Industrial Fan Noise: Case Study

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A manufacturing plant contacted eNoise Control, Inc. to review noise exposure from several of its variable frequency belt-driven centrifugal fans.  We conducted
sound level readings around the Chicago Blowers and noted low and mid-frequency levels between 90-91 dB(A), 5 feet from the fans.  Our client expressed a need to access the machines for routine maintenance. They also did not desire a fully closed sound enclosure because of ventilation and lighting concerns.
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Blower casing shown with Unger's removable sound blanket Fan noise reduced with sliding access sound curtain
Blower casing shown with Unger's removable
sound blanket

(click image for larger view)
Fan shown with sliding access sound curtain
(click image for larger view)
Modular sound curtains used on double sliding track
  Modular sound curtains used on
double sliding track
(click image for larger view)
 
We determined noise sources associated with this fan were generated by the variable speed driven motors and the fan casings. The variable speed drives where re-tuned by the equipment supplier with little reduction in noise. After this option was tried, Unger suggested a removable sound blanket wrap be installed on the fan housing and then a perimeter sound curtain system be installed to completely enclose the motors.
We supplied our rugged industrial sound curtains with a ceiling suspended steel track. Our Acoustical Consultants engineered modular, sliding sound curtain panels on a double track to allow the customer multiple access points into the enclosure.
The sound reduction was measured at 12 decibels, thus achieving the customers acoustic goals well below 85 dBA.