Ways to Reduce Transformer Noise


Buzzing and humming noises are commonly heard from electrical transformers, which can be seen in both industrial and residential areas. The primary cause behind the noise is magnetostriction. It is a process in which a magnetic steel sheet changes its shape or dimensions when magnetized. Again, when the magnetization is taken away it goes back to its original form. The noise it generates might be controlled to some extent but cannot be completely removed. It is a vibrating like sound that mimics the sound produced by generators and motors.

Also Read: Important Mechanism of Electrical Transformers

It has already been mentioned that the sound is caused by magnetostriction. In simple words the extension and contraction of the core laminations produce the hum during magnetization.

Let’s have a look at some facts about the transformer noise

  • Transformer noise comes from the core
  • The design of the transformer determines the amount of noise
  • Adjustments can be made in the design during the installation to decrease the noise level but it is better to not to expect any major change in it.
  • Loading a transformer can also not make much difference in the noise

Here are some of the precautions that you can take during the installation and mounting, to reduce the audible humming

1. Choose low traffic area for installation

If the transformer is placed in a high traffic area, the noise becomes annoying to people, especially if the surrounding sound is lower than the unit’s sound level. That is why it is recommended to maintain at least one low traffic area between the transformer and high traffic spaces in offices or residential buildings etc.

2. Corners, corridors and stairwells should be avoided

The corners of a room, place near the ceiling are the places which increase noise and that is why mounting transformer in such places is certainly not a good idea. Similarly, the corners of a room also amplify sound.

3. Mount the unit on a solid plane

Units should always be mounted on heavy and dense surfaces like concrete walls or floors. This is because thin curtain walls or plywood surfaces accelerate the humming noise making it intolerable. Most appropriately mounting surfaces should be 10 times heavier than the unit itself.

4. Tighten the bolts enclosures

Make sure that the bolts and screws on the transformer’s cover and top have been tightened properly. Loose parts will vibrate when the transformer is working and this will automatically increase the sound.

5. Use oil barriers

Using sound dampening materials, oil barriers and cushion padding might help reduce the noise and control it from spreading. Though these are unable to reduce the vibrating sound itself but they definitely reduce the frustration it causes among people staying nearby.

6. Stick to a flexible mounting method

Using external dampeners along with flexible mounting method and connection is highly recommended, while installing these transformers in walls, ceilings, or frames. This ultimately stops metal contact between the mounting surface and the unit, to control noise transmission.

Apart from these above mentioned ways, you can always choose the new and advanced technology, materials, designs and installation method when you are planning to install electrical transformers in Canada. Today stiffeners and other materials are used in transformer tanks to decrease the operating noise. So do not forget to consider the modern solution before finalizing the project.

Related Post: What You Need to Know About Electrical Transformers