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2015 F1

Formula 1 Power Unit Explained

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F1 2015 Engine Spec

In 2014, the rules for F1 engine and energy recovery system were changed. As per the new regulations, 2.4 litre normally aspirated V8 engines have now been replaced by 1.6 litre V6 turbo engine with direct fuel injection.

So, What is a powerunit?
The Power unit forms the heart of a F1 car and instead of now referring the engine as single entity it is now referred to as a power unit. So, what are the parts of the power unit?

The power unit is built around the 1.6 litre v6 turbo engine and following are the parts comprising the power unit:

1. 1.6 Litre V6 Turbo Engine with direct fuel injection
2. Battery
3. MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit Kinetic)
4. MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit Heat)
5. ERS Control Unit
6. Turbocharger

Now, let’s take an indepth look into the various components comprising a power unit:

1.6 Litre V6 Turbocharged Engine:

The engine is still an internal combustion engine but it has been downsized and has less cylinders now compared to previously used 2.4 litre V8 engines.

Also, according to the new regulations the fuel usage has been limited to 100 kg per race from the grid to chequered flag, and the fuel tank size has also been reduced.

So, the current engine produces less power than previously used V8’s but the fuel efficiency of these engines is very high and forced induction systems such as the turbochargers are used to maintain same level of power output with a substantially decreased engine size and fuel consumption.

Also, the Energy recovery system(ERS) compensates for the significant decrease in power output by delivering an extra of 161 bhp to the engines 600 bhp.

Motor Generator Unit:

Before the advent of Energy recovery systems, the energy was lost in form of kinetic energy under braking and the thermal energy in form of the exhaust gases. Here’s where the motor generator unit comes into play.

In simple words, the Motor Generator Unit recovers the energy which would earlier have been lost in form of braking and exhaust gases.

There are two Motor generator units in a F1 car and these are MGU-Kinetic and the MGU-Heat. The MGU-kinetic captures the kinetic energy generated under braking and converts this kinetic energy into electrical energy which is saved in the battery.

The MGU-Heat recovers thermal energy from the hot exhaust gases for the exhaust pipes and feeds it either directly into MGU-K or stores the energy into the battery.

ECU: (ERS Control Unit)

This basically is the computer which controls how much energy that has to be harvested from the brakes or from the exhaust gases. The ECU can be controlled by the driver from the steering wheel and the amount of energy that has to be harvested or consumed can be controlled via the ECU.

ECU also plays an important part in controlling the brake performance by interacting with the brake by wire systems.

Battery:

The energy harvested by the Motor Generator Unit is stored temporarily in the batteryfor use later in the lap.

Turbocharger:

The turbocharged is a device which increases the engine efficiency and power output by the means of forced induction i.e  by pumping extra air into the engine.

So, how does it exactly work?

A turbocharger consists of two parts i.e:

  1. Turbine
  2. Compressor: This consists of a compressor wheel and a compressor housing.

The exhaust gases exiting at very high speeds rotate the turbine.

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The compressor wheel is attached to the turbine by a forged steel shaft, and as the turbine turns the compressor wheel, the high-velocity spinning draws in air and compresses it.

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The compressor housing then converts the high-velocity, low-pressure air stream into a high-pressure, low-velocity air stream through a process called diffusion. The compressed air is pushed into the engine, allowing the engine to burn more fuel to produce more power.

Note: This is just a brief description about each of the power unit parts. A more detailed article on each part is in the development so stay tuned. (Nishant Raj)

POWERUNIT FACTS:

  2013 V8 +KERS 2015 POWERUNIT
Power 730 hp + 80 hp for 7 seconds 760
Fuel consumption for a race 150kg 100kg
Empty car weight 642kg 691kg
Race start car weight 802 kg 791kg
No. of Units allowed for each driver in a season 8 engines 4 power unit
 

 

RENAULT ENERGY F1 POWER UNIT TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

ENERGY F1-2015
Engine
Displacement 1.6L V6
Number of cylinders 6
Rev limit 15,000rpm
Pressure charging Single turbocharger, unlimited boost pressure (typical maximum 3.5 bar abs due to fuel flow limit)
Fuel flow limit 100 kg/hr (-40% from V8)
Permitted Fuel quantity per race 100 kg (-35% from V8)
Configuration 90° V6
Bore 80mm
Stroke 53mm
Crank height 90mm
Number of valves 4 per cylinder, 24
Exhausts Single exhaust outlet, from turbine on car centre line
Fuel Direct fuel injection
Energy Recovery Systems
MGU-K rpm Max 50,000 rpm
MGU-K power Max 120kW
Energy recovered by MGU-K Max 2MJ/lap
Energy released by MGU-K Max 4 MJ/lap
MGU-H rpm >100,000rpm
Energy recovered by MGU-H Unlimited (> 2MJ/lap)
General
Weight Min 145 kg
Number of Power Units permitted per driver per year 5
Total horsepower 600hp (ICE) + 160hp (ERS)
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