7. The batteries come complete...
7. The batteries come complete with their own on-board recharging system, aka “that gray box.”
"Let's use rechargeable batteries."
"Let's capture spent energy coming off the driveshaft to recharge the batteries."
"Let's divert some of that captured energy to a secondary drive system that could be designed as an on-demand horsepower increase controlled by the driver."
"Let's figure out how to hide all of this and really drive Lumpy nuts." (Ed. Note—If you don't know who Lumpy is, refer to the March '12 issue of Circle Track)
At the risk of entering an arena where we will completely blow the economics of this thing out of the water, we began constructing what would become Phase 2 of Project G.R.E.E.N. Budgets be damned, we decided to break Phase 2 into two separate segments. The first would be focused on electrifying two components that are traditionally mechanically driven in an oval track car, the water pump and the power steering pump. Accomplishing that with a secondary battery would also allow us to ditch the alternator. Once that segment of the project is complete, we would then focus on turning the Camaro into a true hybrid race car. With that cat peeking out of the bag, let's delve into segment one and leave hybridization to your imaginations and for later on in the year.
8. Racepak’s G2X Pro will...
8. Racepak’s G2X Pro will handle all of the datalogging for the newly designed system that includes every aspect of what is happening in the car, from the EFI’s spark, to the temperature, horsepower, and even battery life.
First order of business was to determine what two pumps we were going to use. Let's face it, electric water pumps or p/s pumps aren't exactly the norm in oval track racing. After some research we chose Meziere's electric water pump, PN WP337S. Weighing just slightly more than 6 pounds, this pump flows 55 gallons per minute through stainless steel hardware. Under normal use the pump will draw 11-12 amps and is just 5.20 inches long from the mounting surface to the tip of the pump. For the power steering unit, we purchased Flaming River's Motorsports Electric P/S System, PN FR40105. The P/S weighs just under 14 pounds, but only draws 8 amps. That coupled with the Meziere water pump makes a very manageable combination for the batteries.
Speaking of the batteries, we are not just sticking in a second Exide. Nope, the guys at Argonne sourced a pair of high-tech rechargeable batteries to handle all of the Camaro's electrical needs. They are actually lithium-iron magnesium phosphate (LiFeMgPO4) batteries from Valence Technology. Two 12-volt batts are strategically placed where you would put your normal battery in an Asphalt Late Model. The batteries will power all of the car's electrical systems together, which is actually a departure from our original idea of one battery powering the water pump and p/s pump while the other powered the starter, ignition, and more. But Danny and Forrest said that running them together would be much better. The batteries also have their own on-board recharging system, now affectionately known as "that gray box" not to be confused with "that black box" which is actually part of a data logger system from Racepak. For this phase of the project we replaced the Motek unit we previously used for the Racepak you see in the pictures, because the Racepak unit allows us to gather all of the required data while simultaneously gathering and monitoring spark. The Motek unit would have required a separate system.
9. “That black box” on top...
9. “That black box” on top with the antenna sticking out of the front is one half of the torque sensor, an integral part of proving whether or not the theory of removing the mechnicals from the front of the engine will actually give us an increase in horsepower.
The Racepak logger draws the signal through something called the Smartwire, which utilizes a number of different sensors including a torque sensor and a fuel flow meter. While the latter is pretty obvious as to what it is, the torque sensor consists of two units, the aforementioned "black box" and a donut looking apparatus around the driveshaft. The torque sensor in cooperation with other sensors will allow us to see just how much of an effect the removal of the mechanically driven systems will have on horsepower output at the tailshaft. The entire system monitors every aspect of what is happening in the car, from the EFI's spark, to the temperature, horsepower, and even the batteries.
10. Here’s the other half...
10. Here’s the other half of that system. The black donut looking item will measure, among other things, the torque output of the engine at the tailshaft of the transmission and wirelessly send that data to “that black box.”
Of course, the basic structure of this system is actually the foundation for the hybridization we alluded to earlier in the story. Like Phase 1 of Project G.R.E.E.N., this phase is designed to push the envelope far beyond conventional thinking in oval track racing by applying cutting edge on-road vehicle systems to a fairly typical Super Late Model. This exercise is, however, just the tip of the iceberg so stay tuned for some really amazing things coming your way in 2013.
11. Engineer Danny Bocci,...
11. Engineer Danny Bocci, aka Little Bill Gates, works on programming the Racepak.
12. Fellow Argonne Engineer...
12. Fellow Argonne Engineer and all around partner in all this crime, Forrest Jehlik, aka Keith Urban, finalizes the setup for the batteries on board recharging system.
13. Four green indicator lights...
13. Four green indicator lights right in the center of the dashboard will allow driver, Dalton Zehr to easily monitor system functions during the race.
14. The finished product ready for testing shows a clean and simple front of Project G.R.E.E.N.’s LS3-based motor. Did we happen to mention that we did some extensive work on the internals of the CT525? Oh, we didn’t? Sorry about that, keep an eye out in future issues and we’ll tell you what we did.