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If racing is trying to be green minimum weight rules are wrong


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#1 mariner

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 18:12

Reflecting on the excellent TV documentary on Gordon Murray one thing that came across strongly was his belief in low weight as means to reduce CO2.

He reckoned that cutting all car weights by 10% would do far more to reduce CO2 from cars than any realistic electric car growh. Given nuclear plants are closing everywhere and so fossil content in electricity will stay high he may well be right.

So where does motor racing stand versus the concept of transport efficiency by reducing weight?

Basically it is diametricaly opposed to weight reduction, Every formula has a minmum weight limit , many of which have increased over the years. So if complex and expensive technologies like KERS are encouraged why don't the FIA,MSA etc reduce minimum weight limits to encourage " green" design in racing?

I recognise the safety argument but think for a minute - there are no minimum weight rules for road cars - as far as I am aware. Instead functional safety standards are set.

So shouldn't racing rule makers get properly "green" and cut/eliminate minimum weight rules?

Might even bring Gordon Murray back in!


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#2 BRG

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 19:11

Because low weight requires use of more and more exotic materials, which cost a fortune, and before you know it, you have achieved your green objective by pricing everybody bar one team out of the sport.

#3 munks

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 20:05

Ahh, but they have also banned some exotic materials. To simplify, everything in the car has to be made out of steel or rubber.

#4 saudoso

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 20:21

Racing is plain and simple energy waste. On every single aspect. No point trying to make it green(er).

#5 mariner

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 20:32

On exotic materials, the F1 rules have allowed exotic matrerials to reduce weight below the minimum and then more exotic ( and even questionable ) materials to add weight low down to lower the C of G.

Very logical - and clearly ensuring that the minimum weight limit makes a massive direct contribution to car safety !!

#6 TC3000

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 20:59

I think, it is a very good & valid point IMO
Why I see and respect BRG's argument, we should remember, what "really" happens.

People will us whatever exotic material they can get hold off, afford or is permitted by the rules, to make the car
as light as possible anyway, then go and spend even more money on even more exotic materials (tungsten, densamet etc.)
to bring the car back to an ever increasing minimum weight limit.

Now, we can discuss forever if F1 (or racing in general) should/need to be "green" and/or road car relevant or not,
but ever increasing minimum weight limits (not only in F1) run against the grain of any kind of "racing" - IMO.

20-30 years ago, there was perhaps an argument to me made in regards to safety standards, but in the meantime we should be
"on top" of this, by having certain safety standards (crash tests etc.) in place, which should be meet, independent of any weight limits.
So, lower weight would/could actually increase safety, as the energy which needs to be "absorbed" (or better transferred) will be directly
proportional to mass/weight for any given speed.
There is a reason that in the very safety conscious world of aviation there are "maximum weight limits" in place for take-off and landing weights etc.

Therefore, until someone proves that F=m*a or a=F/m is invalid, there is a strong argument against "artificial" minimum weight limits.
Not necessary on grounds of "political correctness", but because low weight was and is within the driving spirit of any racing.

A while ago, I read and interview with one of the Porsche head honchos, and he made a good point in regards to Le Mans.
When LMP2 started out it was known as LMP675 (LMP1 was LMP900 at the time), in relation to the minimum weight limit.
Then they keeped increasing the weight to 750kg and later 825kg, just to make sure, that no LMP2 would win outright at Le Mans under "normal" conditions -
which is very sad IMO, because for many many years there was always the aim to find the best compromise between power/weight, and F=m*a leaves room
to achieve success in different ways.
The V12 vs. V8 "wars" in F1 of the past decades for example.

Therefore, I for one, would welcome a move to "no minimum weight", but with limits on materials and dimensions to ensure safety and financial viability.
I could be good way to bring "creativity" outside of aerodynamics and rule interpretations back to racing ( specifically F1).

#7 CSquared

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 22:22

Racing is plain and simple energy waste. On every single aspect. No point trying to make it green(er).

Or that means there's more point in making it greener.

<snip good post />

:up:

#8 jpf

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 22:48

...

