In today’s power plants, it’s critical to safely depressurize systems and release steam to have a healthy operation. The speed of the release can result in a huge amount of noise. This noise pollution can be dangerous to workers and those nearby the plant. To reduce the level of noise, power plants utilize steam vent silencers.

Like any other part of the power plant, steam vent silencers do have the potential to fail or malfunction. While these important pieces of equipment are often evaluated during scheduled plant inspections, there may be cause to have them inspected sooner than that.

What is a Steam Vent Silencer?

Steam vent silencers are pieces of equipment that power plants and other industrial sites use to reduce noise levels. They are a combination of absorptive and reactive type silencers. Steam vent silencers are designed to reduce the noise level produced by the discharge of steam or gas from an elevated pressure level into the atmosphere. Because the steam or gas flows through the valve at high speeds, it generates a high level of noise, which is why it is crucial that the silencers work effectively. Otherwise, managers and engineers will need to address the noise pollution created to prevent hazardous conditions for workers and the surrounding area. Doing so should begin with a thorough inspection of the steam vent silencers to determine what actions need to be taken.

What is Involved in a Steam Vent Silencer Inspection?

The purpose of the inspection is to determine the condition of the steam vent silencers. Based on the findings and subsequent analysis, a proper recommendation is made detailing the action required to maintain the steam vents in good and functional condition.

The inspection is visual, using appropriate equipment and machinery to allow inspectors to closely view external parts (man lift, scaffolding, etc.). The interior inspection is completed using a video camera.

The inspection includes:

  • Check the silencer support brackets for degradation or corrosion.
  • Check the silencer support bracket welds for any crack or damage.
  • Check the outer shell for corrosion or degradation.
  • Check outer shell for cracks or material thinning.
  • Check the inlet pipe connection for missing or loose bolts.
  • Check inlet pipe welding.
  • Check the inlet pipe for corrosion.
  • Check drainage pipe.
  • Utilizing the video camera, check the silencer baffle condition:
    • Baffle frame
    • Baffle perforated sheets
    • Baffle support
  • Using a video camera, check the critical parts of the diffuser basket:
    • Check the weld between the diffuser base plate and the inlet pipe.
    • Check the weld between the diffuser basket and base plate.
    • Check the diffuser perforated plates for corrosion, cracks, degradation, etc.
    • Check the diffuser cap condition, welds to the diffuser basket, corrosion, etc.
  • Check exterior paint.

Upon completion of the inspection, each area receives a rating that indicates that the part(s) are in good condition and there is no action required, there is mild damage that requires monitoring, or there is severe damage that requires immediate repair or replacement.

Do Your Plant’s Steam Vent Silencers Need an Inspection?

SVI Dynamics designs and installs advanced solutions for industrial power and process plants’ noise control needs. If you need a comprehensive steam vent silencer inspection at your plant, contact us today to schedule a time for our team to come to your site.