Wood-Powered Generators: Can You Buy One Today?

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly way to generate electricity, you might be wondering if it’s possible to buy an electric generator that uses wood as fuel. The answer is yes! There are several options available on the market that allow you to generate electricity using wood as a renewable and sustainable fuel source.

One option is a wood gasifier, which converts wood into a gas that can be used to power an engine and generate electricity. Another option is a wood-powered generator, which uses a wood-burning stove to heat water and produce steam, which then drives a turbine to generate electricity. Both of these options are eco-friendly and can help you reduce your carbon footprint while still providing you with the electricity you need. However, it’s important to do your research and choose a generator that is safe, reliable, and efficient.

Understanding Wood-Fueled Generators

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional gasoline or diesel generators, a wood-fueled generator might be a good option for you. In this section, we’ll cover the basic principle behind wood-fueled generators, as well as the types and models available.

Basic Principle

A wood-fueled generator works by burning wood to heat water, which produces steam that drives a turbine and generates electricity. The process is similar to that of a coal-fired power plant, but on a smaller scale. The generator can be connected to your home’s electrical system to provide backup power in case of an outage.

One advantage of a wood-fueled generator is that wood is a renewable resource, so you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel. However, it’s important to note that wood-fueled generators can be less efficient than gasoline or diesel generators, and they require more maintenance.

Types and Models

There are several types of wood-fueled generators available, including gasifiers and thermoelectric generators. Gasifiers work by converting wood into a gas that can be burned to produce electricity. Thermoelectric generators, on the other hand, work by converting heat directly into electricity.

One popular wood-fueled generator is the Backyard Wood Powered Generator, which was featured in Mother Earth News. This generator uses a small gasoline engine modified to run on wood gas, and it can produce up to 10 kilowatts of power.

Another option is the TEGmart Wood Stove TEG Generator, which is designed to be used with a wood stove. This generator uses a thermoelectric module to convert heat from the stove into electricity, and it can produce up to 100 watts of power.

When choosing a wood-fueled generator, it’s important to consider factors such as cost, efficiency, and ease of use. You should also make sure to follow all safety guidelines and local regulations when installing and operating your generator.

Pros and Cons of Wood-Fueled Generators


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Wood-fueled generators are a popular alternative to traditional fuel sources like gasoline and diesel. They offer several advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before purchasing one for your home.


  1. Cost-effective: Wood is an inexpensive and renewable fuel source, which makes it a cost-effective option for powering your generator.
  2. Eco-friendly: Wood is a clean and renewable energy source that produces fewer emissions than fossil fuels. It is a great option for those who are environmentally conscious.
  3. Readily available: Wood is widely available and easy to find, making it a convenient fuel source for your generator.
  4. Versatile: Wood-fueled generators can be used for a variety of purposes, from powering your home during a blackout to providing electricity for your camping trip.


  1. Maintenance: Wood-fueled generators require regular maintenance to ensure they are running efficiently. You will need to clean the generator and chimney regularly and replace any worn-out parts.
  2. Storage: Wood takes up a lot of space, so you will need to have a dedicated storage area for your fuel supply. You will also need to keep your wood dry to prevent it from becoming moldy or rotting.
  3. Limited power output: Wood-fueled generators typically have a lower power output than gasoline or diesel generators. This means you may not be able to power all of your appliances or electronics at once.
  4. Safety concerns: Wood-fueled generators can be dangerous if not used properly. You must follow all safety guidelines and precautions to prevent fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Overall, wood-fueled generators can be a great option for those who are looking for a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to power their home or outdoor activities. However, they do require regular maintenance and come with some safety concerns that should not be overlooked.

Buying Guide for Wood-Fueled Generators

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If you’re looking for an alternative power source that’s both eco-friendly and cost-effective, a wood-fueled generator might be the perfect solution for you. In this buying guide, we’ll go over key features to consider, price ranges, and where to buy wood-fueled generators.

Key Features to Consider

When shopping for a wood-fueled generator, there are several key features you should consider:

  • Power Output: The power output of a generator is measured in watts. Consider your power needs and choose a generator with the appropriate wattage to meet them.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Look for a generator that is fuel-efficient and can run for as long as possible on a single charge of wood.
  • Noise Level: Generators can be noisy, so look for one that operates quietly.
  • Portability: If you plan to move your generator around frequently, consider a lightweight and portable option.
  • Safety Features: Wood-fueled generators can be dangerous if not used properly. Look for models that have safety features such as automatic shut-off and overheat protection.

