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ASHRAE - Colder is Not Better for a Data Center

Posted on August 4, 2010 by James Cerwinski

In my last post, I explained that “it is widely accepted that you can save energy by avoiding over cooling a data center.”  That seems like a fair statement to accept, but have had one person question this statement — explaining that the fans on the servers might have to run more often. 

Let us look at what ASHRAE and Gartner have to say on this.

ASHRAE’s takes the following position in their book titled “Best Practices for a Datacom Facility Energy Efficiency”

“Environmental conditions have a substantial impact on energy efficiency and total cost of ownership in a datacom facility.”

“Moving away from a “colder is better” philosophy can result in significant energy savings due to greater refrigeration cycle thermodynamics efficiency and increased economizer hours.”

“Allowing for increased temperature and humidity dead bands will eliminate “fighting” between adjacent supply air units, which is a significant source of inefficiency in some existing facilities.”

David J. Cappuccio, Gartner managing vice president and chief of research for the Infrastructure teams has made the following position — “Data center managers can save up to 4 percent in energy costs for every degree of upward change in the baseline temperature, known as a set point. The higher set point means less frequent use of air conditioning, which saves the energy used to run cooling systems”

Tell me about your experiences.

James Cerwinski


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