If the power unit is the heart, the electronics are the brain – this metaphor applies to Formula One cars and fans alike. In order to use the electronics efficiently there is a need to continuously monitor various information points, and therefore a variety of sensors collect data for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and ebm-papst. The data collected helps the teams to reach top performance and adjust to a myriad of scenarios.
Over 200 sensors are installed on the Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ car. The data they collect is primarily used to help make well-informed strategic decisions during the race, as well as monitoring how the car is performing. A specialist strategy team analyses the findings from the team’s headquarters in Brackley, supporting the team at the track and the Chief Strategist on the pit wall to make the right decisions within seconds.
Amongst a number of inputs, the sensors on the two Silver Arrows race cars collect the following data:
Each part of the car has its own optimum temperature operating window. Whether this is this tyres, power unit, gearbox or brake discs, measuring the temperature of these key components is essential for the best results on track. If the temperature gets too high, the load must be reduced to prevent the components from failing.
Specific sensors measure tyre heat and degradation throughout the race. With this data, strategists can decide how long a car should stay out on the track and when it’s time for a pit stop.
With the regulation changes for 2017 seeing the the cars becoming heavier and wider, the fuel allowance for the race has increased from 100 kilograms of fuel to 105 kilograms. In order to keep a constant eye on consumption and the quality of the fuel, sensors measure fuel level and other parameters.
During the weekend, Formula One teams use different instruments and procedures to measure the airflow around their cars. Aerodynamic gratings are one example. They contain a matrix of tiny tubes that can measure air pressure and turbulence.
Particularly in tight corners, drivers are exposed to extreme forces. A G-force sensor measures the level of the load, indicating how strenuous a race is for the driver and car.
A GPS module determines the exact position of the cars on the track so the team always know exactly where their drivers are. This data is also transmitted to the race director and is used to coordinate the flag signals on the track, thus increasing driver safety.
Just as in Formula OneTM cars, sensors collect a huge variety of data from ebm-papst fans and blowers. The more information users have on their application, the better they can control them to improve their operating efficiency. The application in question and customer requirements determine exactly which information is collected and how it is processed. The collected data is processed in a higher-level controller.
The ebm-papst RadiCal in a scroll housing collects a wide range of data for residential ventilation, for example:
An impeller installed in the scroll housing precisely measures the actual value of the airflow with the help of two hall sensors – even for low air volumes. This allows the integrated control electronics to adjust the speed of the EC motor to the required set value, changing the air volume.
In residential ventilation in particular, humidity is a key factor in creating a pleasant room climate. A sensor measures the moisture content of the airflow so the higher-level controller can trigger the relevant adjustments.
A sensor also measures the temperature of the airflow. It also plays a major role in establishing well-being in the home and can be regulated by adjusting the speed.
MODBUS speed monitoring indicates how quickly blowers are running at any given time. In combination with airflow, it can be used to calculate the operating state and display a filter change alert, for example.
Fans from ebm-papst have a reputation for high efficiency. Energy input measurement clearly shows how much energy the blower consumes at a specific point in time.
As an option, the RadiCal in a scroll housing can be equipped with sensors to measure the CO2 content and specific particles in the air. This gives users an exact idea of the air quality, enabling them to systematically influence it.