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TileFlow: New Features

A CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) Modeling Software Tool for Data Centers

TileFlow 5.7

The enhancements in TileFlow 5.7 include tools for creating aisles and containments, a command for automatic placement of columns, capability to represent under-floor vents, downflow CRAC units with front/rear discharge, and tilted partitions, and capability to record movies in the WMV format.

Aisles Tool

TileFlow 5.7 includes a command to automate the task of creating aisles. A dialog box provides options for the number of rack rows, number of racks per row, rack style, and orientation of the aisles. In addition, there are options for including perforated tiles of a chosen style, cable cutouts, and cold-aisle containments. A single click on the floor places the specified set of aisles, which can be moved and/or copied.


TileFlow 5.7 includes a new “Containment” object. It consists of containment walls, which appropriately intersect racks and other objects, and an optional lid or ceiling. When the containment object is placed around a row of racks, the containment walls automatically fill the space between the racks and the space above the shorter racks (if racks of different heights are used). There are options for assigning leakage area to the containment walls and the racks belonging to the containment. A containment can be placed with one click and then resized and moved.

Automatic Placement of Columns

A new command has been added for placing columns. A dialog box is provided for specifying the column size and distances between columns in the x and y directions.

Under-Floor Vents

TileFlow 5.7 includes the capability to place inlet and outlet vents on the under-floor side walls and on the subfloor.

Downflow CRAC Units with Front/Rear Discharge

Many conventional downflow CRAC units can now be configured for front/rear discharge (instead of the bottom discharge). This capability has been added in TileFlow 5.7.

Side Slots for Racks

If the server width is smaller than the rack width, racks can permit air leakage through the side slots. In TileFlow 5.7, a provision has been made to define these slots and to account for their effect on the flow pattern and temperature distribution.

Tilted Partitions

In TileFlow 5.7, the Horizontal-Partition object has been enhanced so as to provide a tilt in the x or y direction.

Movies in WMV Format

In TileFlow 5.7, the movies can be recorded in the WMV format (and the old AVI files can also be converted into this format). The WMV movie files are smaller. Further, by default, the Windows operating system includes the codec for WMV files, so the WMV movie files can be played on any Windows-based computer.

Reversible Export/Import via Excel Files

TileFlow 5.7 allows you to export the current rack data in a TileFlow model to an Excel file, to modify that file to change the heat loads or other parameters, and to import the modified file into TileFlow to create a modified model.

Expanded Databases

The databases in TileFlow 5.7 have been expanded.


TileFlow 5.5

The enhancements in TileFlow 5.5 include the ability to customize the display options for individual objects, create queue of layouts for calculation of results, and specify and display measured/sensor temperatures. This version also has a module for calculation of three-dimensional temperature distribution in the computer room using sensor temperatures. This module is an add-on and is available for a fee.

Individual-Object-Based Display Options

You can now specify the display options for individual objects or for objects in a selection. This specification is done through the context menu. The context menu for a selection lists the display options for all object types in the selection.


A scheduler has been added. The scheduler allows you to create a queue of TileFlow layouts (tasks) and specify a start time for processing these tasks. For these scheduled runs, TileFlow does not require any user interaction.

Perspective View

In TileFlow 5.5, the perspective view has been added for the 3D view of the data center. Thus, you now have choice of the orthographic (parallel) view or the perspective view.

High-Resolution Screen Capture

The screen capture facility now gives you the option of specifying the number of pixels along the width of the captured image. If you are capturing maximized plan view or maximized 3D XY end view, it even allows you to specify the number of pixels per floor tile.

Text on Rack Tops

You can now display text on the tops of the racks. The available options for the text are the Rack Heat Load, the Rack Name, and a Display Name. The text can be displayed on all racks or only on selected racks. Further the type of text can change from rack to rack.

Enhancements in Styles for Downflow CRAC Units

Normally the inlet opening covers the entire top face of the CRAC unit. However, in some models, the inlet opening covers only part of the top face. Further, some models install a filter plenum over the inlet opening. In TileFlow 5.5, the style for downflow CRAC unit now allows both these features.

Expanded Databases

The databases in TileFlow 5.5 have been expanded.

Display of VFD Pressure Sensors

TileFlow 5.5 allows you to display the pressure sensors in your TileFlow layout. If under-floor results are available, the sensors are color-coded with pressure. An Inspect tool has also been added. When placed over a pressure sensor, it reports the position of the sensor and the pressure at that location (if results are available).

Colors for Walls, Subfloor, Ceiling, and Drop Ceiling

You can now customize the colors for the vertical walls (both above- and under-floor), subfloor, ceiling, and drop ceiling.

Toggle Buttons for Restore Default Orientation and 3D End Views

For the 3D geometry, TileFlow offers 4 standard views: default orientation and XZ, YZ, and XY end views. In TileFlow 5.5, the toolbar buttons (and the corresponding pulldown menu commands) for these standard views have been changed to toggle buttons. Thus, it is now possible to recover the previous or last view that was present before you switched to one of these standard views.

Specification of Temperatures at Sensor/Measurement Locations

TileFlow 5.5 allows you to enter the positions of the measurement/sensor locations and the measured temperatures. Alternatively, you can import this data from an Excel file. After the temperature values have been calculated, TileFlow automatically extracts the calculated temperatures at these locations. You can display the sensor positions within your TileFlow layout and use the Sensor Thermometer tool to see the measured and calculated temperatures and the differences between the two.\

Special Add-on: Calculation of Temperature Distribution Based on Sensor Temperatures

Temperature sensors are becoming popular to monitor the thermal environment in data centers and to make thermal-management decisions. TileFlow 5.5 includes the complete machinery to construct and display the temperature distribution from sensor temperatures.

This capability to calculate and to display the temperature distribution from the sensor temperatures is available as an add-on, for a fee.


TileFlow 5.2

TileFlow 5.2 contains features and capabilities that greatly expand the applicability of TileFlow and significantly reduce the time and effort required to construct layouts.

  • Layout drawing import 
  • General Excel import for racks and servers
  • Variable-frequency drives for CRAC units  
  • Annotation capability vis text on markers
  • Search facility for databases
  • Expanded databases