Data center facilities pro

Sep 3 2008   4:32PM GMT

ASHRAE and Green Grid team up to standardize data center energy monitoring protocols

Matt Stansberry Matt Stansberry Profile: Matt Stansberry

I recently spoke with Roger Schmidt, distinguished IBM technologist and past chairman of The American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Technical Committee 9.9 about ASHRAE’s newly official partnership with The Green Grid. The new agreement will open up the collaboration between the two groups, allowing them to write white papers and books together.

In fact, they’re collaborating on a book right now: Real-time power consumption measurements for data centers. Tahir Cader, a technical director for ISR Inc. is leading that effort. The plan is to publish this book through ASHRAE as a joint ASHRAE and Green Grid publication. You can expect this book to be available first quarter 2009.

“This is a really important book for data center operators,” Schmidt said. “It will help them understand where energy is being used in their data centers. What are the tools, where are the measurement points?” This book will explain how to calculate PUE and how to measure the various elements in the data center: pumps, chillers, cooling towers, and UPS systems. It will also explain how to measure humidity, lighting, and IT equipment load.

Other ASHRAE publications on the horizon
ASHRAE T.C. 9.9’s eighth book is in the final stages of the review process. It is called Particulate and gaseous contamination in datacom environments. Joe Prisco of IBM is leading that publication. TC 9.9 hopes to have it available for the book store at the ASHRAE winter conference Jan 24-28, 2009.

This book covers the nitty-gritty of gases and particulates that can contaminate data center equipment and cause failures. “What are the filters I can deploy? How do we get a handle on what is the acceptable limit of various gaseous contamination? Bromine, Chlorine, the sulfur contaminants — we don’t know what levels cause equipment failures,” Schmidt said. “We’ve had failure in the field because we’ve had gases in clients’ data centers. It does ruin equipment. You’ve got to be really careful.”

Two others publications are in the works: The extreme green data center and Green tips for datacom equipment centers. These publications won’t be ready until the summer conference 2009.

ASHRAE T.C. 9.9 and a new DOE data center workshop
ASHRAE T.C. 9.9 is also partnering with the Department of Energy to combine the DOE’s data center energy efficiency workshop with ASHRAE’s workshop in New York State, to create a national workshop by the end of the year, according to Schmidt. “It will be a one or two day event, sponsored by the DOE and ASHRAE. We would provide one of our datacom books for the workshop. This would be a great advertisement for TC 9.9.”

ASHRAE to integrate the new thermal envelop
The newly expanded environmental envelop approved in the last month for data center equipment will be part of an update to ASHRAE TC 9.9’s first book: Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments. “That new envelop will allow people to use wider temperature and moisture range for datacom equipment — it’s really an important document,” Schmidt said.

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