The highly attended ASHRAE 2023 Winter Meeting of Technical Committee 9.09, has gone through many name changes and currently covers Mission Critical Facilities, Data Centers, Technology Spaces, and Electronic Equipment.  The meetings were held in Atlanta and walked the group through many of the same topics they have released books and articles on over the last few years, now with a reinvigorated focus on higher powered CPUs (300 Watts and greater… 500W are being made, 600 to 1000W are not just a dream) and the liquid and immersion cooling to support that upcoming equipment in the years ahead.  The liquid cooling research and updates on the handbook still has working groups with ongoing meetings, as there are a lot of disparate conclusions about the possible solutions.  

Of note were updates of the 5th Edition of the thermal guidelines to adjust a few items that were omitted.  The current thermal guidelines may have some challengers in the future, as the current manner in which they are used are sometimes seen as rigid requirements by IT professionals.  It may be useful for added examples to present approaches that data centers, whether in tropical or elsewhere, might see energy efficiency balanced better with the business needs.  

The 'H' class was also discussed to see if there is any adoption in the industry.  Not heard of it?  H class means high-density; it was brought about to keep servers with many CPUs, GPUs, and other components that were only for air-cooled.  The H classes were introduced in the 5th edition of the thermal guidelines, and include the guidelines provided by the IT manufacturers 18-22 degrees C and 5-25 degrees C.  This does appear to be a step backward on energy efficiency approaches, but was driven by the manufacturers based on their desires, so it looks like there may be some clarifications upcoming for what seems to be a transitory densification that will soon be solved with liquid cooling.  

The power trends book is slated to be revamped with a major update as the shifts in the industry increase to support AI and other greater needs.  Yes, the power trends book 3rd edition was released in 2018 and only goes to 2025, so a quick review will show how much the industry has changed in less than 5 years. 

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