Industrial Noise & Vibration Centre

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Steelworks Industrial Fan Noise Reduction – £1,000,000 cost savings

Tata steel gas fan stack noise attenuation

3 off, very large, 4-megawatt steelworks fans had been the cause of environmental noise issues for years. The problem was solved within months at a tiny fraction of the cost of attenuators by implementing our Quiet Fan technology aerodynamic fan noise reduction techniques. Fan power consumption was also reduced, making this a self-financing project.

We were awarded the annual Rushlight Noise Abatement Award for this project, an award that celebrates the organisations throughout UK and Ireland that have furthered environmental technology and innovation.

The fans generated a low-frequency hum (c173Hz) over a wide area. As the fan speeds varied, sophisticated resonator silencers were ruled-out and conventional attenuators would have imposed a very heavy penalty, not only in terms of capital and installation costs but also the increased running costs due to reduced fan efficiency. Tata approached us for a second opinion as to potential alternatives.

That second opinion saved more than a £million…

steelworks gas fan noise reduction without silencers

Our solution was to develop innovative retrofit aerodynamic modifications that were installed inside the fan casing, avoiding the need to modify either the existing ductwork or the stacks to fit silencers. This not only cut the capital cost dramatically but also reduced downtime from weeks to a weekend.

These modifications have eliminated the noise at source for the lifetime of the fans as they require no maintenance and have no effect on fan efficiency (unlike mufflers/attenuators).

The willingness of Tata to seek a second opinion reaped very substantial rewards compared with conventional silencing:-

Tata gas fans noise attenuation at 1500m
  • 94% + reduction in noise (12dB)
  • capital cost savings of over £800,000
  • substantial environmental benefits (carbon emissions)
  • c £200,000 saved each year on running costs (power and carbon) compared with silencers

“INVC’s modifications have brought about a huge reduction in fan noise, improving the environmental conditions across a wide area around the Plant. They’ve also saved us a large amount of money by negating the requirement for major capital expenditure, so it’s been a remarkably successful project.” – Grahame Wallace, Tata