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ASHRAE’s 2015 Guidelines Extend Recommended Safe Operating Limits

26th, May 2015

It has recently been announced by ASHRAE, the globally recognised leader of data centre cooling standards, at the CeBIT event in Hannover that new guidelines will be published sometime during the summer of 2015. It is understood that these new guidelines will recommend a wider range of safe humidity levels, as well as allowing data centres to exceed current recommended temperatures for short periods.

ASHRAE the influential industry body has recognised that modern IT equipment is more robust than most users currently realise. ASHRAE argues that by avoiding the overcooling of data centres, operators can reduce wasted energy.

In simple terms allowing temperatures to rise saves money with no impact on the IT assets.

This announcement is excellent news and further underpins the strategies adopted by Workspace Technology, a leading UK based data centre design and build specialist who promotes the use of its Freecool® direct fresh air cooling technology within many of its data centre designs.

This award winning product by Workspace Technology eliminates wasted energy by making use of external direct fresh air to cool the data centre space.

Don Beaty of ASHRAE’s TC 9.9, the technical committee which issues environmental recommendations for data centres, commented “There is a great opportunity to use the climate for cooling. The hotter you can operate the inside temperature, the more you can use the climate that’s outside.”

ASHRAE’s intervention on this key area, which has significant impact on data centre PUE performance, has been very much welcomed by Workspace Technology because many hardware vendors and IT managers have hesitated to allow higher temperatures, due to unfounded concerns about risk.

ASHRAE studies have proven conclusively that you can operate at humidity levels down to 8% RH. ASHRAE found that when testing with a range of floor tile and clothing types that between 8% and 20-25% RH, the difference in static electricity was insignificant. Beaty explained that “the study should placate the industry’s fears of the increased risk of static electricity when humidity is low”

The new ASHRAE Whitepaper will highlight that data centre operators are wasting money by over managing humidity for example humidifying air to keep it a high relative humidity (RH), when it is safe to allow humidity to drop to an RH of 8 percent.

Workspace Technology’s award winning Freecool® technology allows operators in the UK to support ASHRAE 2011 Class A1 to A4 allowable range which supports 18ºC to 27ºC and 8% to 80%RH through a unique combination of adiabatic cooling and its dynamic temperature control. This technology has been widely adopted by both Public and Private sector organisations across the UK. This announcement of ASHRAE’s latest Whitepaper further underpins the credibility of Workspace Technology’s award winning range of Freecool® products and services.

Roy Griffiths Workspace Technology’s Technical Director commented “Freecool® by Workspace Technology is firmly established as one of the UK’s leading direct fresh air cooling technologies. This announcement will only further accelerate interest in this technology sector and we are confident that we will continue to see high levels of growth in the number of Freecool® based data centre installations across the UK".

For more information please contract Roy Griffiths Technical Director at or call 0121 354 4894.

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