This paper will investigate and examine impacts of technology in enhancing the performance of racing automobiles through effective use of fuel and lessen the amount of hazardous gases emitted to the environment. It is a known fact that there has been extensive and continuous investigation and search for technology aspects that can assist the motorsport industry through improved fuel conservation and in the process reducing the release of the dangerous greenhouse gases. This is because research has discovered that motorsport industry is characterized by high levels of emission of gases to the environment mostly from automotive vehicles, this has made researchers to indulge into studies that have been in the forefront in evaluating myriad of technological options and alternatives.
It has been established that since the introduction of strict and comprehensive laws and regulation in the European countries, one of the main concern has been fuel economy and environmental consciousness in the use of racing vehicles (International Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference and Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2014). This has made researchers to conduct studies that in most cases have recommended the use of alternative powertrain technology in the industry. It is important to note that specifically in the motorsport ground; several changes were introduced by the body governing Formula 1 on the high performance racing vehicles that majorly focused on economic use of fuel. For instance, the bodies in 2014 restricted the rate of fuel flowing to an extreme of 100kg per hour and not go beyond 10,500 revolutions per minute thereby settling on the fact that the fuel flow rate should be maintained below 10,500 rev per minute for engines running the F1 vehicles. To achieve this, regulations proposed the active promotion of the integrated hybrid powertrain technology with the aim of optimizing fuel economy and reducing impacts of generated gases to the environment.
In light of the assertion, the paper will seek to evaluate and discuss the technology while measuring its efficiency in terms of fuel consumption and the emission level of greenhouse gases specifically, carbon dioxide to the environment. For instance, the study will aim to provide evidence on the impact of powertrain to racing vehicles and to discover if the technology is supported by existing legislations. This research report will present systematic technique that can be used to assess the technology on racing vehicles. In addition, it will provide the framework that can be used to judge on the capability of the technology in economizing fuel while evaluating its ability in protecting the environment (Bolles, 2010). The paper will also highlight on historical implications, economic issues, social issues and cultural dimensions on the use of the powertrain technology and its contribution in ensuring efficient fuel use and protection of the environment during racing.
It is asserted that a powertrain technology is a component that is used in the design of racing cars that has the ability to generate power and send it to the racing surface (International Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference and Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2014). Engineers have pronounced that the technology encompasses myriad devices of engines, transmission devices, drive shafts and other components that may be integral in transmitting power. Technologically, it has been opined that a powertrain encompasses section of the motor vehicle that may be used to convert stored energy to kinetic energy that can be used to provide thrust for automobiles. The design of powertrain will provide means of generating power and transmitting such power to the wheels, the engine in this case is linked to the driveline components that can be used in powertrain configurations.
Many companies are involved in providing above board and comprehensive techniques and technologies that are aimed at coining new generations of powertrains in order to assure leading edge competitiveness to diverse needs of clients around the world. It is asserted that this technology was fronted due to its ability to ensure clean and efficient engines of racing vehicles, and so each motor vehicle company strives to develop and apply innovative technologies with the possibility of plummeting the engine emanations and refining the fuel consumption of the motorsport vehicles in order to forestall the introduction of progressively strict emissions pieces of legislations (Carroll, 2003).
Historical implications of the technology in motorsports
Historically, vehicles that were designed were so mechanical that they used steam power to provide thrust and the technology initiated at the time was static applications mechanisms. Later, steam powered vehicles were widely accepted and used in transporting people and supplies and however such mechanically controlled automobiles were limited in scope to serviceable vehicles (Carroll, 2003). The first electric car was built in 1884 as a way of improving on the existing technology; this was one way of designing efficient vehicles with fuel conservation in mind. It is asserted that the designer of the first electric vehicle was also concerned with the effects that smoke and pollution had on the environment at the time (Hunter, 2013). It is opined that powertrain technology was coined during the twentieth century when different companies began competing on speed and performance; this gave birth to internal power generating systems that continue to dominate design of automobiles.
