Noise control attracts attention
Engineers develop technology to reduce fan noise at source
Engineers from the Industrial Noise and Vibration Centre (INVC) have developed a ‘quiet fan’ noise control technology. It uses aerodynamic techniques to reduce fan noise at source. The system can be designed and installed remotely from INVC’s Slough base.
The Centee is installing the technology at several major US organisations, following UK projects at groups such as Corus.
INVC claims that applying the technology to three 4MW fans at Corus reduced the capital cost by an estimated £800,000 and led to saving of around £200,000 a year in running costs compared with conventional silencing.
Elsewhere, INVC is helping a large US oil refinery to reduce the drone from five large 1.4MW fans at their site – a serious nuisance to local residents. As well as gains in energy efficiency, compared with silencers, the system also reduced the company’s capital costs by around 80%, said Peter Wilson, INVC’s technical director.
“Installing our technology required very little downtime and, as we were able to manage the project remotely from our UK office, we dispensed with site visits to further minimise costs for the client,” said Wilson.
“Our technology differs from silencers as it eliminates the noise at source. This means that, in many cases, clients can dispense with conventional silencers, enclosures and lagging,” continued Wilson.
The group also cites a project to install quiet fan technology at the Schiller power station in New Hampshire, which it said, has also delivered major savings.
A conventional silencer had been fitted to the 3m diameter 1.5MW wood burning boiler fan at the power station to reduce noise disturbance to local residents. However, the silencer dramatically reduced the fan’s efficiency, leading Schiller’s engineers to look for an alternative.
Quiet fan technology restored the fan to full efficiency, and it eliminated the low frequency tonal noise problem at a fraction of the cost of the original silencer, said INVC.