Case history: Noise control approaches for an air-compressor in a fuel-cell auxiliary power unit

Vikrant Palan, W. Steve Shepard, Teik C. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This case history examined the application of passive noise control measures to a fuel-cell air compressor. The air compressor was one of the dominant noise sources in a prototype auxiliary power unit developed for heavy-duty truck applications. The objective was to experimentally evaluate and compare the effectiveness of several practical noise control approaches. A test system was developed so that the supply voltage and the compressor output flow conditions could be simultaneously adjusted. By this approach, a wide array of compressor operating conditions was investigated. Specific noise control approaches included wrapping with fiberglass insulation, surrounding the compressor with an enclosure containing sound-absorbing material on the interior surfaces, identifying and isolating sources of sound on the suction or low-pressure side of the compressor, applying viscoelastic damping material to parts of the structure, and installing a muffler on the compressor suction inlet. The design of reactive and dissipative mufflers for suppressing flow noise is discussed. The experimental results demonstrated that by implementing the selected noise-control approaches the A-weighted sound level at a representative location could be reduced by up to 4 dB with a reduction of up to 10 dB in the A-weighted one-third-octave-band sound pressure level in the 800-Hz frequency band containing the principal tonal component of the spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-209
Number of pages13
JournalNoise Control Engineering Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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