Cooling Tower Installation Requirements in NYC - New York City
Updated: Dec 31, 2022
Section 908 Cooling Towers, Evaporative Condensers and Fluid Coolers
A cooling tower used in conjunction with an air-conditioning appliance shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Cooling towers, evaporative condensers and fluid coolers shall be provided with ready access.
Cooling towers, evaporative condensers and fluid coolers shall be located to prevent the discharge vapor plumes from entering occupied spaces. Plume discharges shall be not less than 5 feet (1524 mm) above or 20 feet (6096 mm) away from any ventilation inlet to a building. Location on the property shall be as required for buildings in accordance with the New York City Building Code.
Cooling towers, evaporative condensers and fluid coolers located inside of buildings shall be constructed of noncombustible materials including fill and drift eliminators.
Cooling towers shall be constructed of noncombustible materials.
1. Fill and drift eliminators of limited combustible materials may be considered noncombustible if the cooling towers are provided with automatic sprinkler protection in compliance with Chapter 9 of the New York City Building Code.
2. Fill and drift eliminators for any individual cooling tower cell may be made of limited combustible materials provided all the following conditions are met:
2.1.The cooling tower is located on a building of construction Types IA or IB of the New York City Building Code.
2.2. The cooling tower cell is located at least 30 feet (9144 mm) away from windows or fresh air intakes which are at an elevation above the roof on which the cooling tower is located, whether in the same building or in an adjoining building.
2.3. The cooling tower cell is located not less than 15 feet (4572 mm) from the lot line.
2.4.The cooling tower cell is located not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from any chimney, except that the distance shall not be less than 20 feet (6096 mm) from a chimney venting products of combustion other than from gas- or oil-fired appliances, whether on the same or an adjoining building.
908.4 Support and Anchorage
Supports for cooling towers, evaporative condensers and fluid coolers shall be designed in accordance with the New York City Building Code. Seismic restraints shall be as required by the New York City Building Code. Adequate vibration isolation shall be provided in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines and as required for the supporting structure, and in accordance with Sections 313.3.7 and 313.3.8.
908.5 Water Supply
Cooling towers, evaporative condensers and fluid coolers shall be provided with an approved water supply, sized for peak demand. The quality of water shall be provided in accordance with the equipment manufacturer's recommendations. The piping system and protection of the potable water supply system shall be installed as required by the New York City Plumbing Code.
Drains, overflows and blowdown provisions shall be indirectly connected to an approved disposal location. Discharge of chemical waste shall be approved by the appropriate regulatory authority.
908.7 Refrigerants and Hazardous Fluids
Heat exchange equipment that contains a refrigerant and that is part of a closed refrigeration system shall comply with Chapter 11. Heat exchange equipment containing heat transfer fluids which are combustible or hazardous shall comply with the New York City Fire Code. Flammable heat transfer fluids are prohibited.
908.8 Cooling Towers
Cooling towers, both open circuit and closed circuit type, and evaporative condensers shall comply with Sections 908.8.1 and 908.8.2.
908.8.1 Conductivity or Flow-Based Control of Cycles of Concentration
Cooling towers and evaporative condensers shall include controls that automate system bleed based on conductivity, fraction of metered makeup volume, metered bleed volume, recirculating pump run time or bleed time.
908.8.2 Drift Eliminators
Cooling towers and evaporative condensers shall be equipped with drift eliminators that have a maximum drift rate of 0.005 percent of the circulated water flow rate as established in the equipment's design specifications.
908.9 Additional Requirements
The installation and maintenance of all cooling towers, evaporative condensers, and fluid coolers shall comply with the requirements of Article 317 of Chapter 3 of Title 1 of the Administrative Code.