Now, we can discuss forever if F1 (or racing in general) should/need to be "green" and/or road car relevant or not,
but ever increasing minimum weight limits (not only in F1) run against the grain of any kind of "racing" - IMO.

...

So, lower weight would/could actually increase safety, as the energy which needs to be "absorbed" (or better transferred) will be directly
proportional to mass/weight for any given speed.

...

Therefore, I for one, would welcome a move to "no minimum weight", but with limits on materials and dimensions to ensure safety and financial viability.
I could be good way to bring "creativity" outside of aerodynamics and rule interpretations back to racing ( specifically F1).


I strongly agree that lower weights is greener (if that matters to you), safer, and more racy, but I worry about removing min. weight altogether. While I would love to see the solutions that came from that, I am not confident that loophole-free regulations could be written to ensure safety.

Basically, I assume that reducing overall vehicle mass is a much more tempting to engineers than moving the CoM with ballast, and that if overall mass reduction were on the table, teams might be tempted to take more chances with the tubs than they do now. But I may be underestimating how close to the bone teams are playing it under the current regs.

It's a terrible shame if the LMP2 regs evolved in the manner you describe. When you think about the extra bodywork, mock 2nd seat, and smaller budgets, it's impressive to think that LMP675 teams were fielding cars years ago that were only 35kg heavier than today's F1 cars.

#9 J. Edlund

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 00:27

I don't think making F1 cars lighter will have a significant impact on how "green" they are. For a normal car, manufacturing and recycling account for about 10% of the energy use during a cars lifetime, the other 90% is used to operate the car, mostly fuel of course. For a F1 car I would suspect it's the other way around, with 90% of energy use in manufacturing. It is thus difficult to make the cars greener by simply reducing fuel consumption.

Carbon fibre is energy intensive to produce and difficult or impossible to recycle, and F1 cars are made in an labor intensive process in very small numbers. The latter means a lot of energy is used for R&D per car produced.

Also, "exotic materials" isn't necessarily more expensive than materials not considered to be exotic. Material choice always have a close relationship with design and manufacturing, and there are exotic grades of common materials like steel which can cost a small fortune. It's for instance not hard to imagine an expensive fabricated thinwalled monocoque of steel if there was a "steel requirement" for the cars chassi, after all, some high speed airplanes have been built that way.

Besides for the obvious cost and safety aspects of removing the minimum weight, it will also be a disadvantage for larger and thus heavier drivers.

While it might seem simple to remove the tungsten alloy ballast found on a F1 car, such a move would require a complete redesign of the cars since it will move the center of gravity significantly to the rear of the car. With the shifting weight distribution, the current front tires are too wide and the rears too narrow. Too much of the downforce is also produced at the front and too little at the rear. To give the desired reduction in fuel consumption a less powerful engine is also required.

#10 desmo

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 00:45

You want greener F1, the first step should to ban windtunnels and force aero development into CFD. An all-European season where the show could be trucked around would help a lot too.

I know, I know.

Wouldn't removing the weight minimum just result in the status quo minus ballast?

<edit> JE- yes, but the tubs and tires are generally redesigned yearly in any case. It would surely be no big thing to redesign them to suit a new set of regs beyond what is already done year to year. As for a steel/Al/recyclable material spec, mightn't steel have buckling issues due to thin sections at competitive weight? Looking at cutting edge bicycle tech, the weight penalty for using recyclable metals instead of CFRP from a structural standpoint would probably be a lot smaller than most would figure, assuming optimized designs. In practice, composite structures are not generally hugely lighter than metal ones. Maybe make the teams ballast driver weight up to 90kg or something to negate the temptation to use nanodrivers and broaden the competitive talent pool they can draw from. Just looking at demographics it's unlikely the most talented drivers are to be found at < 50-60kg.

Amounts spent are obviously decided by budgets in any case, the teams will spend roughly the same on tubs whether they are steel, Al, CFRP or whatever else.

#11 bigleagueslider

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 02:53

It is not legitimate to compare design of F1 cars to road cars. F1 cars are already quite lightweight, but the huge added cost to make them even lighter is probably not a concern. On the other hand, making road cars significantly lighter would add unacceptable costs. The material technology is there, but it is not cost effective yet. For most of the automotive market, it is still even too costly to use aluminum for the unibody structure, let alone composites.

