Industrial Noise & Vibration Centre

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Technical Notes - Environmental Noise

These are detailed technical notes describing what constitutes "best practice" for each topic.

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E-analysis: noise diagnosis and control by email

71Hz 75Hz environmental noise tone identification

Environment Agencies (EAs), environmental health (EHOs), noise consultants and organisations in many countries regularly use our free online noise diagnosis and control best practice service to eliminate time-consuming hassles. All you need to access unique expertise and technology that reduces time and resources spent on projects by an order of magnitude is a smartphone on-site.

E-analysis: this approach not only cuts typical noise project investigation and resolution time from months or years down to a few weeks - or even a matter of days (our current record is 2 days from initial contact to noise control implemented and problem solved), it also reduces noise control costs by 50% - 80%.

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You can take a "virtual noise expert" to site anywhere via Whatsapp "telepresence" to provide instant feedback and analysis.

E.g. for a suspected chiller noise problem: "Record now at the site boundary, then move close to the plant and record again. Ok, there are 2 series of tones. Check the fan speed and take a close-up. Ok, the low-frequency tone is fan blade pass and the higher frequency tones are from the compressor. The former would be an £800 fix that would improve efficiency and the latter around £1k."

Regulators and consultants routinely send smartphone data from site visits for a free expert opinion. We can usually provide source identification and costed noise control options based on current best practice within 1 or 2 days.

Get more detailed information and case studies about the remote noise analysis and control options >

  • chiller fan
  • compressor

Chiller noise control

Chiller unit noise control

Sound file: typical chiller low-frequency noise reduction,

The noise from chillers, air conditioning plant, condensing units, HVAC, heat exchangers, dry coolers etc provides a host of opportunities to waste resources on inappropriate noise control measures that either don't work or that reduce efficiency - or both. In our experience, a substantial proportion of the noise reduction measures used on these units (acoustic enclosures, silencers and barriers) are simply ineffective as they address the wrong problem.

There are only 3 types of noise generated by these systems: broadband air noise, compressor tones and low-frequency fan hum. The hum, for example, cannot be addressed using silencers and barriers, and yet these are often mistakenly fitted at great capital and running cost (reduced efficiency).

10 minutes with a smartphone is all it takes to avoid costly mistakes by determining which sources require treatment and what is the best noise control option for the particular problem. Anyone can do this.

This approach not only dramatically reduces typical noise reduction project costs, but it can even substantially improve system efficiency (by 23% on one data centre application). Find out how best to reduce the noise from chiller, condensing, cooler and related units here >

  • cooling tower

Cooling tower noise attenuation

Cooling tower noise reduction - gearbox

The key to effective cooling tower noise reduction is accurate diagnosis. Far too often, noise control measures are selected without a clear understanding of -

  • the type of noise problem: is it simply the overall dB(A) level or is there tonal character such as a low-frequency hum?
  • the source of the noise: fan (broadband or tonal); falling water; pumps (often tonal) and/or gearbox noise (tonal)

As a result, far too many noise control projects end in costly failure or go through a number of iterations before the problem is solved. Accurate diagnosis is not rocket science. Forward a few photographs and a smartphone video clip to us by email and we can provide a precise and accurate remote noise control diagnosis plus the optimum costed noise control options within an hour. At no cost.

There is also new low-cost aerodynamic technology that cuts the noise from cooling tower fans whilst often improving efficiency (unlike silencers and barriers that reduce efficiency).

Find out details of the best options to control the noise from cooling towers here >

Our fan technology is saving megawatts per day

environmental noise control

Across the world, organisations using our aerodynamic fan noise control technology are currently saving megawatts of power as a result of the efficiency gains they have realised, compared with both conventional noise reduction technologies and in some cases, compared with unmodified fans.

Coupled with our remote control of noise services that do not require site visits in order to diagnose and implement best practice in noise control (avoiding flight and other transport carbon costs), a key objective is to use our innovative technologies to help clients to reduce their carbon footprints and thereby to render INVC a carbon-negative consultancy.

  • noise control
  • noise analysis
  • environmental noise
  • EHO
  • environment agency
  • environmental vibration
  • remote control

EHO and EA - learn faster, simpler noise problem solving

noise in the environment

We provide extensive specialist technical support, information and training on noise and vibration to both regulators (Local Authorities (EHO) and Environment Agencies (EA)) and to industry. As we regularly deal with the same noise and vibration problems encountered, we have probably solved your problem already.

Our acclaimed range of EHO / EA specific noise workshops can help transfer time saving best practice techniques and technology in-house. This approach typically reduces the time to resolve noise complaint and other problems from months or years down to weeks - or even as little as days in some cases... This dramatically reduces the resources spent (freeing them up for other work) and also the time that local residents spend suffering unnecessary stress from unacceptable environmental noise.

We provide a worldwide service via the internet and smartphone technology. Make use of our Remote Control of noise service for a free 2nd opinion and evaluation of best practice - or contact us for advice.

Best Practicable Means / Best Available Technology evaluation service

Complaints or noise nuisance: how do you determine what constitutes “best practicable means” to mitigate. Companies employ consultants to generate reports claiming the cost of mitigation is too high to be practicable. In most cases, the suggested noise reduction technology is not best practice. Our definitions of low-cost BPM are game changers for regulators as problems can usually be resolved within weeks, saving time, resources and money.

We are quite happy to provide definitive definitions of what constitutes BPM/BAT with complete technical justifications, in court if necessary.

Noise and vibration training workshops

We provide very effective training for EHOs and Environment Agencies, from workshops to full CIEH environmental noise competency (some councils have profited from hosting in-house versions by inviting other authorities). These include:-

  • BPM / BAT noise workshop
  • Fan noise control masterclass
  • Venue noise assessment workshop
  • Noise recording and analysis workshop

The Delegate View: “one of the most relevant and informative courses in a long time..” .. “I’d hate to come up against you in court! .. the best value seminar we’ve ever been on” – “standard of presentation was excellent .. humorous and entertaining .. highly recommended”

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