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Old 01-25-2015, 12:04 PM   #1
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Dampening Generator Noise

I'm currently running my two Honda 2000i generators while sitting in the bed of my truck with the tailgate down and the hard lid closed. This greatly reduces the noise around the front & sides of the truck while still allowing the generators to "breathe".

I'd like to build a sound-insulated box that I can place in the bed of the truck at home before I put the generators in. The box would have an intake fan on one side and an exhaust fan on the other side for proper ventilation. Both fans would be 120 VAC with a standard plug that I could plug into one of the generator outlets during operation.

Has anyone built a box like this and if so, what insulating material did you use?

Ken
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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Should be doable. I would recommend one more thing to consider, which is general enclosure cooling. Those engines put off some serious heat, and you will really notice it once it is in a box. I have been doing some sound reduction projects at work lately. I am no expect, but have been learning a lot. The key is to find the right materials for the frequency (not decibels but frequency). In general you need an absorber layer and a barrier lay. One of the products we used by EAR/AERO was a composite, it had about 3/8" of foam, then a 1/4" heavy vinyl layer, then a 1" layer of foam again. We ordered it with a foil face, only for cleanliness. In our research we found that the foil reduces the acoustical performance of the sound reduction material. One more thing to consider is your openings. Sound travels in a straight line (it does bounce nicely too). So any openings you have, the sound will escape. So keep the openings as small as possible and if you need large openings for ventilation create baffles so the sound has to bounce off the absorbers and barrier layers a number of times.
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:00 PM   #3
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also consider that the engine has to have fresh air. Be aware that the exhaust may prevent the engine from being fully efficient.
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Old 01-25-2015, 04:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKGperson View Post
I'm currently running my two Honda 2000i generators while sitting in the bed of my truck with the tailgate down and the hard lid closed. This greatly reduces the noise around the front & sides of the truck while still allowing the generators to "breathe".
...snip
How is the sound to the front and sides of your truck? Is it acceptable in those directions or do they need sound reduction, too? Do you currently run those generators with any heat or other problems?

What I'm thinking... If the sound levels are OK to the front and sides, maybe you could build an open-top and front side box to assemble as needed on your tailgate and snug up to the truck body. With sound absorbing and barrier materials, that box might provide enough sound control and still have sufficient openings for air flow. It might be worth a try as a quick and dirty experiment.
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Old 01-25-2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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How loud are two of them? I am researching generators now, and am trying to figure out which way to go. I know I am going to get a Honda and considering two 2000's in paralell or one 3000I. How much louder is it when you have two running versus one? I am assuming it is a little louder but not much. Is that a good assumption?
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Old 01-25-2015, 06:46 PM   #6
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I once saw a company online, don't remember who, made a box like your describing out of aluminum. Protected the generator from theft or rain. Add some Adhesive sound deadening material and you'd be set. It had a fan pulling in Fresh air and to evacuate heat and fumes.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:59 PM   #7
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Two Honda EU2000i's are slightly louder than just one but not by much.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:01 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for providing suggestions. I've just started researching soundproofing and will do another post if/when I build a box.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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How is the sound to the front and sides of your truck? Is it acceptable in those directions or do they need sound reduction, too? Do you currently run those generators with any heat or other problems?
You can just barely hear the generators from the front & sides if you are standing right next to the truck. From 10 feet away you can't hear them at all.

They heated up the bed of the truck but it wasn't extremely hot. Not so hot that I was worried about damaging them.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:11 PM   #10
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I saw a post on RV DIY about the generators on Willie Nelson's tour bus that had isolation feet looked like small suspension air bags, seemed like a good idea for noise and vibration. I have also seen where people have mounted soft foam between two boards to mount water pumps for the same reason.
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