Gas transmission companies are sometimes disappointed with the results of efforts to control noise from reciprocating and centrifugal compressor packages, including new compressor station designs and retrofit programs. In an effort to begin to standardize noise control equipment specifications and performance testing procedures, the PRCI undertook a project to develop a series of “Guidelines” for implementing engineering noise control designs for compressor station equipment. The project was sponsored by the PRC International (PRCI). The project report consists of eleven stand-alone Guidelines that can be used by gas transmission companies to develop their own noise control specifications for major compressor station equipment. The intent of the Guidelines is to maintain traditional vendor/sub-vendor roles between compressor packagers and component manufacturers while maintaining the practice of vendor design - vendor guarantee. The noise control requirements can be verified by pre-establishing field performance testing methods. Specific field performance testing methods for various typical mechanical equipment are provided in each Guideline.
The Guidelines are structured to draw a distinction between mechanical equipment components which are noise generators, sound attenuators or acoustic radiators, as each requires a different specification format. To fulfill this aspect, a high temperature microphone probe was researched, developed and tested. This piece of hardware, along with the developed measurement methodology, allows optional diagnostical testing of the engine exhaust noise component of compressor station noise. These diagnostics can assist in isolating the noise generated by the engine versus the attenuation provided by the exhaust silencer. The measurement procedures do not require silencer removal from the package or equipment shutdown to test, which thus reduces testing costs.