LPG Gas Consumption Per Hour for Appliances
LPG gas consumption per hour is how you determine how long does a gas bottle last. You need to calculate the MJ consumption of all of your gas appliances combined and compare to the MJ content of your gas bottle.
Background
One litre of LPG (propane) contains 25 MJ of energy. One kg (kilogram) or LPG (propane) contains 49MJ of energy.
Multiply by the size of a gas bottle, using a 45kg gas bottle as our example, by the MJ value of the contents and you get 45 x 49 = 2,205MJ in the gas bottle.
Divide the MJ contents of the bottle by the appliance MJ/hr raring and you get how many hours the gas bottle will last.
For those in the USA, a gallon of propane contains 91,502 BTU of heat energy whilst the BTU rating for appliances is in BTU per hour, based on burner size.
Dividing 91,502 by the BTU per hour rating gives you the number of hours that one gallon of propane will last.
Appliance consumption can be expressed as either MJ/hr and/or BTU/hr, depending on which country you live in.
LPG (propane) gas consumption is based on the burner size or sizes of the appliance, as some have more than one burner.
All gas appliances are rated by the manufacturers for propane gas consumption.
The gas consumption ratings are typically found in the product specifications.
Gas Consumption per Hour Chart
LPG – Propane Gas


LPG – Propane Unit of Measure 
MJ  BTU 
1 Litre  25  23,700 
1 KG  49  46,452 
45 KG  2205  2,090,340 
1 Gallon  96.5  91,502 
1 Pound  22.8  21,594 
100 Pound  2280  2,159,400 
Note: Some numbers have been rounded 
To calculate LPG – Propane consumption per hour for your gas appliance requires just simple arithmetic.
You take the MJ/hr or BTU/hr ratings from the manufacturer and divide it by the relevant value in the chart above.
How to calculate the LPG consumption per hour – propane gas consumption per hour
1. Determine the MJ or BTU rating of the appliance, which is the gas energy consumption per hour, NOT the heat output. Find it in the specifications or owner’s manual.
2. Look up the energy content of the fuel you are using in the unit of measure you want to use. For example:
1 L = 25 MJ of energy from LPG
1 kg = 49 MJ of energy from LPG
1 Gal = 91,502 BTU of energy from propane
1 lb = 21,594 BTU of energy from propane
3. Divide the energy content by the appliance consumption rating. For example:
As an example, one kilogram of LPG has 49MJ. Divide that by the 15 MJ/hr rating of our example gas heater and you get 49 ÷ 15 = 3.26 hours.
A gallon of propane contains 91,502 BTU of heat energy whilst the BTU rating for appliances is in BTU per hour, based on burner size.
Dividing 91,502 by the BTU per hour rating gives you the number of hours that one gallon of propane will last.
A 23,700 BTU heater will last 3.86 hours (91,502 ÷ 23,700 = 3.86)
Example #1: a 25MJ heater
If you have a heater that consumes 25MJ/hr, to calculate the LPG consumption per hour, just divide 25 by the values in the MJ column of the consumption conversion chart.
25÷25 = 1 litre per hour (LPG MJ per litre)
25÷49 = 0.51kg per hour (LPG MJ per kg)
25÷96.5 = 0.259 gallons per hour (LPG MJ per Gallon)
25÷22.8 = 1.1 pounds per hour (LPG MJ per Pound)
Example #2: a 14,000 BTU heater
If you have a heater that consumes 14,000 BTU/hr, to calculate the LPG consumption per hour, just divide 14,000 by the values in the MJ column of the consumption conversion chart.
14,000÷23700 = 0.59 litres per hour
14,000÷46,452 = 0.3kg per hour
14,000÷91,502 = 0.153 gallons per hour
14,000÷21,594 = 0.648 pounds per hour
If you have an appliance with more than one burner, like a cooktop, just add the burner ratings together before dividing by the chart values.
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What is a megajoule or MJ?
Most people know that gas appliances are rated in Megajoules or MJ/hour.
However, many people believe that this is a measure of output.
In reality, it is a measure of the required gas input.
Output is typically measured in kilowatts.
The MJ inputs and kW outputs are directly related but are affected by the efficiency of the appliance.
What is a BTU?
A BTU – British Thermal Unit – is an old nonmetric unit of measure for heat.
One BTU will raise the temperature of one pound of water by 1°F.
BTU is used in the USA instead of MJ. Most of the rest of the world uses MJ.
1MJ equals 948BTU, so to get an equivalent number of Megajoules, just divide the BTU rating by 948.
Appliance output
As mentioned above, the gas consumption rating is not the same as the heat output rating.
Output is typically measured in kilowatts. For reference, 1kW = 3.6MJ
The MJ inputs and kW outputs are directly related but are affected by the efficiency of the appliance.
For example, a 25MJ heater with a 5.8 Star energy rating has an output of 6.2kW.
Now, if you do the maths, dividing 25MJ ÷ 3.6MJ, you would expect that the output to be 6.94kW, not 6.2kW.
The difference is that, at 5.8 Stars, the heater is 89.3% efficient.
No gas appliance is 100% efficient, which is why we have the gas appliance Star rating system to judge the relative performance of different models.
Lower settings
Appliances aren’t always used on the highest setting.
For example, the popular Rinnai Avenger input is 25MJ on high but only 8.5MJ when set on low.
Hot water heaters will also automatically modulate the burner down, once the desired temperature has been achieved.
As a result, the consumption will be less than what would occur at the maximum appliance input rating.
Some manufacturers provide the consumption specifications for the lower settings, so you can still do your calculations.
Final thoughts to calculate the LPG consumption per hour
You can calculate the LPG consumption per hour to determine how long a gas bottle will last.
For example, if you have a 45kg LPG gas bottle or a 100lb propane tank, you just divide by the kg/hr or pound/hr calculated values to determine how long the gas bottle will last.
For those who can’t be bothered to calculate the LPG consumption per hour, here is a quick reference chart with examples:
45KG LPG Gas Bottle Usage Chart
This 45KG LPG gas bottle usage chart shows how long a 45kg gas bottles will last when fueling a 15MJ heater, 25MJ heater, 125MJ hot water system, 199MJ hot water system and a 9MJ cooktop burner.