Sound shield for generators - best design?

A place to discuss all things involving power and lighting. Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self and more.

Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby Pecho » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:07 am

Other than not having a generator or turning it off :) , anyone have input on an inexpensive yet effective design for constructing a good sound shield for generators. I have reviewed the info on the bm site but want specific design tips. Thanks in advance!
Pecho
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:53 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby jkisha » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:42 am

Two pieces of 4' x 8' plywood or that glue board (not particle board), cut in half for four 4' x 4' sides. Drill three or four 1/2" holes along the edges of the vertical sides so that you can use those plastic zip ties to hold the pieces together to form a box. Line the box with carpet cut to fit. Make sure the carpet is about 1" smaller than the sides so you don't have to drill through the carpet.) Works like a charm, easy to transport and easy to assemble/disassemble.
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
User avatar
jkisha
 
Posts: 11403
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe

Re: Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby headquarters » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:04 am

I've been thinking a lot about making one of these also. jkisha's idea is very easy and I think i've been over thinking it.

I was planning on making two U shaped pieces one that fits around 3 sides of the generator and one larger one that fits around the open end of the first U and covers both sides of it also.

It allows for air to move easily, but sound has a very hard time making it around a sharp corner. Also want to put the generator off the ground on something that could catch/absorb any leaking oil or gasoline.
User avatar
headquarters
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:04 pm
Location: SEATTLE

Re: Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby dragonpilot » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:55 am

And be sure to position the generator and sound shield away from your camp...next to someone else's camp and run the annoying thing all day to keep your greywater evaporative system going...
Don't bore your friends with all your troubles. Tell your enemies instead, for they will delight in hearing about them.
User avatar
dragonpilot
 
Posts: 1393
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 12:53 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Burning Since: 2005

Re: Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby The CO » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:05 am

JKishas box idea works well. You can add sound dampening by using a (gasp) thick styrofoam or insulation material. Set the genny on a pallet with visqueen underneath, then the cube on top of the pallet. You'll get airflow and keep it quieter.

Make the best of what you can, and remember that your own generator should always be placed closer to YOU than anyone else. If it is next to your tent, You will know whether or not it will annoy neighbors. I have stopped generators from working when they were badly & rudely used on and off playa.

It's going to get said at some point: If you are buying or renting a generator, Honda EU series are the way to go. Yep, they are more expensive, but in the 5 years I've been taking mine to the burn, I've personally known of 2 different people that have each spent more than the price of a new EU2K buying a new cheapo genny every couple years, and all they have to show for it is 3 cheap generators that don't work. You'll also save money and space by not having to build a sound insulator box.
M*A*S*H 4207th: An army of fun.
I don't care what the borg says: feather-wearers will NOT be served in Rosie's Bar.
Yes, I am the arbiter of doing it right or wrong. Guess which one you are!
User avatar
The CO
 
Posts: 1557
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:56 am
Location: I-CORPS, M*A*S*H HQ
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: M*A*S*H 4207th/404: Error

Re: Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby phil » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:34 am

If you can't damp the noise enough to run the generator in your own shade structure, just leave the generator at home. Please.
User avatar
phil
 
Posts: 2975
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:10 pm
Location: Codgerville

Re: Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby Abraham Lincoln » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:49 am

Take a look at the generator box I built for the honda EU1000i and 2000i series generators ( http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=36210) and maybe you can glean a few ideas. Let me know if you have any questions; I'd be glad to offer my experience and lack of wisdom. If you want to come see it on playa, I should be listed at information and the artery (probably under the name Trainwreck).

If you take the forced air approach, you have to ensure that there is enough air flow coming in in order to sufficiently cool the engine of the genset. We're probably talking in the ballpark of a couple thousand watts of heat being generated by even a smaller (1000 to 2000 watt) unit. Also, regardless if you choose to make a baffle design like jkisha suggested or more of a forced air box like mine, make sure the wood/carpet/sound damping foam is far enough away from hot engine components so you don't end up with premature immolation. Also keep in mind that some generators like to 'hop' around when they are upset-- running out of fuel, clogged air filter, sudden large load, etc. You may want to consider anchoring it to the floor/ground so it doesn't hop its way into something flammable (or walk away with a stranger on burn night... heard it happens, sadly enough).

