Guidelines For Reducing The Noise Level Of A Centrifugal Air Compressor Installation
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This paper will review the best practices for installation of a centrifugal air compressor without a sound enclosure to obtain the best acoustic environment for reduced operating noise levels. An overview of the noise sources associated with a centrifugal air compressor will be discussed along with the noise attenuation techniques. Moreover, proper selection and installation of accessory hardware associated with the compressor installation will be addressed, since the accessory hardware can often generate higher noise levels than the compressor if not selected and installed correctly. Guidelines for valve sizing, proper lagging of piping and valves for noise reduction, drain line noise attenuation, inlet silencer selection, discharge silencer selection and silencer installation will also be explored. The refining, petrochemical, oil and gas, automotive, steel, electronic and industrial applications utilize centrifugal air compressors to provide utility air to support manufacturing their processes. They are often purchased to meet a specified noise level based on customer site requirements. Compressors that meet the noise requirement without using a complete sound enclosure are preferred. This is due to both the high cost associated with sound enclosures and because sound enclosures make access to the compressor difficult for maintenance. Figure 1 shows a typical centrifugal air compressor package for a refinery application. Proper site development is important for reduced noise levels while the equipment is in operation. Outdoor installations do not exactly replicate a Free Field noise environment; indoor installations are often reverberant in nature because of building construction. In any case, when the compressor is in operation, the noise level measured with a sound level meter is often higher than the actual compressor generated noise. This paper will provide guidelines on how to achieve compressor installation noise objectives.
Badini, John R.; Brown, Paul A. (2011). Guidelines For Reducing The Noise Level Of A Centrifugal Air Compressor Installation. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from