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How to Cut Fuel Costs with a Welder/Generator

How to Cut Fuel Costs with a Welder/Generator
How many of you remember the Miller® AEA-200 welder/generator?

How about the Blue Star® 2E?

These products have been gone for a long time, just like the days of buying a gallon of gas for 96 cents. In fact, at one point this summer, we saw gas prices reach $4 per gallon, and some of you probably saw higher prices than that.

While most of us have felt the pain at the pump, let’s not forget about the folks that build our skylines or keep our roads pristine. They too have been impacted by high fuel prices and also by the necessity to keep their welding equipment environmentally friendly. 

In 2009, Miller Electric Mfg. Co. partnered with Kohler Engines to impact the growing concerns of high fuel prices and the necessity to lower emissions. That year, the Bobcat™ 250 EFI and Trailblazer® 302 EFI welder/generators were released to the market. These products brought a totally new and never-before-seen value proposition that has changed the game on efficiency. Benefits of EFI engines include:

  • Up to 27% better fuel efficiency
  • Up to 27% longer run-times
  • Fast, easy starts in all climates
  • Reliable operation, even with infrequent use
  • Fewer emissions

How Carburetors Work

In the past, the engines in our industry have relied on carburetors for fuel delivery. A carburetor is a mechanical device that mixes air and fuel before it flows into the cylinders for combustion. But how does a carburetor know the right amount of fuel and air? It doesn’t. That’s why carburetors are calibrated before their use.

Engineers set the calibration for an engine so that each cylinder will always have enough fuel, regardless of the operating conditions of the engine. Even when the cylinder is closed, the carburetor floods the manifold waiting for intake, and the spark fires — a process known as “batch injection.” The result: inefficiency — uneven distribution of air and fuel between the engine cylinders and less than optimal power and fuel consumption.

How Miller Electric’s EFI Saves Money

Mounted on the Kohler engine are a series of sensors that provide critical feedback to the electronic control unit, or ECU. The ECU analyzes information about air temperature, throttle position, manifold pressure, but most importantly — the oxygen content in the exhaust through the use of an oxygen sensor — just like the one found on the car you drive.

Using the information from these sensors, the ECU not only optimizes the amount of fuel to be injected, but also determines when the injection should occur. It also tells when the spark should be provided in each individual cylinder, a process known as “sequential injection.”

Meanwhile, the ECU is continually evaluating the engine performance by monitoring the exhaust, ensuring the engine is utilizing ALL the air and fuel in combustion. The result: maximized fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, optimal power, no choke — and fast, easy starting in all climates! 

The Future of Welder/Generators

While users of welder/generators haven’t specifically asked for machines with EFI engines, it is just one way we as welding equipment manufacturers can help reduce operational costs and lower emissions. Through sound research and development, and great feedback from people who use this equipment daily, we will continue to make your wants and needs our goals.

Ed Cyzewski


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