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Published – 2011 Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments – Expanded Data Centre Classes and Usage Guidance

May 28, 2011 - In a new white paper, “2011 Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments – Expanded Data Centre Classes and Usage Guidance”, a roadmap has been outlined to “facilitate a significant increase in the operational hours during which economizer systems are able to be used, and to increase the opportunity for data centres to become ‘chillerless’, eliminating mechanical cooling systems entirely to realize improved power usage effectiveness (PUE)”.

May 28, 2011  By  Anthony Capkun

The major change introduced in the white paper is the addition of two new data centre classes. The classes have been added primarily for facilities that are willing to explore the tradeoffs associated with the additional energy saving of the cooling system through increased economizer usage and what that means in terms of the impact to IT equipment attributes such as reliability, internal energy, cost, performance, contamination, etc.

“This white paper is truly ground-breaking in that it achieves alignment between representatives of the major IT equipment manufacturers on wider environmental tolerances for IT equipment while providing guidance and a methodology for owners and operators to optimize the operating environment of their data centre based on the criteria most important to their business needs,” said Don Beaty, chair of the Publications Subcommittee for TC 9.9. “In order to most quickly meet the current demands of the industry, we are using a two-step approach to introduce this important information sooner rather than later. The information in this white paper will be incorporated into the third edition of the Thermal Guidelines publication.”

The white paper can be obtained from

The Green Grid created the PUE metric that is used to compare the total power to the IT power. The white paper was published by ASHRAE Technical Committee (TC) 9.9, Mission Critical Facilities, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment.

In other data centre-related news, the 3rd of ASHRAE’s “Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments” is scheduled for publication later this year.


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