Gas and Steam Turbines noise considerations and solutions
Electrical power consumption has increased rapidly in the past years and consequently, the need for many large power plants has increased. A form of power generation that has emerged is the gas turbine, which has a wide range of applications such as pipeline transmissions of fuels (gas compressors and liquid pumpers), process power plants, peak load electrical power generation, and more recently baseload electrical power generation utilizing a combined cycle of steam and gas. Parallel to this rapid industrial growth and in reaction against it, concern for the protection of the environment has grown, manifesting itself through the issuance of ordinances and recommendations on local, national, and international levels.
Turbines generated noise types
In a standard modular unit, there are various noise sources, here classified into 5 groups according to the location where they are generated: Aerodynamic, Magnetic, Mechanical, Combustion, and Hydraulic:
The origin of this noise is the direct excitation of the air or gas by a flowing medium or the interaction of the flow with fixed or movable obstacles within the turbines themselves. This type of noise usually comes from:
- Gas Valves
Although these noises do not always constitute a major source in the overall noise generated by a power station, their presence is not tolerated because of the pure tone at 100 Hz of their sound power. These noises result from alternating magnetic forces due to electrical current and involve in general the generator and the transformer.
The mechanical noise that does occur results from a slight unbalance bearing friction, rotational impulses, and torque transmission, in the case of load gear. However, due to the quality of the rotating components and the precision manufacturing required for gas turbines, low sound emissions are generated.
The average low vibration levels measured at the installations underscore the general manufacturing quality of this equipment.
Combustion noises, rich in low frequencies, depending on different turbine’s assets: the quantity of the heat released, the geometry of the flame, the nature of the fuel, and the type of fuel nozzle used.
The generation mechanism of this type of noise is the same as for aerodynamic noises with the additional problem of possible cavitation. The high-pressure fuel pump and the flow divider constitute point power sources close to 110 dBA. At some representative complexes, it was observed that their noise was conducted along with the fuel piping, which acted as a line source.
The large number and variety of noise sources force plant operators to face hard challenges when trying to find a comprehensive solution for noise coming from gas (or steam) turbines.
Soundproofing your Turbine
The easiest solution would be to wrap the equipment with an acoustic enclosure and solve the problem right at the source. It might not be as easy as it sounds, acoustic enclosures are not standard products and are often customized on clients/equipment needs. Not just that, noise control plans are inclined to be comprehensive for the operation complex as a whole and not just for the turbine itself.
Due to the vast amount of noise sources within the turbine and the variety of noise types that they spring, the most cost-effective approach is a comprehensive noise program, to take place with a specialized partner able to provide custom and complete soundproofing solutions.
Selecting a trustable partner that is specialized in specific products in the field of power plant noise reduction is the ideal answer to the challenges you are facing. Approaching the consultation path with a leading industrial and environmental noise control manufacturer is the quickest and most effective way to solve complex noise mitigation challenges.
Stopson Italiana has worked nationally and internationally for 50+ years with plant processing engineers and their consulting teams to provide accurate and cost-efficient, site-wide noise assessments and mitigation solutions for industrial sectors such as Power Generation plants.
Stopson Italiana solutions
Stopson Italiana represents an A-Z solution to control noise in Power plants. Innovative engineering and design solutions deal with practical challenges when implementing our soundproofing systems.
Working on-site with HSE, Operation, and Plant Managers, we believe that effective noise control is a cooperative process between Stopson Italiana and our clients. From initial assessment and noise sources identification to the final result, we provide tailor-made noise control solutions that fulfill the needs of our customers and their industries.
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