Gordon Murray is only partially correct about the fuel economy benefits of reducing weights. Depending upon how the vehicle is used, reduced weight may not be quite as beneficial as he claims. The recent trend for automobile weights has also been increasing due to much greater impact regulations. When it comes to improving fuel efficiency of automobiles, reducing aero drag gives better results and usually doesn't cost much. Recent improvements in conventional drivetrain efficiencies have also provided significant gains without adding much cost.

If F1 wants to improve efficiency, maybe they should consider more active aerodynamics. F1 cars have huge aero drag levels. Allowing more active aero devices would make the cars faster without increasing horsepower or reducing weights. All modern aircraft use active aero devices, so why shouldn't F1?

#12 manolis

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 04:56

Green is relative.
If racing is trying to be greener, the shortest way is to reduce the quantity of fuel used.
The cancellation of the refueling during the race is another simple way: a gas-guzzler has the handicap of the additional fuel weight it carries.
Thanks
Manolis Pattakos


#13 mariner

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 09:59

Bigleaque, I don't entirely agree with you that aero is dominant in road car economy. Clearly if you can make it low drag without adding weight or size etc it should be done but I do think weight is more important fro 90% of road use.

To take a real world example our small Fiat has averaged 39.5 mpg with an average speed of 28 mph from new ( 25K miles of data). If you drive it at a steady 56 mph it does about 60 mpg. That strongly suggests aero is not eh dominant factor in real world fuel consumption. Since the bulk of cars operate in the kind of suburban environment ours does I think GM is right to emphasis reducing weight for real world gains.

Of course racing is artificial and the car fuel consumption is only a tiny. tiny part of racing's carbon footprint but that was not my point.

What I am arguing is that if racing wants a good image to protect it against all the potential pressure against it then it should be able to show it adds value to society. Just as disc bakes were used over and over in the 50's to "show" racing improves cars so eliminating minimum weights would carry a powerful eco message.

Given modern stress analysis and functional safety tests I don’t see that no minimum weight would obviously reduce safety. Also it would have two specific benefits

- By giving an alternative route to performance than downforce it might , at least, slow the increases in aero driven cornering sped , if only a bit.

- By reducing mass in a departure from the track it would either increase margins with existing trackside crash absorbers or prevent the trend of moving spectators further and further away from the racing for safety.


#14 J. Edlund

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 22:14

You want greener F1, the first step should to ban windtunnels and force aero development into CFD. An all-European season where the show could be trucked around would help a lot too.

I know, I know.

Wouldn't removing the weight minimum just result in the status quo minus ballast?

<edit> JE- yes, but the tubs and tires are generally redesigned yearly in any case. It would surely be no big thing to redesign them to suit a new set of regs beyond what is already done year to year. As for a steel/Al/recyclable material spec, mightn't steel have buckling issues due to thin sections at competitive weight? Looking at cutting edge bicycle tech, the weight penalty for using recyclable metals instead of CFRP from a structural standpoint would probably be a lot smaller than most would figure, assuming optimized designs. In practice, composite structures are not generally hugely lighter than metal ones. Maybe make the teams ballast driver weight up to 90kg or something to negate the temptation to use nanodrivers and broaden the competitive talent pool they can draw from. Just looking at demographics it's unlikely the most talented drivers are to be found at < 50-60kg.

Amounts spent are obviously decided by budgets in any case, the teams will spend roughly the same on tubs whether they are steel, Al, CFRP or whatever else.


I think it's better to use a combination of CFD and windtunnels. If you have built a wind tunnel model it's very simple to test the car with different ride heights, wind angles and so on; doing the same with CFD requires a lot of computing power.

The normal year to year changes are much smaller than the proposed weight reduction redesign.

Thin sheet steel can of course be used with a honeycomb material or similar to prevent buckling, just like the current tubs in CFRP. Cost and weight wouldn't be significantly different from now anyway.

