Industrial Noise & Vibration Centre

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Record Breaking Formula One Fan Noise Control

Red Bull extract fan noise attenuation

Posted on: Jan. 4, 2012

Problem: an extract system fan drone creating a potential environmental noise problem.

Solution: aerodynamic engineering instead of silencers – in keeping with the Red Bull Technology ethos.

The conventional technique used to reduce fan tones like this is a silencer – a large, palliative silencer that doesn’t tackle the source of the problem. Not only can these reduce the system efficiency, but they may also require additional lagging and regular cleaning to maintain performance. Moreover, fitting silencers would seem a long winded process to a company used to the pace of change in Formula One.

Red Bull looked for an alternative and found it in our aerodynamic fan noise control technology.The aerodynamic inserts were designed, manufactured and installed inside the fan casing within a pit-stop window of a few hours. The effect was dramatic. The 218Hz low frequency tone was reduced by a factor of around 1000 (a new record for the technique), completely eliminating the problem at source for the lifetime of the fan, without maintenance and without affecting fan efficiency.

“We felt that there had to be a better way to reduce the fan noise other than by compromising the system efficiency and creating additional long term maintenance” said Terry Brice of Red Bull Technology. “The INVC technique not only produced a fantastic result, but it’s also very satisfying as an elegant engineering solution”.

This fan noise control technique is the best available technology for a wide range of problems. It is not only faster to fit and substantially lower cost than traditional silencing, but it is usually self-financing due to the gains in efficiency and reduced energy use compared with conventional silencing.