Caterpillar® 4 min read

CG132 or CG170 – Which is the best Cat® generator for your needs?

Both the CG132 and the CG170 line stand out as powerful generators. But where do they differ, and how can one tell which generator line to choose? We will find out in this article.
17. Jun 2024
Daniel Waldauf
Which is the best Cat® generator for your needs?

Choosing the right generator is crucial for ensuring efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness in power generation. With extensive expertise and a rich history, Caterpillar® is a renowned leader in generator technology, offering a range of options to meet diverse needs. Among their most notable products are the CG132 and CG170 series, each designed to cater to specific applications and power requirements.

Exploring Caterpillar® – What’s to know on the construction giant?

Caterpillar® is a globally known powerhouse in fields like construction machinery and gas engines. In this article, we will provide a general overview of the company.

Exploring Caterpillar® – What’s to know on the construction giant?

The CG132 series is known for its efficiency and reliability, making it a popular choice for various industries. On the other hand, the CG170 series represents a more advanced line with higher power output and enhanced features, suitable for more demanding industrial settings.

This article delves into the basic facts, model types, and specific applications of the CG132 and CG170 generators, providing a comprehensive comparison to help you determine which is best suited for your needs. Additionally, it explores how optimizing gensets with PowerUP can further enhance the performance and efficiency of Caterpillar® generators.

CG132 – Basic facts and related models

The CG132 series represents a versatile line of Caterpillar®gas engines known for their efficiency and reliability. These generators are designed to deliver consistent performance in various industrial applications, making them a popular choice for both power generation and cogeneration projects. The CG132 series is particularly noted for its high electrical efficiency and robust construction, ensuring long-term operation with minimal maintenance.

The CG132 series is engineered to provide high electrical efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and operating costs. These models are suitable for a wide range of applications, including natural gas and biogas generation, making them versatile solutions for various energy needs. With capacities between 400 and 1000 kW, they are ideal for small- and mid-scale applications.

CG132B-8, CG132B-12, and CG132B-16

The Caterpillar® CG132 series offers versatile and efficient gas generators designed to meet diverse industrial needs. Here, we focus on three specific models: CG132B-8, CG132B-12, and CG132B-16, highlighting their characteristics and differences.

FeatureCG132B-8CG132B-12CG132B-16 (400-800 kW)CG132B-16 (700-1000 kW)
Continuous Power Rating400 kW600 kW800 kW1000 kW
Fuel TypesNatural Gas, Biogas, Coal Gas, Hydrogen Blend (up to 25%)Natural Gas, Biogas, Coal Gas, Hydrogen Blend (up to 25%)Natural Gas, Biogas, Hydrogen Blend (up to 25%)
Natural Gas, Hydrogen Blend (up to 25%)
Maximum Electrical Efficiency43.1%43.3%43.5%41.5%
Engine ModelCG132 -8CG132CG132CG132B
Displacement17.5 L26.3 L35 L35 L
Frequency50 / 60 Hz50 / 60 Hz50 / 60 Hz50 Hz
RPM1500 / 1800 rpm1500 / 1800 rpm1500 / 1800 rpm1500 rpm
Bore132 mm (5.2 in)132 mm (5.2 in)132 mm (5.2 in)132 mm (5.2 in)
Stroke160 mm (6.3 in)160 mm (6.3 in)160 mm (6.3 in)160 mm (6.3 in)
Dimensions (L x W x H)3100 x 1780 x 2150 mm3830 x 1780 x 2150 mm4200 x 1780 x 2150 mm4200 x 1780 x 2150 mm
Dry Weight5720 kg7000 kg8070 kg8070 kg

Source: Caterpillar®. https://www.cat.com/en_US.html. Accessed: 06/10/2024.

CG170 – General overview and model types

The CG170 series by Caterpillar® represents a more advanced and powerful line of gas generators designed for high-demand industrial applications. These models are engineered to deliver superior performance, high electrical efficiency, and robust reliability, making them suitable for various challenging environments.

Typical fields of application for CG170 generator sets include combined heat and power generation, electrical power generation, and various biogas applications in agriculture, landfills, sewage, and the food industry. They come with capacities between 1200 and 2000 kW, which makes them highly desirable in large-scale applications.