It is worth pointing out that technological innovation in motorsports vehicles have generally been aimed at ensuring fuel economy and reduce emission of carbon dioxide in the air. Engineers have opined that for the past 40 years, motorsports companies have consistently developed and commercialized new technologies that have provided increasing benefits to car racing experts and consumers. However, the reasons for design have been varied with some pointing out that embracing technology in design of motor sport vehicle have the ability to increase fuel economy, reduce carbon emissions, increasing vehicle power and performance, increasing vehicle content and weight, or improving other vehicle attributes that are not easily quantifiable. For the case of powertrain technology, experts have pronounced that the historical implications of carbon dioxide to the environment especially during car racing activities in addition to reducing the amount of fuel used in such activities have been instrumental in promoting the use of the technology (Hunter, 2013).
Economic, social and cultural perspectives
There are several economic issues raised in motorsports that gives a green light for the integration of the technology to the industry. These economic issues can be viewed on the perspective of the manufacturers, societal and consumers with the assertion that lower driving costs may lead to greater travel and movement including racing using the sports cars (Hunter, 2013). The economic issues raised include economies of large scale in the manufacture of vehicles used in motorsports, it is opined that through use of technology in manufacture of motorsport vehicles, embracing a valid long-term business case which is a fundamental metric for justifying investment in a powertrain technology (Hunter, 2013). The other issues are road fuel economy adjustments, economical vehicle miles travelled profiles of motorsports vehicles, fuel price that is crucial for sports due to the assertion that they are volatile and an important assumption in the consumer payback methodology (International Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference and Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2014). Fuel savings is also an important issue when highlighting technology use in motorsports; experts have asserted that the addition of any new fuel economy technology yields a higher real world fuel economy than the real world fuel economies of the baseline vehicles (Carroll, 2003). To support the statement is the belief that increased real world fuel economy reduces the number of gallons of fuel necessary to race the number of miles driven during motorsports activities and ventures (Carroll, 2003). Fuel economy also goes hand in hand with the issues to do with overall maintenance, brakes maintenance savings, potential refueling time savings for those involved in motorsports activities and market externalities (International Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference and Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2014).
It is asserted that driving and by extension motorsports racing is an activity that engages many people and thus involves strong social feelings. For instance, when in a competition car racing experts have confirmed that situations of traffic accumulating in the racing lanes can often invoke a lot of frustrations to the drivers while others have opined that racing can be an enjoyable activity. For instance, sporting cars can be used for transport as well as facilitating pleasure activities, social lives and family connections and that people may also engage with cars in particular ways related to their gender, age and the kinds of desires they bring to the experience of cars (Mashadi and Crolla, 2012). For some men, for example, cars are important to their expression of themselves as males, and driving large powerful or sporty cars is thus important to them (International Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference and Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2014). This means that there is need for technologies that can make driving racing cars more efficient and enjoyable through improved performance and speed, powertrain technology is therefore important in making motorsports frustration free.
Contributions and impacts on racing
Research has found out that transportation and specifically racing has contributed to an average of 23% of global carbon dioxide emission. It is due to this global concern that most governments in all regions have taken steps to reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions and increase vehicle fuel economy (Mashadi and Crolla, 2012). For instance, in the U.S recent legislations have called upon racing car makers to meet at average fuel economy with the target positioned at 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 (Mashadi and Crolla, 2012). On a broader perspective Europe is leading the way with regulations in this area but other regions, including the U.S. and Japan, have their own challenging requirements (Mashadi and Crolla, 2012). The study has discovered that powertrain technology in motorsports vehicles has impacted on fuel economy and environmental conservation, specifically they have contributed in reducing the amount of fuel that is consumed by sports cars and the heavily reduced the amount of dangerous gases emitted to the environment during car racing activities.
