© 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