A test for rating indirect evaporative coolers will serve as the standard by which American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) compares equipment. Published by the Atlanta-based society, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 143-2000 provides test methods and calculation procedures for establishing cooling capacities and power requirements for equipment. According to Robert Acker, chair of the committee that wrote the standard, no such testing standards existed previously.

"The completion of the standard should provide the basis for more consistently rated products and encourage growth of evaporative cooling as a viable technology in the future," Acker stated.

The standard can be used to produce ratings in connection with rating standards from other organizations, including the Evaporate Cooling Institute. Cost is $20. To order "Method of Test for Rating Indirect Evaporative Coolers," contact ASHRAE customer service at (800) 527-4723; fax (404) 321-5478 or visit www.ashrae.org.