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The background on Apple's '103-degree data center'

Patrick Thibodeau | April 28, 2014
Apple isn't disclosing details about its Maiden, N.C., data center operations, except at the 30,000-foot level, so it's unknown exactly what temperatures it's operating at. But it is possible to estimate a range.

ASHRAE also sets "allowable" temperature guidelines that go well above the recommended limits. Manufacturers can make equipment that can work at higher temperature ranges, all the way up to 113 degrees for equipment in the A4 class.

There are classes of equipment from A1 to A4, which represents the higher end of tolerance.

"Most operators will not operate to the allowable limit of the equipment but rather some temperature below that. In A4 class equipment, maybe they will select 105 degrees Fahrenheit," according to Don Beaty, a consulting engineer and publications chair of the society's Technical Committee 9.9 for mission-critical facilities, technology spaces and electronic equipment.

 

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