Quieter Generators

Generators are frequently used to supply electrical power on construction sites. While convenient and often necessary, generators frequently produce noise levels that are hazardous to those working in their vicinity. Quieter generators use one or more of the following to reduce sound levels: mufflers, sounds absorbing insulation, barriers and baffles.

Use of quieter generators can reduce noise exposures from the generator to less than 85 decibels, the OSHA action level. It is likely exposures from other equipment and tools will still necessitate participation in a hearing conservation program and the use of hearing protection.

Description:

Generators are frequently used to supply electrical power on construction sites. While convenient and often necessary, generators frequently produce noise levels that are hazardous to those working in their vicinity. Quieter generators use one or more of the following to reduce sound levels: mufflers, sounds absorbing insulation, barriers and baffles.

Use of quieter generators can reduce noise exposures from the generator to less than 85 decibels, the OSHA action level. It is likely exposures from other equipment and tools will still necessitate participation in a hearing conservation program and the use of hearing protection.

Shindaiwa kWiet Power Generators

  • Fuel: diesel
  • Output, 1 phase (switchable): 120, 127, 139, 240, 254, 277 volts
  • Output, 3 phase (switchable): 208, 220, 240, 416, 440, 480 volts
  • Air dams and insulated panels redirect cooling air, doubling the length-of-travel to minimize airflow noise without the need for power-robbing auxiliary fans.
  • The enclosure features heavy-gauge steel and sound-absorbing foam insulation. The result is lower sound levels as well as increased unit rigidity.
  • Specially-tuned muffler and a longer exhaust pipe improve the balance of high and low noise frequencies.
  • Standard features: Voltage, frequency, amperage and hour meters; automatic voltage regulator; oil pressure and water temperature gauges; battery charge warning indicator.
  • Options: Electronic governors (standard on DGK150D), electronic auto-start modules, battery chargers and block heaters. A variety of trailers, fuel tanks and trailer accessories are available.
Model
Cost
Continuous Output, 1 phase / 3 phase (kilowatts)
Weight (pounds)
Sound Level, Full Load at 23 feet* (dBA)
DGK25C Ultra Quiet
Call for a quote
15 / 20
1,543
56
DGK45C Ultra Quiet
27 / 36
2,513
56
DGK150D Ultra Quiet
90 / 120
6,504
60
*measurement conditions are based on industry standard
 
 

 

Subaru Robin Inverter – Silent Generators
  • Foam lined sound attenuated poly-resin panels fully enclose each inverter generator to ensure ultra-quiet operation.
  • Fuel: gasoline 
Model
Cost
Rated Output / Maximum Output (kilowatts)
Rated Output / Maximum Output (amps)
Weight (pounds)
Sound Level, Full Load at 23 feet* (dBA)
R1700i
Call for a quote
1.4 / 1.65
11.7 / 13.8
45
59
RG3200iS
2.8 / 3.2
23.3 / 26.7
130
58
RG4300iS
3.8 / 4.3
31.7 / 35.8
163
62
*measurement conditions are based on industry standard
 
 
 
Genie Industries Terex Super Quiet Generators
  • Fuel: diesel
  • Output, 1 phase (switchable): 120 or 240 volts
  • Output, 3 phase (switchable): 208, 220, 240, 440 or 480 volts
  • Enclosure: sound attenuated, weatherproof with lockable doors
Model
Cost
Continuous Output, 1 phase / 3 phase (kilowatts)
Weight (pounds)*
Sound Level, Full Load at 23 feet** (dBA)
T30
Call for a quote
19 / 23
3,197
65
T70C
42 / 60
6,782
66
T70P
42 / 59
6,782
66
T90C
59 / 75
5,684
66
T90P
59 / 74
5,911
66
T120C
72 / 96
5,749
68
T120P
72 / 91
5,975
68
T180
98 / 145
7,587
68
T240
121 / 190
8,028
68
T270
130 / 214
10,680
69
T360
160 / 288
13,227
72
*weight is without a trailer and with a full fuel tank
**measurement conditions are based on industry standard
 
 

Risks Addressed:

Over time, exposure to noise levels at or above 85 decibels will lead to permanent hearing loss. The NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) for occupational noise is 85 decibels on an A-weighted scale as an 8-hour time weighted average. OSHA limits noise exposure to 90 decibels, also on an A-weighted scale and as an 8-hour time weighted average.

Noise exposure has also been associated with hypertension, stress, fatigue, disturbance of sleep and decreased concentration and mental performance. The majority of construction workers suffer from significant hearing loss because of their work by the time they retire.

How Risks are Reduced:

Shindaiwa kWiet Power generators use a combination of enclosures, absorption materials and barrier materials to reduce worker and bystander noise exposure. Baffles and insulated panels redirect airflow through the enclosure to double the path length. This increases noise absorption and containment without reducing the need for a fan to cool the generator. The enclosure is made from heavy-gauge steel and covered in sound-absorbing foam insulation. Finally, the generators feature a specially tuned muffler and longer exhaust pipe to reduce noise emissions.

Subaru Robins Inverter-Generators and Genie Industries Terex Super Quiet Generators feature sound attenuating enclosures made of sound absorption and barrier materials to reduce noise exposure.

Shindaiwa indicates that its “Ultra-Quiet technology significantly reduces generator sound levels” and Subaru Robin and Genie Industries make similar claims for their generators. Based on the advertised sound levels, measured at 23 feet, safety and health experts believe that the risk of hearing loss will be lower than with most generators.


Effects on Productivity:

Lower noise levels may reduce hypertension, stress and fatigue, and increase the concentration and mental performance of workers. Improved worker health, comfort and concentration may lead to greater productivity. Quieter generators eliminate the work and time required to construct standalone noise barriers and enclosures and allow placement closer to work areas.


Additional Considerations:

The use of diesel and particularly gasoline-powered equipment poses the risk of carbon monoxide exposure, especially in areas where airflow is reduced. Steps to control exposure are important because the gas is invisible, odorless and tasteless. Small, inexpensive personal monitors should be worn by the operator to warn of unacceptable exposures.

As is the case with any construction equipment, users should follow manufacturer safety recommendations and comply with any applicable local, state or federal regulations.
 
Most large cities and many other jurisdictions have ordinances or regulations that limit noise, particularly at night in residential, hospital and school zones.
 
In addition to purchasing quieter equipment, noise exposure reduction requires proper equipment maintenance, and consideration of distance from workers to the noise source and use of barriers or sound absorbing blankets.

Hazards Addressed:

  • Pipes & Vessels
    • Weld, braze, solder, cut, or gouge pipe sections or vessel parts
  • Structural Steel
    • Weld, plasma cut, air-arc and flame cut metal

Availability

Shindaiwa kWiet Power Generators
To obtain information, visit http://www.kwietpower.com or contact 1-866-205-0199

Subaru Robin Inverter – Silent Generators
To obtain information, visit http://www.robinamerica.com or contact 1-800-277-6246

Genie Industries Terex Super Quiet Generators
To obtain information, visit http://www.genielift.com/inquiry.asp or contact 1-800-536-1800

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.