Performance & Hotrod Business - January '15

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26 n Performance & Hotrod Business n January 2015 PERFORMANCE spread your money across the entire fuel system on the best filters, plumbing and regulator with a pump sized specifically for your application." Al Deane, chief technology officer for TI Automotive, says his experience has been that race crews have a very cautious approach to evaluating fuel delivery. "From one aspect, we are always extremely focused on the safety of han- dling fuel or packaging in an application," he says. "But, the other reaction we see is to use something off the shelf and once proven, 'let's not change something that is working.' With fuel type and quality changing over time, differences between series, and with the electronic control options available, the opportunity is that fuel pump and electric motor design can be optimized." Overall, he notes, cars at all levels are asking more of their fuel pumps. "I would also add that in the past, race track fuel systems always had the highest flow or pressure conditions. But now, OEM car manufacturers have some outstanding high-horsepower vehicles and the fuel pump performance in some production street applications is higher than the track. This means we have a larger high-volume production portfolio of technology and components to tune in a race application than in the past." And Chris Mills, technical products specialist at DeatschWerks, reminds build- ers to consider the options that in-tank versus out-of-tank pumps provide. "DeatschWerks specializes in drop-in fitment, in-tank pump solutions. Many of our customers are surprised that our 39mm in-tank pump can work within the confines of their OE fuel system and support over 600 hp." Getting Technical Next, we asked how technology is affecting the fuel pump market. "As pump efficiency demands increase, we see more sophisticated motor con- trols introduced in fuel delivery systems. Early examples, such as the Acura NSX, employed dual-voltage systems where at low demand the fuel pump voltage is reduced, thus the pump output with it, and when certain operational variables are met, the voltage increased to increase fuel delivery," Concialdi explains. "We see three-phase DC motors used in many OEM applications and in some high-end aftermarket systems. The increasing use of alcohol-based fuels requires that pumps are manufactured with materials compatible with hydrocarbon and alcohol-based fuel." Higher-tech engines mean higher-tech fuel systems. "Better technology on the induction side, especially forced induction dual-pur- pose applications, has expanded the market for continuous-duty fuel systems capable of supporting huge power, but requiring the manners of a daily driven street car," Fickler notes. "Street cars with 1,000 hp are not uncommon, and in response, our engineers have developed our universal Phantom Systems and our Stealth Tank Systems utilizing our smaller and quieter pumps that draw less amperage—a more efficient system designed for a more effi- cient application." Deane says a simple thing can be huge. "The biggest impact of technology is in the area of electronic control that can influence the change to brushless electric motors to drive the pump section," he believes. "The improvements in properties, and global production supply, of powerful and compact magnets linked with chang- ing the electric commutation means new efficient and smaller fuel pumps can be achieved." Mills says that new fuel pump tech- nology is allowing companies to build fuel pumps that are more efficient and physically smaller, while at the same time increasing flow output. "This makes packaging smaller and easier to fit," he notes, adding that "on the other hand, in-tank fuel pump assemblies have become quite complex and now have more functions within the fuel system than just supplying fuel to the engine. Many assemblies have passive transfer capabilities New fuel pump technology is allowing companies to build fuel pumps that are more efficient and physically smaller, while at the same time increasing flow output. (Photo courtesy DeatschWerks) Fuel flow rates and pressures are increas- ing for both race and street applica- tions, allowing for more customization of modern projects. (Photo courtesy TI Automotive)

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