ENERGY STAR Seeks Comments on Draft 2 V3.0 Computer Server Specification

July 31, 2017 by Paul Shepard

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the Draft 2, Version 3.0 ENERGY STAR Computer Server specification. EPA received numerous comments in response to the Draft 1, Version 3.0 specification and has worked to incorporate that feedback within the attached specification. The deadline to provide comments on this Draft 2 specification is August 28, 2017.

The Draft 2, Version 3.0 specification incorporates the following key elements:

Active State Efficiency Criteria: EPA has proposed active state efficiency criteria for computer servers. These criteria were developed utilizing multiple years of SERT data and extensive collaboration with stakeholders. EPA is proposing minimum active state requirements, which when coupled with the proposed idle state requirements, target the top quartile of the market in each product category.

While some stakeholders have raised concern regarding the impact of idle requirements on products that have top active state efficiency performance, review of product data indicates that a large majority of the best performing products in active state can meet the proposed idle state requirements.

Resilient Servers: Recognizing the changing nature of this segment of the market, the small number of resilient server models in the ENERGY STAR dataset, and limited differentiation in their idle state performance, EPA is not able to confidently develop idle levels for this product type at this time. EPA is maintaining a reporting requirement for idle state for these products in order to maintain access to this information for interested customers. With this proposed change, EPA has consolidated the Draft 1 product idle state categories from five categories to three categories.

Idle Power Allowances for Extra Components: EPA has removed the additional DDR Channel adder as it only applies to the idle performance of resilient servers. Also, after analyzing additional data made available since Draft 1, EPA has determined that the 0.25 Watts/GB memory adder was not sufficiently aggressive to effectively differentiate the market.

EPA has therefore proposed modifying the adder to 0.125 watts/GB above 4GB of installed memory. Stakeholders also provided feedback on adders related to non-volatile memory devices and the active port for additional I/O devices greater than 10 Gbit. EPA requests additional data and feedback related to those proposals.

Power Supply Criteria: EPA received stakeholder feedback requesting tighter power factor requirements to more closely align with 80Plus platinum equivalent power factor requirements. As such, EPA has harmonized with 80Plus platinum equivalent power factor requirements at the 50% load level.

Clarifications to Scope: During the lifetime of Version 2.0, integrated Auxiliary Processing Accelerators (APAs) came into the market. These products were not addressed in Version 2.0. Therefore, EPA created a definition for integrated APAs and clarified the product scope to exclude computer servers shipped with integrated APAs as there is not enough data to appropriately set efficiency levels nor is there a test method for these products.

EPA welcomes stakeholder input on the Draft 2, Version 3.0 specification. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit any comments to [email protected] by August 28, 2017. All comments will be posted to the ENERGY STAR Product Development website unless the submitter requests otherwise.

In addition, EPA will host a webinar to answer any questions on this Draft 2 specification on August 18, 2017 from 12-2 PM Eastern Time. Please register here if you plan on attending.