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3D Acoustic Modelling for Permitting Application


Delta-Simons is a multi-disciplinary environmental and health and safety consultancy providing trusted Environmental Planning advice and solutions to ‘Protect People and Planet’ through facilitating sustainable development. Our specialist noise and vibration team was commissioned to provide an update to an existing permit for new plant proposed on a food processing / anaerobic-digestion / energy generation site. In order to complete this work, a 3D acoustic model of both the existing and proposed operations was required.

Contract Challenges

The previous permitting applications were several years old and did not contain all of the information required to be able to construct a 3D acoustic model of the site. It was therefore decided to complete a baseline noise survey of both site operations and existing background sound levels around the site.

As part of this, an acoustic camera was used to ascertain effective source height information for various plant items and stacks around the site. The recently published Environment Agency Method Implementation Document (MID) for BS 4142 ‘Methods for Rating and Assessing Industrial and Commercial Sound’, states a preference for measurement in situ rather than relying on manufacturers’ data. As such an acoustic camera allows for more accurate data on current operational sound levels, representative of equipment that may not be operating as new or as originally intended.

Our Solution

Acoustic cameras are a recent development in the field of acoustic imaging and have emerged as a powerful tool for investigating and visualising the sound field in various applications. These cameras consist of an array of microphones that capture the sound waves in a specific area of interest, which is then processed to create an image of the acoustic sources.

This approach allowed the team to determine exactly what sound sources were producing what noise levels, in what locations, and at what frequencies, within an acoustically complex industrial site. This greatly aided investigative work, as well as having many other applications from diagnostics to design.

Acoustic cameras are a technology that provides a powerful tool for visualizing and localizing acoustic sources in various applications. With continued research and development, acoustic cameras will continue to advance and find new applications in various fields of acoustics, allowing us to gather more information about site operations that were previously practicable.

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