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Our Friends Electric – Axair & Formula E

DSC00807Despite the well-publicised environmental and financial benefits, electric cars have largely failed to win over consumer hearts and minds. For many, electric cars are seen as slow, restrictive and expensive to buy. Formula E is looking to change this. Part sport, part testing ground, the world’s first fully-electric racing series is looking to shape the future of the electric car, both on and off the track; with a little bit of help from Axair along the way.

The first Formula E season kicked off in Beijing, in September last year and climaxes next month in London, having visited Los Angeles, Miami, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Rome, Putrajaya and Bangkok. Ten teams are pitted against each other in identical single-seater cars, as designed and built by Renault, McLaren, Williams, and Dallara. Although the cars are all the same, each team is permitted to custom engineer the vehicles to enhance their performance. Those involved in the sport are hoping that this custom engineering will eventually lead to the development of new technologies that can be utilised by street-legal electric cars and benefit everyday drivers.

With a top speed of 140mph and acceleration 0 – 62mph in just  3 seconds, DSC00806
there is nothing slow about the electric cars that feature in Formula E. One major concern though is battery life. The battery packs that the cars use last roughly 25 minutes which means that drivers have to pit and swap cars in order to complete a full race. This has led to some criticism from Motorsport traditionalists but organisers have argued that this actually makes it more exciting than Formula 1.

Another concern with the battery packs is the temperatures that they reach during a race and this is where Axair have assisted a number of leading teams from the sport. The 440 pound packs contain 200 battery cells, which generate a significant amount of heat as they discharge. This means that the packs need to be actively cooled after racing and many of the teams were initially using domestic leaf blowers to do this but soon realised that industrial fans would be more effective. Based on the teams’ specifications we supplied a number of In-Line Duct Fans which when used with dry ice packs more than fulfilled their cooling requirements and the robust casing proved perfect for use in the pits or workshops.

Powered by high efficiency backward curved motorized impellers, the teams were particularly impressed with the low noise emissions. This is thanks to air guide vanes in the fan’s casing which straighten the air flow and reduce noise turbulence. When combined with the fan’s profiled blades, this helps to create an impressive airflow of up to 1725m³/h. Available in single phase as standard; these low pressure fans are 100% speed controllable and can be specified with ingress protection up to IP44.

To find out more about our range of In-Line Duct Fans, Contact one of our engineers today.

 

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