The Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team’s 2017 season has been the successful one ...
The Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team’s 2017 season has been the successful one thus far, and although the drivers deserve much of a credit, the team itself has done some remarkable things as well.
Notably, the Mercedes’ current F1 engine achieved 50 percent thermal efficiency for a first time.
In the video below, Owen Jones, head of performance and controls at the Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, the unit responsible for the Mercedes’ F1 engines, discusses how significant 50 percent thermal efficiency is in the racing.
Thermal efficiency is a potential energy burned in gasoline. Engines, therefore, must extract and as much useful work, or power, from fuel as possible.
Mercedes’ recent dyno tests showed a 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 scored in excess of 50 percent thermal efficiency; more than half of available energy in a fuel is now doing useful work, not simply being wasted as heat and the noise. Many engines only achieve around 35 percent thermal efficiency.
Owen says Mercedes spent the lot of time on the fundamental thermal dynamic principles such as the gas exchange processes and combustion.
From there, the team needed to reduce waste and losses through the low friction. Oils were developed to reduce waste and friction, exhaust waste heat is converted into the electric power—the complete F1 power unit is also paired with the two motor-generators.
One of these aids the engine in driving the rear wheels while the other is used to spool up a turbocharger.
The best part is that this same powertrain will end up in the road car! The Mercedes-AMG Project One will feature the version of the engine detailed here, so grab the closer look at its thermal dynamic properties in the video below.
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