There’s no getting away from it — generators can be noisy. Compared to your mains electricity supply, it’s going to seem that way, anyway. However, it’s certainly not likely to be the noisiest piece of equipment on site. Saying that, we’re often asked how reducing generator noise is possible, and there are a number of ways to do that.
Firstly you should consider the distance between you and the generator. Does it really need to be situated where you’ve put it or can be it further from the building or from where you and your customers will be? Quite often, you’ll have a choice when selecting a site for your generator, so choose wisely.
If you can’t move the generator further away, reducing generator noise is possible by moving it behind a barrier. Specially made acoustic barriers are ideal, but any solid walls, fences or enclosures will help to limit the noise that escapes. In fact, you might be surprised at just how effective a simple fence is.
Within the barrier itself you can use acoustic insulation to absorb the sound itself, as otherwise it’s just going to bounce around and be pretty horrendous for anyone inside the barrier. This will also help to reduce the noise leaking from the barrier and can be an extremely effective way of limiting the noise people hear from a generator.
A lot of the sound from a generator doesn’t come from the machine itself, but from the vibrations it causes on its mounts. Using anti-vibration mounts can help to absorb this impact and therefore reduce the noise effects. The banging of a generator against nearby surfaces can otherwise be a large contributor to noise.
If you have a large generator installation, using an attenuator can often be the best way of reducing generator noise. These allow huge volumes of air to pass through, limiting the transmission of noise as the air is forced between perforated sheet metal to disperse and absorb the sound by reduce its wavelength.
In short, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the noise created by a generator. Careful planning and consideration can go a long way to cutting out noise, but adding acoustic barriers, insulation, anti-vibration mounts or even an attenuator (or a combination of all of them!) can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring you’re not bothered by the sound of your new generator.