Energy Saving - Acoustically and Energetically Optimized Solutions for Air and Air-Conditioning Technology

Montage von Schalldämpfern im Abluftschacht einer großen Lackieranlage. Robuste und hoch wirksame Schalldämpfer minimieren den Druckverlust und sparen Energie.
© Fraunhofer IBP

Blick in den Abluftschacht einer großen Lackieranlage. Robuste und hoch wirksame Schalldämpfer minimieren den Druckverlust und sparen Energie.
© Fraunhofer IBP

Energy consumption and noise generation of ventilation systems in buildings are assessed in different ways according to the point of view or point of time. As concerns the decision for investigations the reduction of energy consumption is an obvious reason fo amortisation. Expenditure for noise reduction, however, is "only" cost-intensive. After a certain period of operation the assessment frequently goes into reverse. Users of ventilated rooms or neighbours of industrial ventilation systems may be aware of the energy efficiency but noise caused by ventilation systems is perceived as an immediate as well as constant nuisance. 

Noise and acoustic boundary conditions have an impact on health, well-being and performance in work and living rooms. Therefore, guidelines and standards must be observed as in case of other room characteristics i.e. light, room climate and air quality. Whereas energy saving bulbs and energy efficient air-conditioning systems became already self-evident, there is still a significant savings potential for sound-reducing components. They are barriers to air circulation and to overcome them means a great amount of energy in form of a higher performance of ventilators. The relation of savings potential and size of the systems is not constant, since the great variety of systems entails acoustic as well as energetic differences. The energy savings pool, however, comprises all systems and many components, from filters, heat exchangers and fire dampers to real silencers.

A practical example: Only by replacing conventional silences by innovative silencers developed by the Fraunhofer IBP it was possible to reduce noise pollution by large industrial exhaust ventilation system as well as to achieve annual energy savings of more than € 500 000. Innovative silencers combine a high and adjusted noise attenuation effect with a low pessure loss. The high amount of energy savings fo this kind of exhaust ventilation system is certainly unusual due to the size of the systems, but it is also possible to achieve cost-efficient synergy effects for smaller systems. If we consider many existing systems, it becomes evident that the balance of technical additional expenditure and additional value due to acoustically and energetically increased efficiency is already positive with regard to current energy price.

Energy savers and ear protectors need the tools and skills for planning and design. The software program compass (Computation of Absorptive Silencers) of the Fraunhofer IBP allows the acoustic and energetic design and optimization of silencers on the PC. This is also a way of silent and undisturbed energy saving.