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The nature of electronics cooling for data centers is changing. For example, ultra-compact blade servers take up less space than traditional rack-mounted servers but greatly increase heat density. ASHRAE is moving to bring together manufacturers, the design community and facility owners to find common solutions and standard practices that facilitate interchangeability while preserving industry innovation.

The initial focus of ASHRAE’s new Technical Committee 9.9, Mission Critical Facilities, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment, has been on thermal issues relating to information technology (IT) equipment, especially in mission critical data center environments. The result of the committee’s work is ASHRAE’s publication Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments.1

This article introduces a few of the central concepts of this guideline, and shows some of the ramifications of the guideline as they relate to facility design.

Citation: ASHRAE Journal, vol. 45 no. 12, December 2003