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Quieting noisy generator?

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Dog Ma 1, Aug 18, 2003.

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  1. Dog Ma 1

    Dog Ma 1 Guest

    My elderly parents have a Generac (12 kW, I think), fueled by natural gas,
    for emergency backup. Weekly self-tests and occasional real use are
    upsetting to them due to the high noise level. Re-siting is not an option,
    and simple baffling with boards leaned against the metal case doesn't make
    much difference.

    Store and installer were no help. Dos anyone know if it's practical to add a
    much bigger muffler to these units? Aside from warranty issues, are there
    any concerns for safety, damage to engine, etc?

    Also, I'm not sure where the noise actually originates - only a part sounds
    like engine note; the rest is like white noise. So I may instead build a box
    with plenty of colling clearance, with one open side pointing away from the
    house, lined with heavy acoustic foam.

    Thanks in advance for useful ideas-

    DM
     
  2. albown

    albown Guest

    All of the generacs I have dealt with were loud. Both engine and exhaust.
    I would think once you found the specs on the muffler you could reduce the
    db there fairly easily. One method might be just pipe the exhaust away from
    the home. Make sure you use a larger pipe than what is there by 2-3 sizes
    depending on how far your going and how many bends are made.

    I have seen enclosures that limit the sound from gensets. I bet if you made
    one with plenty of air flow and space. You could put fiber glass insulation
    inside of it and reduce the noise.
    How much these measures will work will be dependant on how well you do
    them. Quality counts.
     
  3. Vaughn Simon

    Vaughn Simon Guest

    I built an enclosure for my pad-mounted Onan that works very well. My
    generator came in a steel box with a screen at one end to suck in cooling
    and intake air, the hot air and exhaust streams are mixed together and blow
    out a square hole on the side. I built a stout wooden 6' fence around the
    generator using two layers of pressure treated 3/4" fence pickets with a
    tight fitting gate for access. The fence goes all of the way to the ground
    and is sealed in and out with wooden mulch. An airtight plenum allows the
    generator fan to suck in fresh air; the hot air and exhaust just fill up
    inside the fence and escapes upwards. A soft canvas peaked roof made from a
    cheap tarp completes the deal. I find that this system is good for at least
    10 db of noise reduction. In addition, it offers protection from hurricane
    debris and unauthorized humans. Sound escaping is quite directional, and,
    not surprisingly, is loudest in the direction of the plenum. Future
    enhancements may include a baffle in front of that plenum and some type of a
    noise-baffling roof. Mine operates from LP gas and I have a separate
    (hopefully cooler) enclosure for the tanks.

    Vaughn
     
  4. Eric Tonks

    Eric Tonks Guest

    Mass cuts the noise considerably. Build a masonry wall between the genny and
    the house and any neighbors you want to reduce the noise. An open top will
    direct the noise up and away from people.
    Light materials such as wood don't work as well, the more mass the better.
     
  5. Eric Tonks

    Eric Tonks Guest

    Mass cuts the noise considerably. Build a masonry wall between the genny and
    the house and any neighbors you want to reduce the noise. An open top will
    direct the noise up and away from people.
    Light materials such as wood don't work as well, the more mass the better.
     
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