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ecomatmobile in motorsport

If you want to reliably deliver top performance on the race track without putting excessive strain on the engine and power train, you cannot do without monitoring relevant processes. Find out here how ecomatmobile products can contribute to this.

Sensors monitor relevant operating media of the racing car

In the hunt for fastest times, minor details sometimes play an important role. Air charge pressure, fuel pressure, coolant temperature, oil pressure – if a parameter deviates from the optimum, this can lead to a loss of performance (and thus also of seconds) or, even worse, damage to the engine. In this racing car, a Nissan Silvia, important parameters are therefore permanently detected using fast sensors for mobile applications, displayed in real time in the cockpit and recorded for analysis purposes.

ecomatmobile

The HMI: command centre in the cockpit

The central interface between the driver and the vehicle is the robust CR1077 HMI, which is installed in the cockpit. While driving, the most important data is displayed in the dashboard. Detailed curves can be visualised in additional selectable views, e.g. regarding the petrol-air mixture or the centrifugal and acceleration forces.

Temperatures, centrifugal forces, obstacles – everything is detected

The CR2052 ioControl module in the engine compartment, which is integrated into the CAN bus, reads the signals from the installed sensors and switches the relay for additional cooling as well as a solenoid valve for optimised oil supply to the engine. This way, the performance of the car can be continuously kept within the desired range.

Ethernet rear view camera

The ioControl module also picks up the reverse gear signal to switch on the Ethernet rear view camera. The camers’s wide-angle image is transmitted to the display via Ethernet, making manoeuvring in the paddock significantly safer and avoiding collisions with obstacles.

Mobile Ethernet camera

Dynamic inclination sensor

Thanks to the combination of a 3D MEMS accelerometer and a 3D gyroscope, the JD dynamic inclination sensor detects any movement of the vehicle. The detected acceleration provides information about the direction of the curves and braking points in the data recording. The live data from the sensor is visualised on the ecomatDisplay via CAN.


Remote maintenance from the pit lane

However, the vehicle data cannot only be read at any time in the cockpit: Thanks to the mobile IoT modem with radio, GPS and WLAN, the data is sent live from the track to the pit.

Special use cases

Here you can read more about other functions that allow the racecar to be moved safely at the limit.

Problem

High lateral and longitudinal forces during acceleration and braking cause the oil in the oil pan to move a lot. As a result, the oil pump sometimes only sucks in air for a short moment. The result: The oil pressure drops and the bearings in the engine are severely affected.

Reliable oil supply

With the help of the oil pressure accumulator mounted in the boot, oil is supplied to the engine precisely at these moments of shortage. In addition, it is possible to manually press oil into the bearings before starting the engine so that they are lubricated and wear less during cold starts. The oil pressure accumulator has an air pressure of about 1 bar. This value is monitored by a PU5404 pressure sensor, whose analogue signal is read into the CAN bus by a CR2012 I/O module in the boot. A solenoid valve is connected between the oil pressure accumulator and the engine. It is always open in the direction of the accumulator so that it is charged whenever the engine oil pressure is higher than the pressure in the oil pressure accumulator.

The application solution with ifm components

The engine oil pressure is transmitted to the engine control unit (ecu) by a PT9543 pressure sensor. In the ecu, a characteristic curve is stored that monitors the oil pressure depending on the engine speed. Both values increase approximately proportionally to each other.
If the oil pressure falls below the value of the engine speed, the ecu switches a signal to a binary input of the ecomatDisplay. The second input of the “Or” function block programmed there is the signal behind an assigned touch button on the display surface. If one of the two signals is active, the display issues a command via the ioControl I/O module to open the solenoid valve, which causes the oil to flow from the pressurised oil pressure accumulator towards the engine and prevents the engine oil from dropping in pressure.

More sensors

Temperature measurement in gearbox and differential

Further relevant information is provided by the temperature sensors on the gearbox (TU3105) and differential (TM5101), which are also connected to the ioControl. If the oil temperature rises above a defined value, the performance of the lubricants decreases, which can lead to bearing damage. If the temperature is exceeded, the driver is therefore alerted via the display and can reduce the stress on the drive train to prevent damage.

Fuel pressure measurement

In addition to oil pressure, fuel pressure is an important parameter. If it is too low in relation to the boost pressure, the fuel/air mixture will be too lean, which can cause serious damage. If the pressure drops rapidly due to leaks, this can quickly result in a fire developing in the engine compartment. Therefore, a warning threshold programmed on the ecomatDisplay alerts the driver if the fuel pressure drops below the set value.

Inductive Kplus sensor for “flat shifting”

The purpose of the IFS286 inductive Kplus sensor installed on the clutch pedal is saving time when changing gears by means of flat shifting.The turbocharger rotating at up to 160,000 min-1 loses a lot of speed if the throttle valve has to be closed and a divert-air valve has to be opened during the gear-changing process to blow off the boost pressure building up in front of the closed throttle valve. If after the gear change the throttle valve is opened again by pressing the accelerator pedal, the turbocharger has to rebuild the boost pressure, which costs a lot of valuable time in racing.

Ignition is interrupted when the sensor is damped by an aluminium target installed on the clutch pedal. That means that the power train is free from load during this moment although the pedal is still pressed to the floor. The throttle valve remains open, which means that the turbocharger loses very little speed.

Inductive speed detection

Since you have to be extremely careful with rear wheel drive on wet road surface, the driver relies on a programmable traction control of the retrofitted engine controller.
It compares the wheel speed of the front and rear axles and reduces the power by means of the ignition angle when the rear axle rotates faster than the front axle. The sensitivity can be set by means of a potentiometer. The Hall signal of the anti-lock braking system sensors on the front axle is used to detect the wheel speed. However, on the rear axle, this signal is too sensitive. An M12 inductive sensor detecting the speed of the drive shaft provides the remedy. The frequency which is different against the front axle can be easily taught in the controller.

Capacitive sensors for level monitoring

In order to be able to detect a gradual loss of coolant, the level of the coolant expansion tank is monitored with a KQ6003. If the level drops to a minimum, the alarm manager of the ecomatDisplay indicates this to the driver.

Another KQ6 monitors the level of the windscreen washer tank.
The windscreen washer fluid is also sprayed onto the charge air cooler when the charge air temperature reaches a set limit. If the level is too low, spraying is not active to protect the pump from running dry. Cooling via spraying and pump dry-run protection are also programmed in the ecomatDisplay.

Achievements and technical data - Nissan Silvia S15

German Champion “German Time Attack Masters” Pro Class 2016 + 2021
European Champion “European Time Attack Masters” Pro Class 2021
Year of manufacture Engine /
charging
Gearbox Power /
torque
Acceleration
100 - 200 km/h



1999



2.1l 4-cylinder turbo



6-speed manual



420 PS / 500 Nm



8 s

German Time Attack Masters 2023

Track Date Event
Motorsportarena Oschersleben 06.05. - 07.05.2023 Fast Car Festival
TT Circuit Assen (NL) 29.05.2023  Japfest
Nürburgring 18.06.2023 Grip - Das Motorevent
Lausitzring 04.08. - 06.08.2023 Reisbrennen
Nürburgring 22.10.2023 European Time Attack Masters