Difference Between Liquid-cooled Generator Vs Air-cooled

Difference Between Liquid-cooled Generator Vs Air-cooled

A generator tends to overheat, especially if it has been running for some time. On the other hand, different models have diverse ways of cooling the system when it overheats. In most cases, there are two types of cooling systems, which are liquid and air. The question you could be asking yourself is: what is the difference between the two? In this article, we will focus on the different characteristics that differentiate the two machines. We will also focus on a range of issues affecting both types of generators. There will also be a summary at the end. Peruse through for more information.

Difference Between Liquid-cooled Generator Vs Air-cooled

What brings the difference between the liquid-cooled and air-cooled generator?

There are a few factors to consider, and they include:

The noise levels

Air-cooled generators produce a lot more noise as compared to liquid-cooled ones. That is because it has a fan that blows through the engine. It does not use the attenuated enclosures that reduce the noise levels because of the need for a free flow of air.

If you are using your machine as a backup generator, then you are even better off. That is because it will not always be in use! However, if it will be in a secluded area, then it is a choice to own. Such places include the forest, field, and camping sites.

In contrast, the liquid-cooled generators are very quiet. That is because the sound created can be contained in and within the attenuated enclosures. It is ideal for use in residential areas because it does not cause a lot of nuisance.

The only challenge with liquid-cooled generators is that they are costly. Apart from that, maintenance issues are also very high.

If you want to acquire one, then the nuisance level should be a factor to consider.

The uses

Different generator systems have various uses. If you intend to use it for home purposes, then the air-cooled one would be ideal. Several electrical home appliances use this type of generator. They, therefore, bring value to your home if you purchase one.

During times of power outages, the air-cooled generator can power the entire house. It is, therefore, an excellent power backup system. Alternatively, you can still use it as the mains power source for your home. That can happen if the power demands do not exceed the output. Air-cooled generators are generally for smaller jobs that last for a short time. If the work becomes demanding, then it might not perform to expectation.

The liquid-cooled generators, on the other hand, have enclosed radiators for cooling the system. It resembles that of automobiles and works using the same principles. These types of generators are best in places where the power needs are high. They are also synonymous with high-kilowatt generators because they are naturally large. The air-cooled generators cannot withstand this kind of job because of the heat produced.

The output and the requirements

Air-cooled generators produce lower power output than liquid-cooled ones. In most cases, the power needs of the air-cooled generator range between 8kW to 20kW. It is ideal for smaller jobs that require less power.

On the other hand, the liquid-cooled machines give out a power output of between 25kW to 60kW. It is ideal for larger, industrial jobs that require a lot of power. Such an amount of energy can stress the machine and even lead to breakages and wearing off!

Choose the one to buy, considering the amount of power output of your job.

The maintenance cost

Due to the nature of the air-cooled generators, they tend to be easier to maintain. The machine does lighter jobs that do not have a lot of stress. Breakdowns are not a common phenomenon with this type of tool. The air that circulates in the system also has fewer devastating effects when compared to water. It does not mean that it does not need maintenance, but rather fewer than water-cooled one.

The liquid-cooled generator has higher maintenance costs occasioned by the nature of its work. Since it works on heavy-industrial duties, with higher power output, it wears out fast. It implies that maintenance costs occur frequently and fast.

The cooling system of this generator is sophisticated, and it requires close monitoring by the owner. You should monitor the anti-freeze levels of the fluid. Also, ensure that the cooling system is functioning well and running smoothly. Do not forget to check all the lines and the connecting points. Also, look out for the leaks on the pipes.

Generally, it is more expensive to maintain a liquid-cooling generator than the air-cooling one. However, it is worth doing it since it helps to alleviate potential full-breakdowns.

Is a liquid-cooled generator worth it?

Considering the amount of work that it does, it is worth it. The heat that it produces moves to the coolant. From there, it goes to the radiator, whereby it is cooled by air. These generators create a lot of power, usually above 25kW. It is, therefore, imperative to have a liquid cooling system. All these features make these generators expensive to produce. The goodness is that they are more durable as compared to the air-cooled ones.

If I am to advise you to purchase one, then I recommend the liquid-cooling generator for obvious reasons!

What is the benefit of using liquid-cooled generators?

They can handle big tasks as compared to the air-cooled ones. The engine capacity is also high, meaning that the power output is proportionate. It is more durable and efficient. The machine can work both as a backup generator or even as the mains power source.

The challenge with this machine is that it is costly, and the maintenance costs are high. However, going by the merits it possesses, it dwarfs the negative aspects mentioned above.

As you intend to buy one, please note that liquid-cooled ones have more merits than demerits.

Are the liquid-cooled generators quieter than the air-cooled ones?

Yes, they are less noisy than their air-cooled counterparts. Due to the low noise levels, they are ideal for both home use and industrial uses.

Almost all liquid-cooling devices produce minimum noise. It is, however, worth noting that all types of generators make noise that can be a nuisance!

Which one is better between the liquid-cooling and the air-cooling system?

It depends on the nature of the work you intend to do with the machine. However, and generally speaking, the liquid-cooling one is better. It is also more efficient and reliable.


There are two types of generators, depending on the cooling systems. They are liquid and air systems. The former is more powerful, with higher output than the latter. It is also durable and costly to maintain. It is also ideal for heavy-duty industrial jobs. The air-cooling generator is noisier and less durable.

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