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Numerical acoustic modelling of a ventilation unit by 3D FEM and application to the design of an ANC feedforward system.

Strong insulation in modern buildings and housing requires efficient ventilation systems. A popular solution is a decentralized system with one ventilation unit per room, but the noise emitted by such a unit then has a major impact on the comfort. In this research, it is intended to equip an existing ventilation unit with an active noise control (ANC) system to reduce its low-frequency noise emissions. The ANC system will be hosted in an additional duct deporting the air inlet aperture approximately one meter away from its original position. The one-channel feedforward ANC system has a reference microphone located between the fan and the anti-noise loudspeaker and an error microphone at the duct's end. The transfer functions have been computed by a 3D FEM solver, between the fan and several reference and error microphone locations. Several combinations of reference/error microphone positions were then tested regarding the possible active attenuation of a white noise emitted by the primary source. Optimal control by the ANC controller was assumed, the optimal filter being computed with the help of the corresponding transfer functions. Theoretical attenuations were obtained and optimal positions were finally defined for the two microphones of the ANC system. The first results are finally discussed in this paper and raise some questions regarding the influence of the noise spectrum on the attenuations obtained.