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Compression and pipeline layouts create lots of noise

As much as many of us would like to change it, most of the world is still reliant on fossil fuels for energy. This includes oil, natural gas, and coal. Of the three, gas tends to be most popular because it can travel long distances in pipelines for a low cost. There are a number of issues to consider here though, particularly noise. We want to look at it, then if you want a discharge silencer or other noise control solutions, you can rely on us.

Catering for high demands

As demand for natural gas has grown, so too has the complexity of the pipelines. They can stretch across entire countries and feature hubs, compression stations, metering stations, and more.

There are two different ways to boost the capacity of natural gas pipelines to meet higher demands. The first is to increase the diameter of the pipes. It can allow more gas to travel through them. However, this option isn’t very popular because it can be costly.

The second, and favoured, method is to increase gas compression. You can up the pressure to push a higher volume of gas through the pipes. In some cases you can even get away with smaller diameter pipelines if you are willing to go for higher compression.


While compression is the most economic option, there is an issue to focus on. Compressing the gas can result in lots of noise. Compression stations in particular can be very loud. You tend to get high velocity jets at control valves here. This generates a lot of noise. In fact, in some cases it can be supersonic level. You may need solutions to tackle it, including a discharge silencer.

You can also have an issue with noise because the pipelines will need control and blowdown valves. They are more important with long lines, especially when you are compressing the gas. Their role is to open and release excess pressure to protect pipes from rupturing. However, the release is typically very noisy.

Finally, noise can also be an issue because of expanders. They are vital components for transitioning between a large pipe and a smaller valve. But, gas will expand in the outlet expanders. That can create a lot of noise.

Tackling the issue

There are a couple of ways to overcome the noise issue, including using discharge silencer equipment. One is to use pipes with thicker, heavier walls or using acoustic lagging. However, that can be costly and uneconomical for long pipelines. Generally, operators choose to bury the pipes instead.

A good option for compression, metering and regulating stations is to install buildings around them. You can then have acoustic noise reduction materials in the fabric of the structures. But, you must ensure there won’t be safety issues if there is ever a gas leak.

Typically the best practice is to increase the frequency of the noise by making discharge jets smaller in valves. This can help take advantage of the noise insulating properties of the pipes.

Reducing the velocity of discharges is a good idea too. It can lower the magnitude of the noise. Think about doing this at all control valves.

Speak to us if you want a discharge silencer

Ventx is the UK’s best industrial noise specialist. We appreciate that all kinds of operations can be noisy and hazardous. It could be pipelines, production machinery, or even things like autoclaves or steam boilers. Our goal is to deliver solutions to help reduce the sound and make everything safer.

So, if you want to discuss your noise issues with us to see if a discharge silencer or different model would help, please get in touch.



For more information on Compression and pipeline layouts create lots of noise talk to Ventx Limited

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