François wants a diesel

I’m posting this on behalf of François Pal, hoping someone knows the small diesel engine scene better than I. Here’s our email exchange:

Hello chris, is that you just do me a favor, do you know a dealer in usa cummins that could sell me a power of 45 kwa so the engine runs on biogas, ie with a candle lighting and the electric motor must have a special treatment for the tropic forest guyannaise, thank you in advance, cordially


I don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Cummins is a diesel engine manufacturer in this country, here’s their website:; however a diesel is not ideal for running woodgas.

By “candle lighting” do you mean spark ignition? For that you want a petrol or a natural gas engine. I don’t know the best ones off hand, but I’m sure if you ask on the “small engine users” forum that Steve Unruh or someone else will have an answer.

Best regards,

Thank you chris for your réponce fast in the U.S., there are engine builders who have adapted their diesel engines in motor biogas example on oil exploration platforms it uses modified diesel engines, gas if you knew where breakage military gmc motor style has the ww2 in essence, is what I need, solid easy to maintain. cordially

Nice snowy morning All
Please let me restate to be corrected if I misunderstand -
Francois Pal is looking for a engine-gnerator set to the following specifications:
45 kVA output capacity
to be fueled with bio-mass/wood/producer gas fuel
diesel type, heavily built, long lived, durable, now with a spark ignition system
in a simple to maintain form as easy to maintain as the WWII style HD GMC 2 1/2 ton truck engine was
with the engine and generator head “marinized” for tropical conditions

This is going to take what we would call here in the U S of A a 50 to 75 horsepower continuous duty engine when on derated woodgas fuel.
Arrow and other oil patch pump engines and gen-sets will be either too low in power or too physically huge, weigh literally tons to ship and cost two arms and two legs when new. And still be an arm and a leg, well used, worn out needed a complete expensive proprietary parts rebuilding.
Cummins USA all diesel cycle, too big and ALL very electronified controled now and have been for the last ~15 years now. Same with the USA Caterpillars - although they do offer gasious fueled dedicated spark ingition engines and gen-sets. The “small” Cummins, Caterpillar and Perkins branded engines now are all diesel CI and actually Chinese manufactured, too small not powerful enough.
Japanese Kubota does have natural gas spark converted engines in this power range. The smaller are more mechanical controlled with only the igntion as solid state electronics. Their larger power in this range are fully electronic govenor/throttle body “by the (electruic) wire” contolled. Not simple mechanical KISS anymore now sinct the early 90’s. Japanese love thier electronics. But truth be they and the better Chinese manufacturers now have idenified the US/Canada and the EU with our Tier IV emmisions requirments and equivilents as ONLY achievable with precise electronics controls. Monopolist deep pocket Big manufactures and Eco-Greens are now in bed fellows.

For African useage here what I think he is looking for:
for the turn key converted engines in 4 and 6 cylinder engines with full specs listed here
for these same engines set up in world standard 50 hz, three phase, higher voltage gen sets.
No sense in Africa being stuck with our ineffient single phase, needing big wire North American standards.

Steve Unruh

Thank you all, I’m still taker if there have other ideas, cordially