A long-awaited victory can release power in motorsport and give a lot of backwind. Without question he motivates, drives, makes proud. Above all, he is the reward and the confirmation of hard work. As in the technology partnership between ZF and Venturi in Formula E: The first win by Edoardo Mortara and the fifth place by Felipe Massa last at the fifth race of the season in Hong Kong meant the most successful race weekend so far. For ZF, the involvement in the electric series is fundamentally a success, as the technology group receives impulses that are directly incorporated into series development through the know-how acquired and tested in racing. And bring with it competitive advantages.
The partnership between ZF and the Venturi racing team, which has existed since 2016, was a particular challenge in 2018, as the electric series entered a new era with new cars. Fr ZF meant that the company developed an electric drive for the Venturi team, which was responsible for an electric Engine, a newly developed gearbox and the power electronics includes. The electric drive for the cars of the Monaco-based team has a maximum output of 250 kW.
Important in the development: an increase in efficiency, a maximum weight saving and a high durability. In order to combine maximum efficiency and weight savings, ZF used its system competence.
The electric drive achieves an extremely low system weight and efficiency, which is significantly higher than that of series applications, thanks to well-designed transmission and power electronics. A lower weight is achieved, for example, by the use of a metallic lightweight alloy and carbon. New ways of cooling and lubrication provided, in the end, a greater efficiency and a longer range of the battery, which has to hold a whole race distance since this season.
One big plus: "The experience we have gained with the racing application will have many effects on future ZF products," says Jrg Grotendorst, Head of the ZF E-Mobility Division. One example is the silicon carbide in power electronics, whose serial production ZF plans in about three to four years.
All the experience and data that ZF collects every mile in Formula E is directly incorporated into the further development of this new technology. And that's a lot: Over the course of a season, there are more than 5,000 race and qualifying kilometers in 13 races. Even concepts that ZF initially developed specifically for motorsport should gradually be used in series applications, such as a special winding process for the stator of the electric motor.
The development of the electric drive for racing has also had a positive effect on the test facilities. The requirement for the measuring accuracy of the test environment was high, which is why this precise set-up now also brings advantages in the testing of ZF pre-production projects.
And the need to overcome limits and go new ways under time pressure will also be reflected in future development projects. Because the system development in the formula E is similar to that of electric minibuses and vans, for which ZF also develops electric drives. The performance of ZF engineers, even without a sophisticated specification, to a viable concept and an optimal system approach, will prove to be a competitive advantage.
Andreas Reiners / mid
The article "ZF in Formula E on the Overhauling Track" was announced on 20.03.2019 in the News category by Andreas Reiners with the StichwÃ¶rternElectric car, electric motor, motorsports, Formula E, News,published.
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