It is not legitimate to compare design of F1 cars to road cars. F1 cars are already quite lightweight, but the huge added cost to make them even lighter is probably not a concern. On the other hand, making road cars significantly lighter would add unacceptable costs. The material technology is there, but it is not cost effective yet. For most of the automotive market, it is still even too costly to use aluminum for the unibody structure, let alone composites.

Gordon Murray is only partially correct about the fuel economy benefits of reducing weights. Depending upon how the vehicle is used, reduced weight may not be quite as beneficial as he claims. The recent trend for automobile weights has also been increasing due to much greater impact regulations. When it comes to improving fuel efficiency of automobiles, reducing aero drag gives better results and usually doesn't cost much. Recent improvements in conventional drivetrain efficiencies have also provided significant gains without adding much cost.

If F1 wants to improve efficiency, maybe they should consider more active aerodynamics. F1 cars have huge aero drag levels. Allowing more active aero devices would make the cars faster without increasing horsepower or reducing weights. All modern aircraft use active aero devices, so why shouldn't F1?


According to a paper on the subject, replacing the steel unibodys with aluminum is in the range $1000-2000 per car if I remember correctly. Producing virgin aluminum requires significantly more energy than iron, but it's fairly easy to recycle, and the lifecycle use of energy for a car is significantly less with aluminum. It's also interresting to note that aluminum is less dependant on fossil fuels in production since electricity is used to reduce aluminumoxides into aluminum rather than coke (coal) as with iron. The use of electricity rather than coal is on the other hand the main reason why aluminum is more expensive than iron (steel).

If F1 wants to reduce fuel consumption, better aero efficiency could probably have a significant impact.

#15 desmo

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:51

Yes, CFD + wind tunnel is better naturally but not "greener". Running wind tunnels eating multiple Mwatts for hundreds (thousands?) of hours per year is pretty much the antithesis of green though. CFD simulations run on computers drawing kwatts can probably be run on a relatively standard electrical service.

#16 bigleagueslider

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 02:14

Bigleaque, I don't entirely agree with you that aero is dominant in road car economy. Clearly if you can make it low drag without adding weight or size etc it should be done but I do think weight is more important fro 90% of road use.


mariner,

I didn't mean to imply that weight is of no concern with road cars. It's just that improvements in aero efficiency can be had for very little cost, while reductions in weight tend to come at high cost. Improvements in drivetrain/engine efficiency are similar to aero improvements in that they can usually be implemented for modest cost.

As for reducing weights in F1, I don't really know how much lighter the cars can really get. Just as a guess, I'd speculate that if there were no minimum size /weight rules or life cycle rules or material limitations, most of the current cars might be about 100kg lighter. There's probably not much weight reduction to be had from the composite chassis and bodywork structures since the material technology used in these components is already state of the art.

Production car unibodies may get lighter when the manufacturing technology for mass production of composite structures matures. But that is not going to happen anytime soon.


#17 Kelpiecross

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:10

Racing is plain and simple energy waste. On every single aspect. No point trying to make it green(er).


Exactly. Well said.

#18 brakedisc

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:16

Reflecting on the excellent TV documentary on Gordon Murray one thing that came across strongly was his belief in low weight as means to reduce CO2.

He reckoned that cutting all car weights by 10% would do far more to reduce CO2 from cars than any realistic electric car growh. Given nuclear plants are closing everywhere and so fossil content in electricity will stay high he may well be right.

So where does motor racing stand versus the concept of transport efficiency by reducing weight?

Basically it is diametricaly opposed to weight reduction, Every formula has a minmum weight limit , many of which have increased over the years. So if complex and expensive technologies like KERS are encouraged why don't the FIA,MSA etc reduce minimum weight limits to encourage " green" design in racing?

I recognise the safety argument but think for a minute - there are no minimum weight rules for road cars - as far as I am aware. Instead functional safety standards are set.

So shouldn't racing rule makers get properly "green" and cut/eliminate minimum weight rules?

Might even bring Gordon Murray back in!



Despite being a fan of the man I think Mr Murray is wrong. There is no way a small weight reduction is going to reduce the co2 level by much. His latest creation uses "old" methods and materials that are not new. I have had a keen interest in what he has been doing since he set up his design company and I am disappointed at the results of their labours. I was hoping for new materials, carrots anyone, and clever bonding to join it all together. Instead we got a "kit" car that I and my mates could make and a cost cutting lecture in production methods.

