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A Silent Generator, if only! YorPower can provide generators with the very lowest noise levels that are, to the average person, silent. That would be a measure of approximately 55dB(A) at 1m. However, the cost of manufacturing a generator that cannot be heard, or a ‘Silent Generator’ is so great, that in most instances it is prohibitive. The term, silent generator is over used and in fact a contradiction as the vast majority of enclosed generators are less noisy than their open frame Cousins, however, they are most certainly not silent! Typically, a generator that is attenuated and enclosed in a close fit canopy or is treated for noise breakout, would operate at about 80dB(A) at 1m. See our chart below for a guide on how that may sound. 

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So, back to Silent Generators. A sound proof canopy, a sound treated container or sound attenuated drop over enclosure are just some of the expressions used for reducing generator noise breakout. To make a generator quieter, the air needs to travel further, dispersing the sound it carries prior to exiting the canopy. Generators that are enclosed are frequently and incorrectly called silent generators… they are rarely, if ever completely silent.

Commonly, ‘Silent Generators’ are required where a genset is a temporary installation near domestic dwellings, or where the public may be inconvenienced. For commercial use, Local Authorities will very often have specified noise levels that cannot be exceeded and so a check on location and planning is always a good idea prior to selection and installation.

Quieter Generators

The obvious benefit of quieter generators, factory produced and designed in that way, is that the output is a much-reduced sound level which is less disruptive to the user and the service engineer. As mentioned previously, not all canopied silent generators are completely silent. They will continue to produce some noise. Potential long-term exposure to a dB(A) level above 85 can damage ears and possibly cause deafness over time. The quieter the generator noise breakout, the less chance there is to potentially damage the environment by noise pollution and/or cause hearing loss.

Silent Generator Canopy

What goes in to a Silent Generator Canopy to make it quiet or ‘silent generator’?

Most sound proof generators are treated with a composite substance, which are layers of hard material intended to reflect the sound waves back into the enclosure. As well as this, there are layers of porous material which have sound absorbent elements, which transfer that energy into heat. Different frequencies are absorbed by varying materials. A Silent Generator Canopy generator enclosure can be engineered for a specific application and type of generator – or a specific and generic model and in order to ensure that the sound proof enclosure is as effective, it needs to be designed and tested. One method might work perfectly for absorbing very high frequency noise but poor at lower frequencies. A different method or material might be better at deflecting middle frequencies sound waves, but not so good at the high end. That is why most modern sound proof generators use several layers of different material types. Higher frequency sound is typically absorbed best by highly porous materials which can channel these smaller waves deep into the material, scattering and absorbing them. Lower frequency sound is a very different challenge. There is more to a Silent Generator than meets the eye….or ear!

Buy A Silent Generator

If you are looking to buy one of our Perkins silent generators, a Cummins silent generator  or a silent diesel generator, you can be assured all of the above engineering has been thought through and taken into account. Buy any of our generators with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they have been engineered to a high standard. We have been Connecting Power and People and we have been trusted to deliver the very best generators for 30 Years.


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