Test Code for Measurement of Sound from Water Cooling Towers

While cooling towers are a necessary piece of equipment for industries all over the world, noise pollution is a growing concern. As industrial development continues to expand, noise ordinances are becoming stricter and are being closely monitored. Measuring sound emissions from your cooling towers is the best way to know how much your facility is contributing to the noise pollution in your area, and if you’re following these ordinances. In this blog, we’ll discuss:

  • Why you need to measure sound emissions

  • Testing requirements

  • Testing procedures

  • Test reports

Why You Need to Measure Sound Emissions

There are two fundamental reasons to measure sound emissions from a cooling tower:

  • To make sure equipment is compliant with occupational safety regulations

  • Making sure cooling towers don’t exceed the maximum sound pressure levels

  • To predict how much sound cooling towers contribute to the overall sound level of a facility

  • Facilities must ensure their sound levels don’t exceed certain boundaries and increase noise pollution in residential areas

Testing Requirements

Sound measurement tests must be conducted by a CTI Licensed Test Agency in order to be deemed compliant. Authorized representatives of the manufacturer will be invited to witness the test, and should inspect the tower in advance to prepare for it. All compliance tests should be conducted within 18 months after structural completion of the tower, unless otherwise stated in the contractual agreement.

Testing Procedures

In a sound measurement test, the testing agency will use certified sound test instruments to measure sound pressure levels. These measurements are taken with all fans operating at full speed and with the water flow being distributed to all cells.

Test Report

Once the testing is complete, a test report will be given to the facility that includes the following information:

Code Compliance

A statement that the test was conducted and the instruments used were in accordance with the test code will be provided.

Tower Description

A written description of the tower will be included in the test report. It will describe the conditions of installation and operation, as well as:

  • Air relative humidity

  • Dry bulb

  • Barometric pressure

  • Water flow rate

  • Heat load

  • Fan power

  • Fan speed

  • Wind velocity

Site Sketch

Also included in the testing report is a dimensional sketch of the test site, showing the location of the tower and significant structures in the immediate vicinity.

Instruments Used

The make, model and serial number of each instrument used will be written in the test report.


All parties that were present at the test will be recorded.

Test Data Authentication

A statement of findings, including signatures of the test team on the data sheet, will be included.

How Can CTI Assist With Your Cooling Tower Needs?

Cooling Technology Institute has published a plethora of papers about various cooling topics. CTI is also an advocate in promoting the use of environmentally responsible Evaporative Heat Transfer Systems (EHTS), cooling towers, and cooling technology for the benefit of the public. Additionally, CTI is an independent, third-party thermal performance testing to help participating manufacturers and owners/operators achieve the best performance from their cooling towers. Visit our website today for more information on cooling technologies!

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