If you want ideas for next year and have a larger set, come take a look at the generator box I designed and helped build for the honorarium project Nelumbo Nucifera (http://burningman.com/installations/11_art_honor.html#nelumbo). I think we're going to be placed about 6:05 at 1900' or something like that. Just walk from center camp towards the Man and we'll be on the left hand side about 1/3 of the way down. Should be up and running by next Friday for those of you who want to take a peek. It's protecting a Yamaha 2800i running on propane-- had to use eight 109cfm fans and two 4" louvered exhaust vents to keep the thing happy and cool. Probably reduces the noise by about a half and has the added benefit of modulating the sound down to a lower (and less annoying) tone.

Whatever you build, just make sure that it's built well enough that it doesn't end up rattling and causing even more noise.

The CO makes a good point about honda generators being worth the extra coin. In our camp I only use honda. They are so quiet that our neighbors a couple years back (even before I built the box) thought we were running on batteries/solar. Also, what's better than a generator box (and free!) is some planning and empathy towards your neighbors, as The CO and phil already pointed out. Keep your generator near camp so you know just how much of a disturbance it is. Wait until a decent hour to fire your generators up and shut them off at a reasonable time as well... though it all depends on what part of the city you are in and who your neighbors are. Got a big sound camp next door? Fuck 'em and run that genset 24/7. I find talking with neighbors and checking in to see that you aren't being a nuisance is a great way to ensure you aren't twisting someone's panties in a bunch, as well as it makes for a good excuse to get to know the people living around you.
User avatar
Abraham Lincoln
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:42 am

Re: Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby Pecho » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:04 am

jkisha wrote:Two pieces of 4' x 8' plywood or that glue board (not particle board), cut in half for four 4' x 4' sides. Drill three or four 1/2" holes along the edges of the vertical sides so that you can use those plastic zip ties to hold the pieces together to form a box. Line the box with carpet cut to fit. Make sure the carpet is about 1" smaller than the sides so you don't have to drill through the carpet.) Works like a charm, easy to transport and easy to assemble/disassemble.


Do you cover the top or leave top uncovered?
Pecho
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:53 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby Abraham Lincoln » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:44 pm

You'd leave the top uncovered with that design.
User avatar
Abraham Lincoln
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:42 am

Re: Sound shield for generators - best design?

Postby Token » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:42 am

Wise old midget in a movie once said: "Not pig shit, ENERGY"!

About 70% of it is running down the orange cable as electricity. The rest is heat, exhaust and noise from a point source radiating in all directions.

Best way to deal with unwanted energy is to redirect it where we ain't.

Second best is to try and convert it into energy we don't mind.

Tips:

Use press board over plywood. Higher density and doesn't warp as much.
Use 3/4 inch minimum else the whole box wobbles, resonates, amplifies the sound.
Avoid symmetry in the box design. Prevents resonance, standing waves and amplification. Don't build a speaker box!
Redirect the sound up! Use 4' x 6' sheets and angle two opposite sides at 45°. Like those metal shields at the end of airport runways; they work real well.
Camp near the shitters. Bring long thick cord, don't skimp on the gauge, thick mofo is needed or you will lose half your power in the cord. Put generator where no one camps, in aroma alley.
Dampen the box by heavy gluing of carpet, rubber, asphalt or other dampening materials to absorb some of that energy.

Btw, none of this is cheap unless you are in construction business and can pick up this stuff as scraps for free. By the time you spend all the money, effort and cost of transporting all this crap ...

... You could'a bought a Honda.

Maybe next year?
User avatar
Token
 
Posts: 2302
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Location: Gold Country, CA
Burning Since: 2001


Return to Power & Illumination

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest