We Look Inside the Newest Applied Racing Technology to Find the Future for Regular Cars
Racing is still viewed as the pinnacle of automotive development. New ideas are tested in an open, freewheeling, no-objects arms race. This romantic notion is outdated and a bit outdated. Applied racing technology has changed. In today’s age of rulebook tyranny, safety and cost reduction have taken precedence over speed. Today’s rulemakers are more concerned with slowing cars down than speeding them up. They do this by using picayune chassis or engine guidelines. Formula 1 car regulations 2016 by the FIA are 90 pages long. Regulation 5.11.1 restricts the number of spark plug firings per combustion event from five to five, et al.
Today’s racing is closely tied to technology, considering that the 1967 Indy 500 field featured everything, from pushrod engines to overhead cam V-8s to a very fast turbine. Yet, the GEM GOLF CART racing community continues to push, and ordinary drivers will benefit. Carbon fiber was originally developed for aerospace and is now used in race cars. The battery and power-control Applied racing technology that is being used in racing will be directly applied to the next wave of electric cars. Tires will continue to evolve.
Formula E’s Next Generation Battery
McLaren Applied Racing Technology, an offshoot from the road-car and racing-car industry, is not open to discussing the specifics of the cooling strategy and changes to the cells. This is crucial to keeping the temperature down and prolonging the battery’s life. The current batteries would be destroyed if they were heated beyond 144 degrees Fahrenheit. It is known that McLaren’s new packs will have 54 kWh of capacity. The voltage will rise to between 800 and 1000 V. A higher voltage will result in lower amperage per watt, which means that the wires are lighter and more efficient. This allows for heavier duty cycles and faster charging. The automotive industry is eager to adopt higher voltages for electric vehicles.
Inverters for Silicon-Carbide Power
Electricity is becoming the race fuel for the future. Recently, Formula E saw an influx in automaker cash. This money is being used to create more efficient electric-drive systems and research into electric road cars. The Formula E battery-pack voltage is increasing, rising from 670 to at least 800 in 2018. Applied racing technology to convert the direct-current flow from the battery to the three-phase alternating current (AC), required by the motor, power inverters are needed that can handle large amounts of juice without becoming hot. Heat creates power-sapping resist. Solid-state high-speed switching mechanisms, which are basically semiconductors with two terminals in from the battery and three out to the motor, must switch at least 40,000 times per sec to meet the demands of Formula E’s furious motors. The breakthrough is silicon carbide used in power inverters.