On the racing front it is all about the resources teams have behind them. They all build to the lightest level they can anyway and being green is not in the equation. There is no place for revolutionary ideas any more in the design brief because of the very tight rules in place and it looks like they have now turned to limiting costs to try and reduce the massive resources used. That might help to make things more green but I doubt many will abide by them and will put plenty of effort into finding a way round the limitation rather than making things more efficient. We have to face facts, there is no way motorsport can be truely green but recycling of components would help and so would ensuring that the teams have to make all their own energy for manufacturing their parts and keeping their wind tunnels going. That said I like the new engine rules in F1 as it should give the "brains" a chance to come up with some serious energy saving and recovery systems that might find their way into mainstream car production.

On the road car front I wonder who to believe. All the manufacturers are struggling to come up with a solution to change things properly and give out all this nonsense of being "greener" but are they to be believed? Is an electric car any greener than a hyrogen powered car? Is an M3 at 70 more efficient on a motorway than a small diesel being hammered?

Thirty years ago when we got the chance to fund our racing by building a mainstream road car we came up with the idea of a vehicle powered by a small petrol engine set at its most efficient with variable transmission that had a storage capacity for energy recovered via the brakes. The frame and bodywork were to be made from sustainable materials bonded together using natural resins. The engine would be fully recycleable as would most of the other parts. It had no chance of coming to production because the big business that is the motor industry was entrenched in the past. I suspect things are like that today.

#19 MatsNorway

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 13:58

If you want things green you need to look at the total picture. If your wasting more energy on making the car light than you would save inn during its life time it not much of a green thing is it?

btw. Is Carbon fiber recyclable? Can you reuse it to make a new chassie?

Edited by MatsNorway, 22 July 2012 - 14:09.


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#20 Greg Locock

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 02:45

On the road car front I wonder who to believe. All the manufacturers are struggling to come up with a solution to change things properly and give out all this nonsense of being "greener" but are they to be believed? Is an electric car any greener than a hyrogen powered car? Is an M3 at 70 more efficient on a motorway than a small diesel being hammered?

Of course it is nonsense about being greener. Car manufacturers sell cars that people want to buy, not green cars. Politically and socially they greenwash them, but the most profitable car to sell is a 2 ton truck that can carry half a ton. I don't know where you get your ideas about hydrogen cars, but hydrogen is an idiotic fuel to make, transport and store. Once it is actually in the fuel pipes on its way into the fuel cell it suddenly becomes quite handy, but at every step before then it is a complete nightmare.



#21 desmo

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 03:21

I don't think we need worry about Hydrogen fuel. There's no economic way to produce it, never mind distribute and store it- is there?

#22 Catalina Park

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:24

How much greener would they be if they used one set of tyres per race? (making tyres, transporting tyres, pit crew to change tyres, etc...)


#23 mariner

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 09:09

Greg is right about what the car mfrs would LIKE to sell. SUV's and trucks in USA , big powerful luxocars if you are German.

However auto mfg is now a fully regulated industry and WHAT they sell is determined by fuel efficiency/CO2 laws in the USA, EU and China. That is 50M units out of a global sales total of about 75M units.

So , basically the mfrs meet fuel econmy standards or go out of business. In that scenario reducing weight may be difficult and expensive but it has to be at least one of the tools in the design armoury.

Hence the argument for no minimum weight limit in FIA approved racing.

#24 mariner

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 09:16

Greg is right about what the car mfrs would LIKE to sell. SUV's and trucks in USA , big powerful luxocars if you are German.

However auto mfg is now a fully regulated industry and WHAT they sell is determined by fuel efficiency/CO2 laws in the USA, EU and China. That is 50M units out of a global sales total of about 75M units.

So , basically the mfrs meet fuel econmy standards or go out of business. In that scenario reducing weight may be difficult and expensive but it has to be at least one of the tools in the design armoury.

Hence the argument for no minimum weight limit in FIA approved racing.

