Guidance on maintaining high reliability while operating data centers in the most energy-efficient manner possible is available in a new white paper published by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Technical Committee (TC) 9.9, Mission Critical Facilities, Technology Spaces, and Electronic Equipment.

The 45-page “2011 Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments – Expanded Data Center Classes and Usage Guidance” is said to provide a roadmap for increasing the number of hours during which economizer systems can be used and improving the opportunity for data centers to become “chillerless,” eliminating mechanical cooling systems to improve power-usage effectiveness.

The major change introduced in the white paper is the addition of two data-center classes.

“This white paper is truly ground-breaking in that it achieves alignment between representatives of the major IT- (information-technology-) 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 center based on the criteria most important to their business needs,” Don Beaty, PE, FASHRAE, chair of the publications subcommittee for TC 9.9, said. “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 (for Data Processing Environments) publication."