Three Days of Nothing but Genset Enclosure Talk

by Contributor cool_hand_luke on ‎07-06-2011 01:01 PM


First and foremost, thank you to all who participated and provided feedback during our Generator Set Enclosure Online Event (May 24-26). This interactive collaboration brought community members together to share ideas, opinions and solutions with each other and Caterpillar regarding generator set enclosure design. It was a busy 3 days with 40 new registered users and 100 informative posts.

Many topics were discussed including:

  • product features
  • specific regional needs
  • unique applications
  • sound level requirements
  • regulatory standards
  • specification trends
  • information gaps
  • installation issues

As we work to make your job easier through improved product design, this conversation was a great foundation. Our engineering and design teams will continue down the path of research and validation – now with an even better understanding of some of the key challenges faced in the field today.

Some of the more insightful comments we received include:

"The noise specifications are getting lower and it is getting harder to site generators when close to the property line." Many of you sited local noise codes, such as City of Phoenix, City of Chicago, New Zealand and the China Environmental Quality Standards for Noise. There was also discussion around the need for better information to help address these issues.

"Check Florida Building Code for High Velocity Hurricane Zone… resists sustained winds and 9 lb pine 2x4 at 50 MPH..." Our engineers expressed real enthusiasm at the thought of conducting this test.

"Hot and Cold (50C to -50C) ambient conditions..." Temperature dominated some discussion threads and were backed up with regional requirements and solutions.

Another hot topic was the ever increasing size and sophistication of the fuel tanks.

For those of you who did not have the opportunity to participate… or even those who did and have some final thoughts to share… please take a look at the bulleted discussion points above and comment below.

by Contributor wlj1943
on ‎07-07-2011 01:35 PM

Hi Paul,

As a grey hair specifier, I would appreciate seeing more details on the issues. It appears to me the bloggers were predominately Cat dealer personnel, and therefore I recognize the information is likely Cat proprietary; but more details on the items could help all in improving specifications. I would hope all this learning will quickly work it's way into the application manuals.


by Visitor mrgenman
on ‎07-07-2011 04:07 PM

Hello Paul,


Recieved the notice on the enclosure event unfortunately it was not until just a couple days prior to the event and I was unable to participate.

Hopefully there will be another opportunity in the future to pacticipate in such an event where we as an CAT OEM distributor can contribute.


In my past life after my previous years associated with CAT, I had the opportunity to not only manage and operated but also own the only West coast enclosure manufacturing plant that catered to seven western states, but we also engineered and manufactured a complete line of UL-142 and 2085 sub-base fuel tanks and a full line of enclosures up to and including the C-175/3MW.


Now in my new life I work for Elite Energy Sytems in Carson City NV. where as the only registered CAT OEM Gas engines distributors for CHP applications, we also design, engineer and maufacture sub-base structures, tanks and enclosures for all ranges of CAT gas and diesel recips up to the 3520C's.


So aside from the small plug, we would truely value the opportunity to contribute in any way possible to help any CAT dealers with their future endeavors.



Ed (mrgenman)   

by Contributor cool_hand_luke
on ‎07-08-2011 04:11 PM


Thank you for the post and your contributions to our web event. You are correct; there were several posts that indicated areas to improve our Application and Installation guides. We have definitely taken the recommendations under advisement for future guide updates.

We are working on additional ideas to further this enclosure discussion as well as other collaboration opportunities. Perhaps you would like to share some notes on an enclosure specification here and see how the community responds?

Thanks again,



by Regular Contributor
‎07-10-2011 12:17 PM - edited ‎07-10-2011 12:19 PM

i am in italy and i use 3412 enclosure from Eu IR manufactury center, we are happy about general sound proff, small thouble wen we operate big manutance need, for cooling in italy we have -30, + 45 in Sicily island mid fo mediteranean sea neer north africa, but not  a lot problem, if radiator is clean, (all time we go to clean wen i go to overheating), maby i need some to keep out dusty and powder, now esemple we use 3412 special for CHP in coperation with local Cat dealer, but not result yet becouse is new project, sorry but we not have C27 or C32 is to big for us use and C18 small, we prefer the superb 3412 (4 turbos), pollution is one problem but we have to do spiecial catalist on board without big modification and no backup pressure noise, regards gordini cat user and tuning man

by New member mzingsheim
on ‎09-18-2011 07:10 PM

Hi Paul,

I have been involved in the design and performance of enclosures being used atop fuel tanks for gensets. Specifically, I make sure we can get the full cooling air through the enclosure, and design the attenuators required to lower the sound emanating from the air openings. The pressure drop of louvers, dampers, system effect, and attenuators can easily exceed the .50" static which is typical of most genset fans. It would require little effort to design higher static fans for gensets used with weatherproof enclosures, so why are no options offered?


Did I miss the memo where these are now offered by the major manufacturers?




by Contributor cool_hand_luke
on ‎09-22-2011 12:23 PM

This is a great question from Zinger. It really comes down to horsepower. As we increase static pressure we decrease flow and inhibit our cooling capability. We can overcome it with fan design, fan speed or other options, but to get back to the necessary flow rate will require more horsepower. As an example, a given cooling system flows 40,000 CFM at 3" of static pressure with 44 HP. By changing a fan drive, I can flow 40,000 CFM at 5" of static pressure, but the horsepower required is 75.

Thank you.  Hope this helps.


by Visitor muralcr
on ‎10-27-2011 09:37 PM

in general i feel noisce control is an issue in terms of cost,not an issue which cant be an application engineer i have installed multyple sets with enclosures achiving 60DB noise levels one meter from enclosure.

by Visitor sakil
on ‎04-26-2012 07:26 AM

Sir could anyone be kind enough to suggest me the velocity that needs to be considered for air inlet and outet for the enclosure ventilation system so as to avoid whistling or noisy sound.

by Visitor sakil
on ‎04-26-2012 07:28 AM

how size of acoustic enclosure is decided for the d.g. set for efficient performance and maintenance.

by Contributor cool_hand_luke
on ‎04-27-2012 03:16 PM



Thank you for the questions.  The answers really come down to design trade offs and product requirements.  We can have requirements related to sound attenuation, ambient cooling capability, water ingress and cost in addition to attributes like being shippable, serviceable and minimizing the footprint.  Establishing min/max limits may help as well.  For example, he maximum size of the acoustic enclosure may be limited by cost and the ability to ship it on the road without permits.  We limit air velocity to limit water ingress, yet need to maximize air flow for better cooling capability.  Larger louvers help air flow but provide larger leak paths for noise.  Larger enclosures should allow more room to safely service/maintain your genset, but there again, it will cost more.  Start mapping out your limits and analyzing the trade offs.  Hope this helps. 


Thank you.  Paul

by Visitor sakil
on ‎04-28-2012 02:44 AM

how to claculate common centre of gravity for acoustic enclosure ?

by New member mdsh_alam
on ‎11-30-2012 11:41 PM



I want to know what is general life of a Genset Enclosure. I am designing a 250 KVA stacked Genset Enclosure and the approx weigth of Genset+Enclosure is 6 ton. As for safety criteria i have to check for all the aspects.

Due to high temperature there may be possibility of creep failure also and so i think i have to check for this. I want to know in how many month/years generally enclosures are replaced. Please enlighten me.




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