Case Studies

Essroc Cement Plant

Location: Picton, Ontario, Canada
Owner/Operator: Essroc

HGC Engineering assisted Essroc with investigating noise complaints received from members of the community surrounding their cement plant in Picton, Ontario, Canada. The concerns, raised primarily by residents located approximately 1.7 kilometres from the plant across open water, began following the commissioning of a new clinker cooler heat exchanger, equipped with 16 axial fans. Sound emissions from the fans exhibited a pronounced audible tone (related to the blade-pass frequency of the fans, which is a function of the number of blades and rotational speed of each fan assembly), which made them distinctly audible in the surrounding community.

Comprehensive acoustical measurements were conducted by HGC Engineering, both of the heat exchanger fans at the Essroc plant, as well as in the surrounding community, including deployment of automatic sound level monitors. The source measurements of the fans were used to develop a 3D acoustical model of the Essroc site and surrounding area, which was used to investigate noise control options in order to reduce offsite sound levels and audibility of the heat exchanger fans.

Ultimately, a combination of low-noise fans, specially designed to minimize noise generated by turbulence across the blade surface and vortex shedding at the trailing edge, as well as variable frequency drives (to control the speed of the fans) were installed. The resulting reduction in both community sound levels and audibility of the heat exchanger fans was sufficient to resolve the concerns of neighbouring residents.

Acoustical Engineering Services Included:

  • Comprehensive onsite and offsite acoustical measurements
  • Predictive acoustical modeling
  • Noise control recommendations
  • Post-abatement noise control acceptance testing & Acoustic Survey





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