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Old 12-19-2008, 10:29 AM   #1
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Sound proofing my generator

I have a 3000 watt generator which is not as loud as most but not as quiet as the honda. I only use the generator when we go to our retirement property. I want to build a sound proof box or container to make it as quiet as possible when we are camping. I have it sitting in the grass when we camp. This box would stay at the property and will never leave. I want to make sure it will keep the generator quiet, cool and fire resistant. Does anybody have a good plan they have used to construct one, or a good picture

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Old 12-19-2008, 01:11 PM   #2
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Great question... You can build a box but two things to think about... The generator needs a good supply of cool freash air! And needs to also vent heat build up. The very best way to do this is to build a custom muffler that bolts onto the header. This custom muffler would do two things! Vent the heat out of what ever box you build and second (your main goal) reduce the noise as much as all of it if built correctly! So the box would mainly hide and protect the Generator. The best way to keep the box cool is to add an exhaust fan that sucks out the heat (not blow air it into the box)! The custom exhaust can run up to $100 and will reduce 80% the noise and the box will reduce the rest of the engines noise (keep in mind that these engines were never desinged to be quite!).... Vin

P.S. the best muffler for this that I have found is OEM motor cycle mufflers...
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:16 PM   #3
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There are some manufacturers you can find online that make boxes for generators that include an exhaust fan. I went the "homemade" route and built a plywood box with vent holes, etc. - even went to a muffler shop and had an exhaust extension custom made (cost about $50) to route the exhaust out of the box. I thought I had practically invented the wheel I was so proud of my box.

BUT, the generators (I have two Honda eu2000s) generated more heat than I thought, and it's blazing hot here (in Fla) in the summer, and I didn't install a fan, so my generators overheated and shut down repeatedly when I tried to use them in the box. I spent several hundred bucks on materials to build a beautiful, non-functional, generator box that now takes up a lot of room in our garage and that my wife and I just refer to as "The Box", as in, "when are you going to move The Box out of here?"

The Box would work if I bothered to put in a fan, but after all that I decided my Hondas were quiet enough without The Box so I don't even mess with it any more.

SO, lessons I learned: (1) Don't try to reinvent the wheel - there are already some really nice generator boxes on the market that won't cost you much more than you'll spend anyway on materials and time and effort and, oh yeah, they'll probably actually work, and (2) If you do build a box, put in more vents than you think you need and install a very good exhaust fan that will move a lot of air b/c that generator will get really hot, really fast, without it.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lothlorian View Post
I only use the generator when we go to our retirement property.
If you are only trying to keep the noise away from you and you don't have neighbors, you only have to screen the sound from your side. You don't need a complete box, one or two sides could be open and you wouldn't have the heat problems.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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Now that is a pretty da#* smart observation - nice work W&S!
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:31 PM   #6
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Some good points made, I have a couple of observations:

The box needs to be lined with an acoustic absorbing material.

The box needs venting for the Genny to get rid of heat. The fan idea is probably the way to go, this would reduce the amount of vent square inches needed. The more vents you have, the more sound is going to escape.

Direct the exhaust directly out of the box to reduce internal heat. This will require a modified muffler such as suggested above. Make sure that the muffler is fully supported by brackets - if you don't, the vibration will either break the muffler, or pull the mounting threads out of the engine head.

Let us know what you do and how effective it is.
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:57 PM   #7
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The screen sounds like the best way for me to go. I do not have neighbors. If I can just keep the sound away from the trailer then I am good.

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Old 12-19-2008, 07:10 PM   #8
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In that case, I would shape it something like a baseball backstop to direct the sound away. And line the interior of the screen with acoustic panels.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:54 PM   #9
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I dont think U indicated what brand engine your geni has but there is a mfgr that makes a muffler for small engines CALLED a SUPER TRAP .I have heard it helps. I know I have a 3500 watt Briggs powered Geni and its loud.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:09 PM   #10
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I have another question!!! I am thinking of replacing my univolt--the hummer--with an intellivolt---for two reasons---My univolt is original to my 1974 AS sovereign and now my interior front and rear lights do not come on...If I replace my univolt with an intellivolt, will there still be that loud humm???? Also, I am hoping that by replacing my univolt that my lighting will return....Perhaps I am hoping for too much... BTW, I am trying to do everything myself as my husband is not helping me....He told me it was 'my project'...I am sure that when it is deer season, and once I get everything fixed, he will be more than happy to take my AS with us.....
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Old 12-20-2008, 03:17 AM   #11
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I used the fuse panel from my univolt and connected it to an intel. There is not any sound.

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Old 12-20-2008, 06:11 AM   #12
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The act of changing out the Univolt is not likely in and of itself to repair your lights. Check your 12 volt fuses.
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Old 12-20-2008, 06:57 AM   #13
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I made a screen from 1/4 plywood ripped via a table saw into 3 pieces 4 foot tall and 18" wide. I connected them along the edge with cheap hinges to create a japanese screen, so to speak. I then bonded, with construction glue, 1" of the pink foam board to the screen. It all folds flat, hauls easy, and works like a champ. It deflects the noise away from the trailer well. I do have a Honda invertor generator.

A muffler change on a standard altenator type gen set will make some difference, but most of the noise is due the fact the engine must run high rpms to make 60 hz 120/220 volt current. It is still going to sound like a lawn mower running.

Invertor type sets use electronics to adjust voltage and freqency, and operate a lower speeds.

Best Regards,
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:09 AM   #14
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That's the ticket, Jeff. For Lothlorian's application, it wouldn't have to be portable so I'd add a roof so the gen can be run in the rain without getting wet.
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