Formula 1 (F1) cars have used hybrid technology for a few years now, but under 2014 regulations, F1 designers must focus on technologies that are more relevant to road cars, particularly, techniques for improving fuel efficiency, energy recovery and storage. Moog Industrial Group, a part of Moog, has been working with its F1 customers to help them meet the changes in the 2014 Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) rules. The company helps teams meet these challenges with sub-miniature hydraulic F1 products and systems for actuation, supporting new systems on this season’s cars such as brake pressure limiting and turbocharger waste-gate control.
The concept of an F1 car showcasing ‘green’ technology may seem contradictory, but the goal of extracting the maximum useful energy from each pound of fuel is the same for both road and race car engineers. The technology is often applied by the auto industry on special vehicles used for road car development. The easily adjustable nature of the motorsport-based actuation systems reduces development time, by allowing faster optimization of vehicle suspension, steering and drive train controls.
Crucial to the new F1 rules is the fixed allowance of 100 kg (221 lb) of fuel, forcing the designers to make difficult compromises between speed and range. This year the power level of the electric part of the drive train has been increased to 120 kW (160 hp) and the rules permit it to be deployed for longer periods. Also the gasoline engine format is completely new: a 1.6 litres (98 cu in), turbocharged V6 engine.
The key advantage of hydraulics in motorsport applications is the high ‘power density’ of the technology. Hydraulic fluid, being ‘stiffer’ and less compressible than pneumatics, is able to react more quickly to fast step commands in position and achieve much higher levels of accuracy and repeatability. The Moog E024 Servo Valve, weighing just 92 g (3.24 oz.), illustrates the ability of very small and light actuation devices to deliver extremely high power levels. This servo valve, designed specifically for F1 applications, is crucial for converting signals from the car’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) into hydraulic flow providing the motive force of the actuators, and can control up to 2.8 kW of hydraulic power from an electrical signal of just 10 mA.
The E024 Series was developed from the E030 Series aerospace servo valve that is often used for control surface actuation in civil and military aircraft. The E024 features ‘flow matched’ nozzles, which reduce null shift with vibrations in temperature and pressure. The end-cap retaining screws can survive 200° C (392° F) local temperatures, but retain a flow capability of up to 7.5 l/min (2 US g/min) to meet the extreme performance and environmental demands of motorsport applications.
Filed Under: Valves & Manifolds