Formula One partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport - Pioneering Efficiency
It was 2013 when the team reached out to the Mulfingen fan specialists with the challenge of developing efficient cooling solutions for the prestigious motor racing organization. The rest is history: three World Constructors’ and Drivers’ championship titles in succession and a position at the top of motor racing.
Thomas Borst, ebm-papst Managing Director Sales and Marketing, states: “Our involvement in Formula OneTM has had a positive impact on every aspect of our company. It stimulates every single one of us to become even better – from the development section right across to production. It also provides welcome confirmation of our early commitment towards energy efficiency, which gives us a significant lead over our competitors and provides our partner with valuable know-how. However, the most important benefit for our customers is that, thanks to our close cooperation with the technicians at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, both sides have been able to learn a lot from each other. And in the final analysis each of our products benefits from this – whether it's in the automotive field, in air-conditioning and refrigeration technology, machine and system engineering or heating technology.”
These have more shared features than might be imagined.
Fan technology and Formula OneTM really can learn a lot from each other, because they overlap in many technical areas, which at first sight might not be expected. Basically the core competencies of ebm-papst are the same as those which create those decisive tenth-of-a-second advantages in the development of a Formula OneTM car: refined aerodynamics, efficient motor technology, innovative lightweight components and complex electronic systems which monitor, analyze and, if necessary, intervene. All these features gained in importance once more when - with the introduction of hybrid technology and stricter controls on fuel consumption in 2014 - the energy efficiency of racing cars took on a decisive role in determining victory.
Some examples of these shared features…
The less energy is required for overcoming wind resistance, the faster the racing car – and the more efficient the fan. The laws of aerodynamics apply equally to both, and yet each has its own solutions from which the other can learn.
Since 2014 turbo engines in Formula OneTM racing have only been able to consume a limited amount of fuel. Efficiency is now more important than simply stepping on the gas. With fan motors, too, major changes have long been taking place: from conventional AC motors to energy-saving EC technology. ebm-papst was one of the first to switch to this efficient technology and has therefore acquired a significant lead over its competitors.
In order to implement aerodynamic optimizations in the first place, materials are required which are both light and can be molded to the required shape. In Formula OneTM carbon is the preferred material, while for its HyBlade® fans ebm-papst has developed a glass-fiber reinforced plastic which also has the advantage that its production conserves resources.
The lighter the more efficient. What applies to every car on the road is of course all the more important in a Formula OneTM car – and for a fan, because lower weight reduces the strain on the mechanics. A good example of the application of this in practice is the airfoil blade used in the RadiPac centrifugal fan.
The Silver Arrows racing cars of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport use transponders to transmit continuous performance data to the team engineers and control centers at every race across the globe. The ebm-papst BUS systems functions in the same way, exchanging commands and status reports and ensuring Industry 4.0 capability for fans.
Pioneers in efficiency.
However, it's far from sufficient simply to work on the same challenges. In order to be as successful as the three-times World Champions, all the partners in the team have to contribute the same level of passion and ambition. Or, to put it differently: in addition to the technology, the chemistry also has to be right.
In this respect the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team and fan manufacturer ebm-papst are closely linked by a decisive factor, namely the determination to push the technical possibilities to their very limits and, if possible, even beyond – for the purpose of ensuring that the customer or the team leads the competition. This requires innovative ingenuity and the pioneering spirit. And of course a shared objective: always to find the most efficient and accordingly the most successful solution.
For ebm-papst the slogan for the 2017 Formula One season – and for its partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport – is therefore “Pioneering Efficiency”. The reason: with the same shared spirit and objective this season, too, will be a resounding success.