#25 brakedisc

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 10:36

Of course it is nonsense about being greener. Car manufacturers sell cars that people want to buy, not green cars. Politically and socially they greenwash them, but the most profitable car to sell is a 2 ton truck that can carry half a ton. I don't know where you get your ideas about hydrogen cars, but hydrogen is an idiotic fuel to make, transport and store. Once it is actually in the fuel pipes on its way into the fuel cell it suddenly becomes quite handy, but at every step before then it is a complete nightmare.



I do not have any ideas about hydrogen cars where did you get that idea from ?


#26 Greg Locock

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:58

I do not have any ideas about hydrogen cars where did you get that idea from ?

"Is an electric car any greener than a hyrogen powered car?" implies there is some doubt about the matter, to my eye.

#27 7MGTEsup

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 16:02

Alot of weight could be saved on cars by simply not fitting half the guff that people don't need to get from a to b. Cars these days are so full of heavy sound deadening seats that weigh 30kg each because they are heated and electonically controlled. I remember when a small hatchback weighed 800kg, now its more like 1100kg thats an awful lot more weight to shift about.

#28 MatsNorway

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 17:40

The "new" mini weights in at 1300kg.

#29 saudoso

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 18:11

Alot of weight could be saved on cars by simply not fitting half the guff that people don't need to get from a to b. Cars these days are so full of heavy sound deadening seats that weigh 30kg each because they are heated and electonically controlled. I remember when a small hatchback weighed 800kg, now its more like 1100kg thats an awful lot more weight to shift about.


And that burns way more fuel than anything that is supposed to save energy can do by a huge margin.

I have written this here 4 or 5 times in different threads already.

The idea of a green Formula 1 derives from two very wrong beliefs IMO

The first, which cannot be argued, is that the a amount of fuel burned by the cards themselves matters in the business's carbon footprint.

The second, which some will argue, is that Formula 1 is road relevant in some way, which it is not.

Edited by saudoso, 23 July 2012 - 18:11.


#30 BRG

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 19:08

I don't think we need worry about Hydrogen fuel. There's no economic way to produce it, never mind distribute and store it- is there?

You know, I remember when they said that about petroleum spirit, back in the 1890s..... ;)

#31 carlt

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 22:14

You know, I remember when they said that about petroleum spirit, back in the 1890s.....;)

that puts you at 120 ish years old then ?

#32 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 00:24

Alot of weight could be saved on cars by simply not fitting half the guff that people don't need to get from a to b. Cars these days are so full of heavy sound deadening seats that weigh 30kg each because they are heated and electonically controlled. I remember when a small hatchback weighed 800kg, now its more like 1100kg thats an awful lot more weight to shift about.

True. But every manufacturer who has ever tried that has been beaten in sales and profitability by someone who starts to add those 'unnecessary' features. Purists may rant and rave, but car companies need to sell lots of cars to real people who buy new cars and pay for them, not bloggers and internet forum participants with large opinions and small wallets.

Incidentally that 1100 kg hatchback is far safer and has thousands of dollars of 'extra' stuff in it because YOU voted to have that stuff put into it. If YOU didn't vote then you didn't even participate in the process and so don't have any say in the matter. If YOU did vote did you are part of the process and are partly to blame. Grins.

Incidentally electrically heated seats are an energy saving measure. Strange but true.



#33 gruntguru

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:22

Incidentally electrically heated seats are an energy saving measure. Strange but true.

OK - I will bite. :well:

#34 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:03

OK - I will bite. :well:

This is a good one. The worst thing you do to your car's fuel economy is start it up on a cold morning and drive reasonably slowly out of your drive and into your local street, where you probably don't tear off at full throttle. Meanwhile you've got your heater on full heat, attempting to bring the interior temp up to nice and toasty. All that heat comes from the cooling system where it should be warming the engine up.

If you have electric seats then (a) you can and will settle for a cooler cabin (b) the electrical load helps to heat the engine up faster. (a) is far more important.

There' also a benefit for cooled seats in hot climates, but they are more difficult to make





#35 bigleagueslider

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:23

I would agree that the notion of F1 racing trying to promote a "green" image is silly. I would also agree that the notion of F1 racing making production cars better is also silly, since there is currently little technology transfer from F1 cars to production cars.

