Other | Airflow management

Airflow management can increase data centre energy efficiency and effectiveness of a data centre conditioning system. This is influenced by the temperature, airflow path, quantity of cool air supplied to the IT equipment and waste hot air expelled from the equipment, data centre or computer room.

An important part of airflow management is improving rack airflow and sub-floor airflow.

Blanking panels play a critical part in improving airflow efficiency within a data centre by sealing off unused rack space. A blanking panel is a device mounted in unused U spaces in a rack that restricts recirculation airflow.

RT systems offers airflow management solutions from PlenaForm.

  • PlenaForm Baffle System
  • PlenaFill Scalable Blanking Panels

PlenaForm® systems


PlenaForm is an airflow baffle system that directs sub-floor airflow; a simple and inexpensive solution to solve dynamic thermal imbalances in data centres. Unused space in the data centre can be partitioned off with PlenaForm baffles, allowing for reduced energy consumption.

Today’s high-density server farms, which are increasingly efficient heaters are requiring more power and cooling than ever before. The data centre evolution of an all air-cooled environment has become a real challenge for facility managers to deal with heat-related issues, cooling inefficiencies and increased server densities.

The PlenaForm® baffle system is a passive and contributory holistic solution that can be easily installed as an effective “VUF” or vertical under floor partitioning system, to direct air flow within the plenum space. PlenaForm baffles direct the source of the cold air from the CRAC units to where the air is or is not needed.

Installing the PlenaForm® baffle system to direct air flow from the “source of the air” plenum level, a data centre manager can better achieve a thermally tuned data centre. Integrating this system into the data centre design also helps to mitigate thermally associated risk to equipment hardware. The keyword here is high density computing. 

Use the PlenaForm® baffle system to create dedicated return air paths in the ceiling plenum for more efficient heat return from the hot aisles to the CRAC unit intake heads.

Products offered by RT systems: 

  • PlenaForm® baffle system
  • PlenaFill® blanking panels

PlenaForm® baffle system

The PlenaForm® baffle system is a flexible, snap together, air flow baffle system which helps to solve dynamic thermal imbalances in data centres. Installation is easy, and the system does not require electricity to operate. It is a holistic tool to direct or block airflow very simply and inexpensively. And if necessary, relocating is easy: just release the cable ties.


  • Overcome challenges in data centre cooling.
  • Reduce energy consumption and operating costs.
  • Keep employees more comfortable.

Uses and applications

  • Partition under control centres to keep employees comfortable.
  • Seal off under PDUs.
  • Stop air loss under server racks.
  • Establish hot aisles/cold aisles.
  • Create dedicated return air paths above ceilings.
  • Install inside servers racks to stop lateral heat transfer.
  • Control and balance data centre airflow.
  • Create targeted cooling for hot zones.

PlenaFill® scalable blanking panels for 19" and 23" EIA racks

PlenaFill 27 U blanking panels
According to industry standards best practices, installing blanking (filler) panels is the simplest and most effective means to control air flow in a data centre or containment system.  Panels cover unused rack space in unoccupied server and equipment racks and stop hot aisle air from coming into the front of the rack and mixing with the cold aisle air. Stopping hot air from recirculating back to the front of the rack reduces the overall air intake temperatures, which also helps prolong equipment life. Large sections of unused rack space can be blanked out in seconds.


  • Scalable panels significantly reduce time and labour cost associated with installation.
  • No need to use separate filler panels for each rack manufacturer; works well in a multi-vendor environment.
  • Can be cut to fill space less than one U and fits behind face plates.
  • Servers operate at cooler temperatures by filling large sections of unoccupied rack space to control air flow.
  • Operating costs are lowered.