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Can UL 62368-1 be used to certify/list Modular Data Centers (MDCs) in the United States?

The short answer is, no.

In the U.S., modular data centers, or MDCs, are installed in accordance with NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code (NEC).

In fact, as of the 2014 NEC, a new Article 646, Modular Data Centers, was added specifically to cover MDCs.  So, any jurisdiction (state or otherwise) in the U.S. that has adopted the 2014 NEC (or later) will require the MDC to be installed per NEC Article 646.

A MDC is defined in the NEC as a Prefabricated unit, rated 1000 volts or less, consisting of an outer enclosure housing multiple racks or cabinets of information technology equipment (ITE) (e.g., servers) and various support equipment, such as electrical service and distribution equipment, HVAC systems, and the like.

Thus, Article 646 covers, or points to requirements for electrical supply and distribution, HVAC, lighting/emergency lighting, IT/ITC equipment, and other aspects.

While via an Informational Note in the Article it acknowledges UL 62368-1 (or UL 60950-1) as the appropriate standard for certification of the actual IT/ICT equipment installed in a MDC, UL 62368-1 (nor 60950-1) does not cover MDCs under its scope, nor does it address the key support equipment mentioned above also found in a  typical MDC.

What Article 646 does acknowledge (in 646.4) is that MDCs that are listed and labeled in compliance with UL Subject 2755, Outline of Investigation for Modular Data Centers, only require specific, limited areas of Article 646 to be applied to them in addition.  This is because UL Subject 2755 is aligned with the requirements in Article 646 and covers many of the MDC construction elements not found in UL 62368-1 (or UL 60950-1), including requirements for the support equipment.

UL offers listing and labeling to UL Subject 2755 under our PQVA equipment category.

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