Different model types

The CG170 series by Caterpillar® includes a range of advanced gas generators designed for high-demand industrial applications – here is an overview:

FeatureCG170-12CG170-12 KCG170B-12CG170-16CG170-16 KCG170B-16CG170B-20
Power Output (kW)1200112513801560150018402300
Fuel TypesNatural Gas, Biogas, Coal GasNatural GasNatural Gas, Biogas, Coal Gas, Hydrogen Blend (up to 25%)Natural Gas, Biogas, Coal GasNatural GasNatural Gas, Biogas, Coal Gas, Hydrogen Blend (up to 25%)Natural Gas, Biogas, Coal Gas, Hydrogen Blend (up to 25%)
Maximum Electrical Efficiency43.4%40.9%45%43.3%40.9%44.7%45.0%
Engine ModelCG170-12CG170K-12CG170B-12CG170-16CG170K-16CG170B-16CG170B-20
Displacement53.1 L53.1 L53 L70.8 L70.8 L71 L89 L
Frequency50 / 60 Hz50 / 60 Hz50 Hz50 / 60 Hz50 / 60 Hz50 Hz50 / 60 Hz
RPM1500 rpm1500 / 1800 rpm1500 rpm1500 / 1800 rpm1500 / 1800 rpm1500 rpm1500 rpm
Bore170 mm (6.7 in)170 mm (6.7 in)170 mm (6.7 in)170 mm (6.7 in)170 mm (6.7 in)170 mm (6.7 in)170 mm (6.7 in)
Stroke195 mm (7.7 in)195 mm (7.7 in)195 mm (7.7 in)195 mm (7.7 in)195 mm (7.7 in)195 mm (7.7 in)195 mm (7.7 in)
Dimensions (L x W x H)5970 x 1778 x 2210 mm5970 x 1810 x 2210 mm5080 x 1710 x 2190 mm6640 x 1778 x 2210 mm6640 x 1810 x 2210 mm6100 x 1710 x 2190 mm6556 x 1706 x 2263 mm
Dry Weight13000 kg13000 kg12900 kg14900 kg14900 kg17400 kg21490 kg

Source: Caterpillar®. https://www.cat.com/en_US.html. Accessed: 06/10/2024.

Comparing CG132 or CG170: When to use what?

When choosing between the CG132 and CG170 series from Caterpillar®, it is essential to consider your specific power requirements, operational environment, and budget. Each series offers unique advantages that make them suitable for different applications.

The CG132 series is ideal for applications requiring moderate power output with high efficiency and reliability. With models like the CG132B-8, CG132B-12, and CG132B-16, offering power outputs from 400 kW to 800 kW, these generators are perfect for smaller to mid-sized industrial operations. They excel in scenarios where energy efficiency is crucial, such as in biogas plants and small-scale cogeneration systems. The CG132 models are known for their low maintenance needs and long service intervals, reducing downtime and operational costs​​.

On the other hand, the CG170 series is designed for high-demand applications that require substantial power output. Models like the CG170-12, CG170-16, and CG170B-20 offer power outputs ranging from 1200 kW to 2000 kW. These generators are suitable for large industrial facilities, manufacturing plants, and extensive cogeneration projects. The CG170 series stands out for its advanced control systems and high electrical efficiency, making it ideal for continuous, heavy-duty operations. They also provide excellent fuel flexibility, capable of running on natural gas, biogas, and other gaseous fuels depending on the specific model type.

Optimizing gensets by MWM® and Caterpillar® – with PowerUP

PowerUP specializes in optimizing the performance of Caterpillar® gensets, including the CG132 and CG170 series. Our services are designed to ensure that these generators operate at peak efficiency, providing reliable power for various industrial applications.

We at PowerUP offer comprehensive services such as gas engine repair and maintenance of Caterpillar® gas generators. We focus on maximizing fuel efficiency, reducing operational costs, and extending the lifespan of gensets through proactive and preventative remote service and on-site field service.
At PowerUP, we also provide advanced monitoring services, allowing for real-time data analytics and performance optimization. By using high-quality gas engine spare parts, PowerUP ensures that the integrity and reliability of the generators are maintained. These services make PowerUP a vital partner for industries relying on Caterpillar® generators, helping to maintain continuous and efficient operations.

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