As for the weight issue, F1 cars currently use lots of carbon materials for things like chassis and suspension, brakes, clutches, etc. While carbon materials are strong and lightweight, they also require huge amounts of fossil fuel energy (primarily natural gas) to produce, and this is why they are so expensive. Carbon composites are not readily recyclable, but the steel and aluminum used in production car bodies/chassis is easily recycled.

Besides the simple vehicle mass, you also need to consider the vehicle's fuel consumption/passenger-mile. Isn't a single 50-passenger transit bus getting 3 miles/gal better than 25 2-passenger cars getting 40 miles/gal?

Lastly, consider if F1 engines/fuel systems had to meet similar emissions requirements as the typical production car engine.

#36 MatsNorway

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:26

Finally someone answered.

Regardin emissions.. Considering how the science guys still argue about where the values(ratios really) should be i think its best to focus on low fuel consumption/efficiency.

Edited by MatsNorway, 24 July 2012 - 06:27.


#37 saudoso

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:49

That's something I guess I said three or four times around here also, *PUBLIC* *TRANSPORTATION*

#38 7MGTEsup

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:52

True. But every manufacturer who has ever tried that has been beaten in sales and profitability by someone who starts to add those 'unnecessary' features. Purists may rant and rave, but car companies need to sell lots of cars to real people who buy new cars and pay for them, not bloggers and internet forum participants with large opinions and small wallets.

Incidentally that 1100 kg hatchback is far safer and has thousands of dollars of 'extra' stuff in it because YOU voted to have that stuff put into it. If YOU didn't vote then you didn't even participate in the process and so don't have any say in the matter. If YOU did vote did you are part of the process and are partly to blame. Grins.

Incidentally electrically heated seats are an energy saving measure. Strange but true.


I drive a citroen C1 which has non of the stuff you mention :p and my other fun car is a volvo 940 turbo that has been stripped down to weigh 1200kg so I live by my ethos not just spout it on the internet and then go drive a 2200kg Rang Rover.

Edited by 7MGTEsup, 24 July 2012 - 10:53.


#39 7MGTEsup

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:00

That's something I guess I said three or four times around here also, *PUBLIC* *TRANSPORTATION*


Unfortunatly unless you live in a large city public transport in the UK is not good to put it mildley. Where I live the buses come at irregular times and the closest bus stop to where I work is about 4 miles away. So what by my car is a 10 Minute drive then becomes a 1 hour ordeal and if you then miss the bus for some reason it becomes a 3 hour walk.

I agree a good public transport system would go a good way to reliving some of the fuel burden but unless governments start to invest its just not going to happen.

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#40 saudoso

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:17

True. But every manufacturer who has ever tried that has been beaten in sales and profitability by someone who starts to add those 'unnecessary' features. Purists may rant and rave, but car companies need to sell lots of cars to real people who buy new cars and pay for them, not bloggers and internet forum participants with large opinions and small wallets.

Incidentally that 1100 kg hatchback is far safer and has thousands of dollars of 'extra' stuff in it because YOU voted to have that stuff put into it. If YOU didn't vote then you didn't even participate in the process and so don't have any say in the matter. If YOU did vote did you are part of the process and are partly to blame. Grins.

Incidentally electrically heated seats are an energy saving measure. Strange but true.


So, if like you said, the public voted all that stuff in, why the heck we need a green(er) F1? It's like 'lights' cigarrtes or beers for gods sake, can't anyone see that? It will do as much harm and not be as good.

#41 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:28

I drive a citroen C1 which has non of the stuff you mention :p and my other fun car is a volvo 940 turbo that has been stripped down to weigh 1200kg so I live by my ethos not just spout it on the internet and then go drive a 2200kg Rang Rover.


Good for you. But car manufacturers have absolutely zero interest in your preferences because you don't seem to buy new cars. Mind you I'm the same, and would be no more likely to buy a new car than poke my eye out.


#42 Kelpiecross

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:29

I don't think we need worry about Hydrogen fuel. There's no economic way to produce it, never mind distribute and store it- is there?


