© Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd., Gernot Walter

Cool Perfor­mance on the Pit Wall

Sat on the Pit Wall, five of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motor­sport engi­neers must make deci­sions within seconds. Since last season, it has been made easier for them to keep their cool — thanks to an air condi­tioner with a blower from ebm-papst.

How are the drivers’ lap times changing ? Which settings are the best for the final phase of the race ? Will the predicted temper­a­ture change have an impact on the course of the race ? During every Grand Prix, the Engi­neers have to analyze and answer ques­tions like these. Right on top of the action are the men seated on the Pit Wall. The rele­vant infor­ma­tion is displayed on the large moni­tors in front of them. The team, commu­ni­cates with their colleagues in the Garage and the Drivers on the track via radio. With over 150,000 possible scenarios relating to the further devel­op­ment of the race this is no easy task.

Air condi­tioning instead of cooling

Until the begin­ning of the 2016 season, a simple fan cooled both the tech­nology and the engi­neers. Espe­cially during races in hot places such as Malaysia, it was a real chal­lenge for everyone involved. Since the minor details often make the differ­ence between victory and defeat in Formula OneTM, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motor­sport decided to replace the simple fan on the Pit Wall with an air condi­tioner at the begin­ning of the 2016 season.

The new system cools the sensi­tive elec­tronics on the Pit Wall and creates more pleasant working condi­tions for the team members in front of the moni­tors. One air condi­tioning unit is located at each side of the Pit Wall. They guide the cooled air though a duct system. On the one hand, the air flows through the ducts to cool the elec­tronics behind the moni­tors and on the other hand, 10 outlets direct it towards the Formula OneTM Team’s Engi­neers. Just like in the cars, the Pit Wall personnel use the outlets to deter­mine how much fresh air they receive.

Custom-tailored cooling: Using air outlets, the engi­neers can deter­mine how much air flow they need at their working place. (Graphik | Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd., Gernot Walter)

An easy choice

It was easy for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motor­sport to choose the fan supplier for the system, as a number of successful projects have already been realised with ebm-papst supplying the Team’s air condi­tioning within the Garage and on-car cooling. As a result, a high-perfor­mance centrifugal blower with single inlets and forward-curved blades is working in each of the air condi­tioning units. For the Team, the fact that its Offi­cial Supplier was able to quickly supply the ideal fans for the appli­ca­tion thanks to its wide product range was a major advan­tage. This facil­i­tated the project’s rapid real­iza­tion.

The race engi­neers are also happy about the improved condi­tions. “With ebm-papst, we have created a pleasant working climate. This provides a clear advan­tage in the compet­i­tive racing envi­ron­ment at Grands Prix,” said Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motor­sport.

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Centrifugal fans

Centrifugal fans with forward curved blades