Chiller systems - reduce noise, not performance
The Majid Al Futtaim Group, leading property developers across the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia obtained the services of Terra Firma Trading LLC. and Pyrotek to design and specify a solution to mitigate the high levels of noise generated by a large air-conditioning chiller unit for an opulent 3-storey residential villa in Dubai.
Four large chiller units were located within close vicinity of the residential complex, so it was essential for the chillers to remain discrete, aesthetically pleasing, and tranquil, without disturbing the residence or surrounding neighbors.
The chillers were the largest noise source on the premises, if left untreated, the constant hum and drone generated by the HVAC systems, would be difficult to control. Alleviating such noise can be difficult and challenging.
The four large chiller units where firstly surrounded by four large block walls, to contain the noise within a manageable area. The material to be used as lining needed to withstand outdoor weather elements, have the highest noise absorption rating, have a design life of greater than 25 years and blend in with the opulent surrounding of the development.
Pyrotek offered a unique, eco-friendly solution with a higher sound absorption coefficient, specifically engineered for challenging outdoor environments: Reapor® acoustic panels.
Approved by the structural consultants for the project, Reapor was installed on the walls surrounding the chiller units to provide maximum noise absorption, preventing the hum from the HVAC system disturbing the residence or surrounding neighbors. The unique composition using a patented process results in exceptionally high noise reduction: recycled glass granules are fused together, and noise is absorbed both between, and within the granules.
Weather conditions do not negatively affect the material as wet panels will drain freely and dry in the sun. The non-combustible, lightweight, fiber-free, and the stone-like appearance of the panels, makes it a perfect addition to any modern design for a seamless aesthetic finish.
Reapor’s additional advantage is also its ease of installation. It can be cut, drilled, and routed using standard tools, enabling easy installation around obstacles. Using a high-quality single component joint sealant Fix15, also available from Pyrotek, the panels were bonded to the wall substrate reaching a high adhesive strength with no primer required.
The high performance of Reapor, combined with the design of the structure, allows easy access to the chiller units for regular maintenance without losing the noise absorption property of the system.
The installation of Reapor panels has dramatically improved sound absorption within the chiller yard. The original sound levels were measured at 94 dBA, 10 metres from the chiller units. This was reduced to an impressive 55 dBA, essentially reducing the noise level by more than 50%, a result not only complying with government noise regulations, but also being below the specified noise levels. Pyrotek, through creative innovations, has secured a functional and at the same time aesthetically appealing environment for the residents of the villa, preventing any noise disruptions to homes nearby.