New technology deployed at the largest US biomass power plant prevents creation of noise from fans while reducing power consumption.
The solution developed by the Industrial Noise and Vibration Centre (INVC) from Berkshire, UK, relies on active noise reduction instead of suppressing the noise by silencers and acoustic enclosures.
“We have developed a way to prevent the noise being generated in the first place instead by designing aerodynamic inserts that fit inside the fan casing. You can think of these as akin to the aerodynamic features used on Formula 1 cars to control airflow,” said Peter Wilson, the INVC technical director.
The technology was installed at the 50 MW Schiller biomass power plant in New Hampshire - the largest biomass power plant in the US. The site had had problems due to the noise produced by the station’s ID fan. The installation itself only required 12 hours. According to a technical review evaluating the solution, not only noise reduction has been achieved but the plant has also been consuming considerably less energy.
"We recorded a 10dB drop in noise, which is huge. We also recorded a reduction in the power used by the ID fan after Quiet Fan technology had been installed." said Jim Granger, the Senior Engineer at Schiller.
Conventional silencing technology to suppress the drone of large ID fans is rather costly and increases down-time of the installation. According to the evaluation data, the Quit Fan technology managed to achieve similar level of noise reduction costing about 80 per cent less.