ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0376.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: power substation; transformer noise; low-frequency noise; noise masking; soundscape
Online: 16 July 2021 (14:33:26 CEST)
Low-frequency audible noise generated by the magnetostriction effect inherent to the operation of power transformers has become a major drawback, especially in cases where the electrical substation is located in urban areas subject to strict environmental regulations that imposes sound pressure limits, differing for day and night periods. Such regulations apply a +5 dB penalty if a tonal component of noise is present, which is clearly the case of magnetostriction noise, typically concentrated at twice the industrial frequency (50 Hz or 60 Hz, depending on the country). The strategy used to eliminate the tonal characteristics, therefore contributing to establish compliance with the applicable regulation and to alleviate the discomfort it causes to the human ear, consisted in superimposing to the substation noise a masking sound synthesized from “sounds of nature” with suitable intensities, to flatten the noise spectrum while enhancing the soundscape. The masking system (heavy-duty speakers powered by a microprocessor platform) was validated at an already judicialized urban scenario. Measurement results confirmed that the masking solution was capable of flattening the tonal frequencies, whose beneficial effect yielded the cancellation of the public civil action filed by the neighbors. The proposed solution is ready to be replicated to other scenarios.