Company to design system for quieter transformers

November 12, 1992|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Staff Writer

Noise Cancellation Technologies Inc. is expanding into another market for its electronic approach to noise and vibration control that the company thinks has enormous potential.

The Stamford, Conn.-based company, which has its research and development operations in Linthicum, announced yesterday that it has an agreement with Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. to design and develop a system to quiet power transformers.

The transformers, which are typically located in a field surrounded by fences, give off a noise similar to a household vacuum cleaner.

Charles T. Lacey Jr., senior engineer at BG&E, explained that the utility is required to quiet any transformer that is updated to meet the increasing demands for electricity. While declining to give an estimated cost for the system it plans to develop with Noise Cancellation, Mr. Lacey said it would be only a small portion of the $250,000 cost of new, quieter transformers.

Michael Parrella, president of Noise Cancellation, explained that the system would involve something similar to an aluminum wall or panel built around the transformer. The structure would absorb the low-frequency noise that would otherwise disturb residents living nearby.

He said the sound waves from the transformer would hit the wall, "and we could change the acoustical radiation characteristics so that the panel would not vibrate any more and the noise would disappear."

The first system is expected to be in place by June, said Mr. Lacey.

Noise Cancellation, traded on the NASDAQ system, rose 68.75 cents yesterday, to close at $4.6875 a share.

Mr. Parrella said the price of the BG&E system would range from $20,000 to $100,000.

"This is a hot new market," Mr. Parrella said. "We see it as a $50 billion market."

He said his estimate was based on the estimated 1 million transformers across the country and Noise Cancellation's average cost of $50,000 to install a system to quiet them.

Mr. Parrella said that while the company has competitors in the noise cancellation business, it is the only one to move into the utility transformer market.

Last month, Noise Cancellation announced that it had received an order from Manitoba Hydro, a leading Canadian utility, to design a system for quieting transformers.

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