I saw an item on the internet a while back (I can't find it again - which spoils the story a little) - anyhow, it was a picture of a a full-size US pickup fuelled by hydrogen. The pickup bed was filled entirely by three giant 6000psi tanks - and the article said that it was the equivalent of five or six gallons of petrol. I think this illustrates exactly the problem with hydrogen - storage.

#43 munks

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 14:52

Good for you. But car manufacturers have absolutely zero interest in your preferences because you don't seem to buy new cars. Mind you I'm the same, and would be no more likely to buy a new car than poke my eye out.


I voted, but I'm not sure how much it helped. After 17 years of driving a tiny J car from GM that they lost money on, I bought one of those new Toyobaru's.

#44 BRG

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 19:55

I saw an item on the internet a while back (I can't find it again - which spoils the story a little) - anyhow, it was a picture of a a full-size US pickup fuelled by hydrogen. The pickup bed was filled entirely by three giant 6000psi tanks - and the article said that it was the equivalent of five or six gallons of petrol. I think this illustrates exactly the problem with hydrogen - storage.

95% of pickups in the US drive around with an empty cargo bed. So what's the problem?

#45 bigleagueslider

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:04

At the risk of being labeled a "pedant", I would point out that since almost all automotive fuels are composed of hydrocarbons, most cars are already at least partially hydrogen-fueled. The hydrogen component in the fuel is not inert.

As a suggestion, rather than using hydrogen gas as a "carbon-free" fuel why not develop IC engines that use anhydrous ammonia for fuel, since it is much easier to produce, ship and store?

#46 desmo

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:44

I'm not familiar with the bulk NH3 production process. Where does the C from the feedstocks wind up?

#47 bigleagueslider

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:59

desmo,

Anhydrous ammonia is commercially produced from natural gas using Faber-Bosch process. Don't know where the C's go, but since it's a massive industrial scale process I'm sure they're used for something that can be sold.

#48 blkirk

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 13:23

At the risk of being labeled a "pedant", I would point out that since almost all automotive fuels are composed of hydrocarbons, most cars are already at least partially hydrogen-fueled. The hydrogen component in the fuel is not inert.

As a suggestion, rather than using hydrogen gas as a "carbon-free" fuel why not develop IC engines that use anhydrous ammonia for fuel, since it is much easier to produce, ship and store?


I do like your outside the box thinking. And as a bonus, ammonia is the most efficient refrigerant around, so you could use it in the A/C before it goes to the engine to be burned. But, I'm not sure of the chemistry on this one. Since NH3 is non-flammable, I'm assuming that your plan is to reform it into N2 and H2 between the tank and the engine. They naturally dissociate at 850F, so that might be a use for the waste heat of the engine. Although it would probably require the use of a suitable catalyst to bring that temp down a little bit. Running the fuel lines through/around the exhaust system sounds a bit complicated.

On the downside, ammonia is VERY dangerous. There is a reason that only industrial refrigeration cycles use ammonia and all the rest of us use chlorofluorocarbons. This 1976 Ammonia spill article does a nice job of covering the effects of increasing exposure to ammonia.



#49 Greg Locock

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 23:27

CH4+2H2O+lots of heat=CO2+4H2

N2+3H2+lots of heat=2NH3

Depending on your priorites you may have noticed a slight issue with the stage where the synthesis of hydrogen occurs!

#50 Magoo

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 22:57

You want greener F1, the first step should to ban windtunnels and force aero development into CFD.


Below is a short-ish video produced by Ford showing how its 2013 NASCAR body was produced entirely in the tube using CFD. The car did go to the tunnel but only once the design was fairly well baked.

In talking to John Darby of NASCAR as well as reps from the automakers, I learned that it's mainly CFD that gives everyone the confidence to embark on the recent initiative to build some degree of product resemblance into the race cars without sacrificing performance or tilting the proverbial playing field.

The video is not exactly heavyweight from the technical perspective but has lots of neat-o graphics (I recommend stop and snip) and some interesting people crop up. Ford Racing in Dearborn has some ex-CART team members on staff, which is worthy of note, I think.

Link to video:

Ford NASCAR CFD program | Motor City Garage

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