It is asserted that some improvements have been put in place to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide generation to the environment through reduction of weight and rolling resistance and improving aerodynamic properties. Experts have pointed out that powertrain has been identified as the system that can provide the greatest improvement with a 10% engine fuel consumption reduction of carbon dioxide emission reduction (Rahnejat, 2010). This is important in racing as it has helped reduce criticisms by environment crusaders on the impact that the activities have on the environment; this has enabled continued practice of car racing as a sport. It is opined that in order to meet these global government requirements, racing car makers must meaningfully modernize their current software and hardware but are dared by confines that include memory and throughput to run new algorithms as well as the cost impact of any new control, powertrain architecture has been cited as one of the solutions to enable implementation (Rahnejat, 2010). Environment crusaders have attested that due to pollution and climate change concerns, government policies are attempting to reduce the environmental impact of automobiles. Majority of racing car makers have embraced and accepted greenhouse gas regulations and fuel economy standards, such initiatives have helped improve average fuel efficiency in motorsports cars by around 26 percent (International Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference and Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2014).
Engineers have attested to the fact that steel is the main component that has been used by car manufacturers to build automobiles for years; this is because it is flexible and is able to continuously evolve to keep up with ever changing vehicle design challenges (Santin, 2007). Apart from this, the evolving nature of steel has consistently ensured that they are stronger and thinner to reduce the body mass of racing cars that is a great determinant on fuel economy (Santin, 2007). It is asserted that weight elasticity and fuel cell vehicles have been a pointer to fuel consumption by motorsports vehicles, driving cycles and powertrains (Rahnejat, 2010). Statistics have also supported the assertion that a reduction of vehicle mass by 10 percent reduces the fuel consumption of such automobiles by about 8 percent (Rahnejat, 2010). This is again determined by the kind of powertrain selected and whether or not the powertrain is adjusted for equivalent acceleration for the reduced weight vehicle (Santin, 2007).
It has been discovered that when powertrains are resized weight reduction can be achieved and that the effect of resizing has more influence on fuel savings than mass reduction, especially for motorsports driving cycles (Santin, 2007). However, such impressive fuel economy have not been realized because in most cases motorsports car makers do not have sufficient engine and powertrain system choices to apply to every continuous step in vehicle weight (Santin, 2007). Second, it is believed that market determinants have caused momentous increase in acceleration performance rather than the resizing of powertrains to equivalent performance (SAE World Congress, 2002). According to available statistics from National highways in U.S significant gains have been realized on the use of powertrain technologies in racing cars even though to some extent this technology has been applied to vehicle acceleration performance rather than to fuel economy which is equally important for the car racing industry (SAE World Congress, 2002).
Conclusion and recommendation
From the investigation it has been established that conventional powertrain technologies is instrumental in aligning fuel economy standards and reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the racing sector, however, it is paramount for car makers to develop more innovations to help in meeting these goals (Bolles, 2010). For instance, one way of ensuring this can be through the use of thermal-management technologies, such as flow-control devices and heat exchangers, which assist a variety of powertrain assemblies in their greenhouse effect reduction pursuit (Bolles, 2010). It is asserted that such systems have the potential of maintaining optimum battery temperature, which is essential for battery life and range of racing vehicles, and take advantage of the internal-combustion engine’s thermal capacity to maximize performance, helping achieve both enhanced fuel economy and reduced emissions (Hunter, 2013).
The study recommends that there is need to integrate powertrain technologies for gasoline, diesel, and electric powered racing cars. It is believed that history has affirmed that one technology may disrupt another technology in the system and there is evidence that current alternative fuel powertrains will emerge successful. Implementing the technology for racing car sports requires several policies and their rapidly increasing market share, motorsports car involved in racing should be considered to have the momentum among contending powertrain technologies.
The study concludes that advanced powertrain technologies contributes to more fuel economy by reducing costs of fuel and in the process reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the environment during racing (Santin, 2007). However, the use of such a technology should take advantage of other issues like regenerative braking that do not see the same large variation in weight and fuel consumption elasticity with powertrain resizing as conventional internal combustion engines do (Santin, 2007). Experts have pronounced that high reduction in fuel consumption in motorsports racing activities will be achieved when powertrains technologies become more widely used in the manufacture of sport cars (Santin, 2007).
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