generators are perfect for non-industrial work and are used to carry out small jobs.

Water-cooled generators have large engines for higher power output levels, so it takes more time in cooling down. These generators are more beneficial for large homes, restaurants, offices, stores, large-scale buildings, and industries.

Which DG Set is better Air-cooled V/S liquid-cooled generators?

The cooling system is the essential element of the generator whether it is Air-cooled or liquid-cooled. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages according to its features. The air-cooled generators create a higher noise level as compared to water-cooled systems. They have a simple structure, low fuel consumption, less air requirement, no risk of frost cracking, and are very easy to maintain. Air-cooled doesn’t require any water or coolant making it very suitable for plateau or water scarcity regions.

Liquid-cooled generators have complex built-up and are relatively difficult to manufacture. It always requires the addition of a certain proportion of additives to constantly improve the boiling and freezing point. Also, this DG Set is very effective in drawing large amounts of power and has an ideal cooling effect.

It is quite difficult to say which one is better as each system has its own pros and cons. In the end, you need to choose the right generator for your business that will be sufficient for your needs. Air-cooled systems are very capable unless the temperature reaches extremely high.

Air-cooled generators are the best options for backup power at home, food trucks, tailgates, and the backyard. They are cheap as well as easy to monitor. You will need to spend a large amount of money if you are willing to power large buildings and industries. They are expensive but also at the same time very efficient and durable. You will optimize all these differences when you compare between Air-cooled v/s liquid-cooled generators.


The above information includes all the important things related to the cooling system of diesel generators. If you planning to buy a generator you should know the difference and importance between Air-cooled v/s liquid-cooled generators. You must now have an idea about which one is best for you to use. You must always plan to buy them in accordance with your budget and wattage needs. The cooling system is a vital factor to keep in mind as it prevents heat from causing potential damages to the internal parts. Air-cooled are affordable and simpler to operate while liquid-cooled generators are expensive and more robust.

I hope this information will help you a lot more for the understanding of Air-cooled v/s liquid-cooled generator & help you to get the best deal according to the needs.

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