Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pressure at speed

Ginetta G50 series race cars use specialist pressure sensors


Leeds (GB) based Ginetta Cars is a major player in British motorsports, designing and building cars for the race track and road car enthusiasts as well as co-promoting a number of single-make race competitions across Britain and abroad. To maintain the company’s consistently high performance standards, Ginetta choose Variohm EPT3100 pressure transducers to monitor oil, fuel and water pressure across all of its G50 series race cars.

The 300 bhp G50 ‘Cup’ race car which was voted Autosport Magazine’s ‘Car of the Year 2008’ is exclusively used for the single-make Michelin G50 Championship which starts again in April 2010. This competition is rated as one of the most affordable yet thrilling wheel-to-wheel autosports events held across major British race circuits. With a modest upgrade this car is eligible for British, European and World GT4 racing and took the British GT4 title in 2008 against the likes of Aston Martin, Nissan and Maserati. A newly introduced G50Z version features a 400 bhp Ford Zytek engine and is aimed at top level GT sprint and 24 hour racing. The latest derivative, the G50HC (Hot Climate) is built for the vibrant Middle East race car market and is designed for track temperatures up to +60ºC – which really puts the car and Variohm’s pressure sensors through their paces.

Throughout the G50 series, engine control unit and data logging systems are used to ensure optimum performance and Variohm’s EPT3100 series pressure transducers are built for such challenging applications - where high performance and exceptional reliability need to be balanced with lightweight design, compact dimensions and competitive cost.

The EPT3100’s thin film measuring cell and high level output circuit technology provides pressure output from 0.25 to 4000 bar in several range options with accuracy better than +/- 0.8% and stability more than +/-0.1%. Output options include 0 – 5 V, ratiometric and 4-20 mA with up to 32 V input.

For maximum durability, the EPT3100 boasts a 1000g shock rating and 25 g peak vibration rating at 20 to 2000 Hz. The IP66 rated sealed sensor is housed in a ruggedised and hermetically welded 304 stainless steel casing, weighing only 60 grams and measuring just 22 mm diameter x 54 mm long. A choice of miniature or standard DIN43650 connectors, or flying leads, makes installation and field replacement straightforward. To meet the demands of the gruelling conditions for all types of autosports - and the most challenging industrial applications - the EPT3100 has an over-range pressure rating of 2x and burst pressure capability to 5x, with a rated life of more than ten million pressure cycles.

The EPT3100 is a part of an extensive range of specialist sensors and transducers Variohm EuroSensor supplies across the autosports industry including Formula 1, A1GP, WTCC, GP2, Champ, Nascar, ALMS, Superbike, and many others. The complete range includes pressure and temperature sensor solutions for fuel, oil, coolant and brakes as well as force, torque and position measurement sensors for suspension travel, throttle and gearbox. Laser and infrared technologies are also supplied for ride height position and tyre condition.

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