ASHRAE is creating a standard that specifically addresses the unique energy requirements of data centers with their high plug loads. Standard 90.4P, Energy Standard for Data Centers and Telecommunications Buildings, is being developed in response to requests to recognize the energy performance profiles unique to data centers.
Previously, data centers were included in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
Standard 90.4P will feature a performance-based approach that is more flexible and accommodating of changes, which rapidly occur in the data center design, construction and operations, according to chair Ron Jarnagin. Standard 90.4P is open for advisory public review from Nov. 15-Dec. 30, 2013.
According to ASHRAE, current industry modeling tools do not possess all the necessary mathematical models to accurately model data center HVAC and power design. As a result, demonstrating compliance to the 90.1 Chapter 11 or energy cost budget approaches is not always a practical option. Instead, Standard 90.4P proposes to utilize a performance compliance path known as the Power Utilization Efficiency (PUE) developed by The Green Grid.
Although there is proposed research for the development of mathematical methods and associated software tools to assist data center designers down the road; compliance with 90.4P is intended to be possible without the use of modeling tools at this time.