Noise control in the power generation industry is a necessity:

  • to maintain acceptable working conditions for employees of power plants, by sufficiently limiting their exposure to noise, according to European Directive 2003/10/EC, which considers as indicators:
    • the level of daily exposure to noise L EX, 8h: 80 dB (A) and 85 dB (A) are the thresholds, lower and upper respectively, triggering the action, 87 dB(A) is the limit value
    • the peak sound pressure ρpeak: 112 Pa ie 135 dB(C) and 140 Pa ie 137 dB(C) are the thresholds, lower and upper respectively, triggering the action, 200 Pa ie 140 dB(C) is the authorized limit value
  • to preserve the tranquility of residents living near installations in the energy sector, by ensuring that noise levels in the environment (at the property line or beyond) are not too high:
    • nor in absolute value: a limit is set by a prefectural decree e.g. 60 dB (A)
    • neither in relative value: the emergence i.e. the difference between the equivalent continuous pressure levels weighted A of ambient noise (installation in operation) and of residual noise (in the absence of noise generated by the installation, but measured over its operating period) is legally limited - depending on the case to 5 or 6 dB(A) during the daytime and to 3 or 4 dB(A) during the night period

Thus, many turbo-machineries and various hardware and equipment are concerned by noise control in the power generation industry:

  • gas (combustion) turbines and heat engines: noise emissions are very high at air intake and exhaust (silencers are required), and also for the body (enclosures are required, when these are not - given the dimensions - buildings, then with high acoustic performance), with soundproof ventilation systems
  • steam turbines, electric motors and generators (noise hoods are necessary, here also with soundproof ventilation system)
  • boilers i.e. Heat Recovery Steam Generators (anti-noise walls are to be provided, as well as blow-off silencers for venting steam to the atmosphere, downstream of the pressurized fluid circuits)
  • compressors, pumps (ventilated acoustical canopies are appropriate)

This is why noise control in the power generation industry is a major activity for ITS, whose level of involvement varies depending on the context and the specific needs of each project:

  • acoustic measurements on site
  • acoustic calculations notes and sizing tasks (in particular: using simulation software developed in-house, marketed by ITS besides)
  • marketing of noise attenuators (with or without installation): of all kinds

ITS participated in a noise control project in the power generation industry in North America, which involved limiting noise emissions from a steam turbine.

As often in such a case:

  • the scope of supply included a metal frame, industrial acoustic insulation panels, the components of a ventilation system (fans, silencers, grids and dampers)
  • the hardware was installed by local teams, for what an in-depth study, a careful construction (in particular: in terms of assemblies and labeling) and detailed documentation contributed to the success of the operation

Limitation of noise emissions in energy sector

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