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ASHRAE developing data centre energy standard

Seeks comments on purposed standard and is open for public review

| | Dec 3, 2013 | 10:23 am
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Seeks comments on purposed standard and is open for public review

Sharing the view that high plug loads and rapidly advancing IT technology make data centre applications significantly different from their commercial building counterparts, ASHRAE has announced that it is developing Standard 90.4P, Energy Standard for Data Centers and Telecommunications Buildings. It is reportedly a purposed standard being developed in response to requests to recognise the energy performance profiles unique to data centres, and specifically addresses their unique energy requirements.

ASHRAE highlighted that Standard 90.4P is open for advisory public review from November 15 to December 30 and added that more information is available at: www.ashrae.org/publicreviews.

Stating the rationale behind the new standard, Chair Ron Jarnagin explained that previously, data centres were included in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. However, Standard 90.4P would feature a performance-based approach that was more flexible and accommodating of innovative changes, that occur in the data centre design, construction and operations.

“The explicit needs of data centers drive a fundamentally different approach to regulating minimum efficiency requirements for the electrical and mechanical systems that support the plug loads,” Jarnagin said. “By using an approach that requires compliance to a ‘system’ level of performance, designers and end-users can utilise various trade-offs in their optimisation strategies depending on their company specific business models.”

ASHRAE further added that current industry modelling tools did not possess all the necessary mathematical models to accurately and appropriately model data centre HVAC and power design. As a result, demonstrating compliance to the 90.1 Chapter 11 or energy cost budget approaches was not always a practical option, it said. Instead, Standard 90.4P reportedly proposes to utilise a performance compliance path known as the Power Utilization Efficiency (PUE) developed by The Green Grid.

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