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10 Scary Server Room Cooling Acronyms Defined

Posted by: Tina Behnke on Oct 29, 2010

Server Room Cooling Acronyms

Well it's Halloween so I couldn't resist the analogy.  Air conditioning and data centers can be scary! 

When the IT folks meet with the facilities or building engineers to discuss server room cooling requirements they often need a translator.  Each has their own vocabulary and things get lost in translation.  They want the same outcome -- a cost-effective, reliable cooling solution -- but come from different perspectives.  The IT professionals need to make sure their equipment and data is protected and the facilities groups are responsible for the environment -- the power and air conditioning to make all systems run at peak performance.

It's really tough to figure out what's being said when abbreviations and acronyms are thrown around.  Here are 10 air conditioning acronyms ... in plain English... that will help the IT guy (or gal) understand some of the lingo spoken by the facilities folks.

  1. HVAC -- abbreviation for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning.  The IT guy may hear, "I need to talk to my HVAC Contractor."  You might even see HVACR ... the "R" adds Refrigeration to the mix.
  2. ACCA -- abbreviation for the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.  A membership organization for the HVAC community.
  3. ASHRAE -- abbreviation for American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The "go-to" governing body for all things HVAC.  Their mission is to "advance the arts and sciences of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world."
  4. AHRI -- abbreviation for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute which is the trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment.
  5. BTU -- abbreviation for British Thermal Unit, a measurement of heat -- the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit in one hour.  Yes, this term was invented by the English!
  6. ANSI -- abbreviation for American National Standards Institute that oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector.
  7. CFM -- stands for Cubic Feet per Minute.  CFM is used to measure the flow of air through a system or device.
  8. CRAC -- abbreviation for Computer Room Air Conditioning unit.  Enough said.
  9. CRAH -- abbreviation for Computer Room Air Handler an air conditioner that uses chilled water to remove heat and is connected to a chiller.
  10. EER -- abbreviation for Energy Efficiency Ratio which is the ratio of the cooling capacity of an air conditioner in BTUs, to the total electrical input (in watts) under certain specified tests.  The higher the number, the better.

Now that list isn't so scary, is it?  But enough alphabet soup for one day!

Want help figuring out how much cooling you need for your data closet or server room?

Server Room Cooling Guide




Enough about work.  What are your plans for Halloween?  Or let me know which AC terms you find "scary" and I'll do my best to debunk the jargon.  May you find more treats than tricks this Halloween!

Tags: Server Room Cooling, Data Center, HVAC Industry