World Financial Center - Manhattan



Achieve reduced maintenance cost, Energy cost savings due to reduced pump work and decreased approach temperature of existing chiller plant. 


The project began in 2003 with an analysis of the ongoing deficiency associated with the existing plate and frame heat exchangers in the chiller plant on the lower level of Four World Financial Center - North Tower. The plant utilizes 10 Plate and Frame heat exchangers, 10,000GPM each to cool condenser water. The heat exchangers use cold river water on one side and hot condenser water on the other.

After performing several performance tests on the existing plate and frame heat exchangers between 2003 and 2005, the specifying engineer concluded that the existing plate and frame heat exchangers are not performing as designed. There are two major areas of deficiency:

1. The approach temperature or the temperature difference between the hot and cold inlet/outlet temperatures should be roughly 2 to 3 degrees. Field test results indicated a much higher approach temperature.

2. The pressure drop across the river water side of the Plate and Frame heat exchanger should be 11.14 psig (25.6 ft of head). Field test results indicated a much higher pressure drop. In some cases the pressure drop exceeded 27 psi (62.4 ft of head), more than twice the design pressure drop.

3. Existing PHE’s were replaced by new SONDEX units.


Ten new Sondex titanium 10,000 GPM plate heat exchangers were installed on March 26th, 2009. The heat exchangers performed within 5% of the design conditions. The test resulted in a pressure drop of nearly half of any of the other test results recorded on any of the existing heat exchangers in the plant.