Stop Transformer Yelling With These Rules and Techniques
Stop Transformer Yelling With These Rules and Techniques (photo credit:

Precautions to minimize transformer noise

There are a number of basic installation precautions and transformer mounting techniques which if carefully noted and followed, will minimize the audible sound level (noise) of energized transformers. Some of the more pertinent ones are noted below.

Transformer decibel limits //

Proper location is the first consideration in a low sound level installation. To keep within or (better) below, prescribed decibel limits:

Rule #1

Keep the transformer as far away as possible from the area in which its noise would be most objectionable.

Rule #2

Avoid mounting the unit in a room corner up near the ceiling. Three sided corners act as megaphones and amplify the sound.

Rule #3

Avoid installation in narrow halls and corridors or in corners of stairwells. The transformer sound reflected from the walls can become additive to the primary sound of the transformer and cause additional decibel buildup.

Rule #4

Where feasible, experimental temporary operation and positioning of a free-standing transformer in a room or area will quickly indicate the best location and orientation of the unit.

Rule #5

Where necessary, cover the walls of the transformer room with acoustical dampening material – fiber glass, acoustical tile, kimsul and similar absorbent materials – to reduce propagation of transformer noise from the room to any adjacent areas.

It should be noted, however, that such material has a major effect on the high harmonics of transformer noise but little, if any, effect on the fundamental hum.

While there are special sound insulating materials available for the 120 cps frequency range, their present form and cost make them impractical for the above application.

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Transformer mounting methods //

Transformer mounting methods play an important role in control and reduction of the audible sound coming from the unit. The prime objective is to “isolate” the noise – that is, prevent its mechanical transmission to the supporting structure and connected raceway system.

This can be accomplished with one, or a combination of the following installation techniques:

Technique #1

Use solid mounting when the transformer can be secured to a heavy, solid mass which cannot vibrate audibly, such as reinforced concrete – floor or wall.

Installed and connected transformer
Installed and connected transformer (photo credit:

Technique #2

For installation on a structural frame, wall, ceiling or column. use the flexible mounting technique employing special vibration dampeners. There must be no solid metal contact between the transformer and supporting surface, otherwise the vibration of the pads would be ”short-circuited”.

These external pads are furnished and installed by the electrical contractor.

Technique #3

Use flexible connections between the raceway system and transformer enclosure to prevent transmission of noise vibrations from the enclosure to the raceway system, panels, and other mechanical parts. Flexible metal conduit and nonmetallic tubing are acceptable items for these relatively short “coupling” sections.

Transformer low voltage connections to the busbars CANALIS
Transformer low voltage connections to the busbars CANALIS

Technique #4

Dry-type transformers are provided with vibration dampening pads between core and coil assembly mounting and the case. This mounting is tightly secured with bolts for mechanical strength when shipped.

After installation of the unit these mounting bolts must be removed for effective vibration dampening and minimizing of noise.

Technique #5

If used, lifting eyebolts may contribute to high sound level and should be removed after installation.

Technique #6

Be sure all screws and bolts on covers and top are fight.

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Reference // Spang Power electronics – Dry-type transformer installation

About Author //


Edvard Csanyi

Edvard - Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, buildings and industry fascilities. Designing of LV/MV switchgears.Professional in AutoCAD programming and web-design.Present on

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