New ASHRAE Data Center Cooling Standard Will Get Additional Review

May 4, 2016
The data center industry will have one more opportunity to offer feedback on a new energy efficiency standard for data center cooling. ASHRAE, the leading standards group for cooling professionals, has opened a fourth round of comments on ASHRAE Standard 90.4.

The data center industry will have one more opportunity to offer feedback on a new energy efficiency standard for data center cooling.

ASHRAE, the leading standards group for cooling professionals, has opened a fourth round of comments on ASHRAE Standard 90.4, which has been under development for more than a year. Data center executives have expressed concern that the new rules on cooling could create expensive headaches for data center operators. Officials from ASHRAE say they are working with key players in the data center sector, and are eager to ensure that the standards reflect best practices.

“This standard impacts a specialized discipline so feedback from that industry is critical,” said Ron Jarnagin, committee chair for standard 90.4. “The data center industry responded to the three public reviews thus far with more than 1,000 comments, which have guided us as we move toward publication. We are hopeful we will approve a final standard at the ASHRAE 2016 Annual Conference taking place this summer (June 25-29).”

Open Through May 29

The new comment period began on April 29 and will continue until May 29, the group said. The draft standard is available on the ASHRAE web site.

The standard applies to new data centers, upgrades to existing data centers, and “modifications to systems and equipment in existing Data Centers or portions thereof.” The rules do not apply to telecom exchanges or IT equipment. ASHRAE notes that use of water in cooling is outside the scope of the Standard 90.4 document.

For a full review of the ASHRAE standards, see our special report, Examining the Proposed ASHRAE 90.4 Standard

For those tracking the process, the third round of comments led to the following revisions:

  • Revised the definition of incoming electrical service point
  • Deleted exception 2 to 4.2.1.2, Additions to Existing Data Centers
  • Corrected equations in 6.2.1.1 and 6.2.1.2. to correctly express peak power in all cases
  • Deleted 3B Coast from Tables 6.2.1.1 and 6.2.1.2. o ensure alignment with ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 169-2013, Climatic Data for Building Design Standards
  • Added section that describes the process for establishing Verification of Equipment Efficiencies to Section 6 and 8.
  • Corrected Equations in Compliance Section 11.2.1.
  • Revised Section 11.3, to indicate how compliance can be demonstrated through modeling of shared systems between ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, and 90.4 spaces -updated references in Section 12 for Standard 90.1 and ASHRAE’s “Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments.”

To comment upon the draft document, go to the ASHRAE public review database and hit the “click here” button. That brings you to a page with a lengthy list of standards documents for public review. The list beneath that heading includes a link for “BSR/ASHRAE Standard 90.4P Energy Standard for Data Centers and Telecommunications Buildings (Second Public Review Draft).” Click this link to download the draft of Standard 90.4.

Comments must follow ASHRAE’s guidelines, which are outlined in a PDF document.

ASHRAE develops standards for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration that provide guidance for local officials in towns and cities across America. These inspection and code enforcement officials – known broadly as “authorities having jurisdiction” or AHJs – wield tremendous influence over construction projects.

For additional backgroundprevious articles: ASHRAE Standards: Where Cooling and Controversy Collide and ASHRAE Begins 45-Day Review for New Data Center Cooling Standard.

About the Author

Rich Miller

I write about the places where the Internet lives, telling the story of data centers and the people who build them. I founded Data Center Knowledge, the data center industry's leading news site. Now I'm exploring the future of cloud computing at Data Center Frontier.

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