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ebm-papst helps F1 team to world championship success

Future energy saving projects will be in the pipeline for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team following a range of successful HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) pilot projects this year with team partners, ebm-papst.

Toto Wolff, the Head of Mercedes Benz Motorsport, reflected that the team was, “Delighted with the contribution that ebm-papst has made to our successes this year”. Having won consecutive World Championships, he said, “Success in Formula One requires absolute attention to every small detail and having partners who both share those values and can contribute to improving our organisation is hugely valuable.”

Work by ebm-papst for the Mercedes AMG Petronas? Formula One Team has included improving their human performance environments in the team garages in tropical locations and providing critical technical cooling solutions for the race cars in the garages at trackside. ebm-papst has also helped to improve working conditions at the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s HQ in Brackley, with the latest project delivering considerable cost and efficiency benefits that has opened a wide range of future opportunities for ebm-papst to assist the team with its HVAC solutions in the future.

Speaking at a recent seminar, Robert Yeowart, who is the Director of Business Development and Logistics at Mercedes AMG Petronas, outlined ebm-papst’s achievement in not just helping to improve the working environment at team headquarters, but also reducing site operating costs, thereby realising a financial dividend that can be directed at the all-important R&D to enhance race car performance.

Mr Yeowart emphasised the demands on the organisation that have delivered consecutive World Championships and said, “To win - and continue to win, we have pursued ever-increasing levels of efficiency and integration, so the organisation can act as a seamless whole, focused on the pursuit of a common goal. Every small gain contributes to our performance and ebm-papst has played its part in making us a better team.”

As part of his presentation to the ebm-papst conference, Yeowart also outlined how new efficiency regulations introduced in 2014 have resulted in the most efficient gasoline engine ever developed, together with ground-breaking new hybrid recovery systems that have enabled Mercedes-powered Formula One cars to achieve comparable levels of performance with a third less fuel. This quantum step in performance and efficiency was achieved in very short timeframes and these advances that have been incubated by Mercedes’ Formula One programme will inform future road car development, helping to reduce emissions and save fuel with no loss of performance.

“Our push for efficiency was vital to maintain competitive form and a happy by-product of our technical focus was that it encouraged ebm-papst to partner with us given our shared values of efficiency and performance. The more we looked into it, the more synergies we discovered between our organisations and our values,” said Mr Yeowart.

“When considering our energy systems across our two technology campuses in Brackley and Brixworth, we strive to achieve maximum efficiency so that waste in our operations are minimised and budgets can be focused on race car development priorities. ebm-papst helped us make a quantum step in improving the working environment in our paint shop facilities while also significantly reducing our running costs.” Yeowart continued, “We are now considering how we extend that success across other areas of our sites.”

James Cooper, product manager at ebm-papst UK, explained that the recent HVAC trial at their site in Brackley in July was focused on the team’s paint shop at its Brackley headquarters. The original purpose of the building had changed, rendering its existing system unfit for purpose.

“As well as the cooling system and airflow not working as well as it should have been, the staff also said there was a lot of white noise which we were able to eradicate completely. The first thing was to understand what the existing unit was doing and what we found was that it was working at a much higher pressure than it was set up for. Our recommendation was to install the new EC technology using ebm-papst’s RadiPac product and this has had a big impact on energy and cost savings,” said Mr Cooper.

Data logging measurements were taken to ensure the client could see clearly the energy usage levels before and after the work was carried out by Cinque Energy Solutions, velocity measurements were carried out in each room, and a new control system was developed. The work was completed and commissioned in one day and a check was carried out one week later.

“The feedback we got was very good as we dropped from 5.9 kW to 2.1 kW as well as reducing the pressure in the system from 1400Pa to453 pascals.  Essentially what we delivered was a 64% energy saving on this one unit with a payback within two years. This has provided the spring board to look at other areas on the Brackley campus,” said Mr Cooper.

4 December 2015

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