Price Range

The price of wood-fueled generators can vary greatly depending on the size and features of the model. Here’s a general price range to consider:

  • Entry-level: $500 – $1,000
  • Mid-range: $1,000 – $2,500
  • High-end: $2,500 and up

Keep in mind that while entry-level models may be more affordable, they may not have as many features or be as durable as higher-end models.

Where to Buy

Wood-fueled generators can be found at a variety of retailers, including:

  • Hardware stores: Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware
  • Online retailers: Amazon, eBay
  • Specialty stores: Northern Tool, Woodland Power Products

Be sure to read reviews and compare prices before making a purchase to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

Maintenance and Safety Tips

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Maintenance Guide

Maintaining your wood-powered generator is crucial to ensure its longevity and efficient operation. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

  • Regularly clean the generator to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris that can clog the system.
  • Check and change the oil regularly. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended oil type and frequency of oil changes.
  • Inspect the spark plug and replace it if it is worn out or damaged.
  • Check the air filter and clean or replace it as necessary.
  • Inspect the fuel lines and connections for any leaks or damage.

Safety Precautions

While wood-powered generators can be a great source of renewable energy, they also pose certain safety risks. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Always operate the generator in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide gas.
  • Do not operate the generator indoors or in an enclosed space.
  • Use only dry, seasoned wood as fuel. Wet or green wood can cause excessive smoke and creosote buildup, which can damage the generator and pose a fire hazard.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Do not touch the generator with wet hands or while it is in operation.
  • Turn off the generator and let it cool down before refueling.
  • Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can and use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the label on the generator.
  • Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel you can store or use, so be sure to check with your local authorities before using a wood-powered generator.

By following these maintenance and safety tips, you can ensure that your wood-powered generator operates efficiently and safely for years to come.

Environmental Impact of Wood-Fueled Generators

When considering purchasing a wood-fueled generator, it is important to understand the environmental impact of using wood as a fuel source. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Carbon Footprint

Wood-fueled generators can have a lower carbon footprint than traditional fossil fuel generators. This is because wood is a renewable resource and burning it releases carbon that was already in the atmosphere, unlike burning fossil fuels which releases carbon that was previously sequestered underground. However, it is important to note that the carbon footprint of wood-fueled generators can vary depending on the source of the wood and how it is harvested and transported.


Using wood as a fuel source can be sustainable if done responsibly. This means using wood from sustainably managed forests and ensuring that the rate of harvesting does not exceed the rate of regrowth. It also means minimizing the environmental impact of harvesting and transporting the wood.

One potential concern with wood-fueled generators is the potential for deforestation if wood is harvested unsustainably. It is important to research the source of the wood used by a particular generator and ensure that it comes from a sustainable source.

Overall, wood-fueled generators can be a more environmentally friendly option than traditional fossil fuel generators, but it is important to consider the source of the wood and the sustainability of its harvesting and transportation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can wood be used as a fuel source for generators?

Yes, wood can be used as a fuel source for generators. Wood gas generators, also known as wood-powered generators, use wood as fuel to produce electricity.

Are there any wood-powered generators available for purchase?

Yes, there are wood-powered generators available for purchase. However, they are not as common as other types of generators, and they can be more expensive.

What is the efficiency of wood gas generators compared to other types?

The efficiency of wood gas generators can vary depending on the specific model and design. Generally, wood gas generators are less efficient than other types of generators, such as diesel or gasoline generators. However, they can still be a viable option for off-grid or emergency power.

How much power can a wood gas generator produce?

The amount of power that a wood gas generator can produce depends on the size and design of the generator. Generally, wood gas generators are smaller and produce less power than other types of generators. However, they can still produce enough power to run basic appliances and tools.

Is it possible to DIY a wood gas generator?

Yes, it is possible to DIY a wood gas generator. However, it can be a complex and challenging project, and it requires a certain level of technical skill and knowledge. There are many resources available online that can provide guidance and instructions for building a wood gas generator.

Are wood gas generators environmentally friendly?

Wood gas generators can be more environmentally friendly than other types of generators, such as diesel or gasoline generators. However, they still produce emissions and require a steady supply of wood, which can have an impact on the environment. It is important to consider the environmental impact of using a wood gas generator and to use it responsibly.

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