ATLANTA - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) issued a news release noting that it has received numerous comments and questions concerning its earlier news release relating to research project RP 1361, Biological Control in Cooling Towers Using Non-Chemical Water Treatment Devices. ASHRAE stated that, after careful consideration, it has decided to rescind the original release pending further review. (Click hereforThe NEWS’Breaking News story on the original announcement.)

ASHRAE noted that the cognizant Technical Committee, TC 3.6 Water Treatment, which sponsored and is responsible for the project, has not yet reviewed the final report. TC 3.6 expects to complete its review, including voting on whether to recommend approval of the final report, within the next 30-60 days. In addition, the prior release referenced Legionella though the project’s Statement of Work did not include protocols for testing for Legionella.

ASHRAE said RP 1361, as is typical of experimental research projects, did not involve actual full-scale cooling towers operating in a working cooling system. Rather, researchers constructed a very small Plexiglas model of a cooling tower, fully complying with the proposal submitted by the researcher and approved by TC 3.6. ASHRAE commented that there are significant variances between the preliminary results of the study and actual field results recorded by non-chemical device manufacturers. This is one aspect of the study that will be reviewed by TC 3.6 and may indicate the need for further research.

Regardless of the type of water treatment used, ASHRAE recommends that owners of cooling and refrigeration systems conduct routine testing to evaluate whether the water treatment is working effectively.

Publication date:05/10/2010