Energy efficiency in auto racing?!

Jan. 10, 2023
ABB tout’s its new technology to facilitate energy-efficiency savings in Formula E.

ABB will this year integrate its ABB Ability OPTIMAX energy-management software solution into the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with the goal of maximizing the energy efficiency of the racing series’ at-track operations.

Season 9 of the all-electric racing series, of which ABB is the official charging partner, begins in mid January in Mexico City, where ABB Ability OPTIMAX will be used in a live racing environment. Following successful trials during Season 8, ABB Ability OPTIMAX will enable the championship’s engineers to monitor and analyze total race-specific energy output, helping drive more efficient processes.

Up to 14 metering boxes will be located at host venues, collecting data on how much electrical power (kilowatts) is being used by teams and other race partners and how much electricity (kilowatt hours) is consumed over any given time period. This information will be relayed back to race control via the Microsoft Azure cloud. Total consumption across entire E-Prix sites will also be monitored, encompassing operations including the TV broadcast suite, E-Village fan zone, media center, catering facilities, the paddock and the teams’ pit garages.

Daniela Lužanin, head of the ABB Formula E partnership, said, “For ABB, the partnership with Formula E has always been more than a race, it is a testbed for innovative technologies, and we aim to continue to bring more of our solutions to the series. Energy efficiency is key to reducing emissions and meeting sustainability targets and ABB Ability OPTIMAX will be fully implemented this season to help improve this within the Championship.”

The varied street circuits used by Formula E present the added challenge of having to use a range of power sources across different locations. ABB Ability OPTIMAX helps address this with a central dashboard which gives live visibility of all power at the racetrack, enabling Formula E’s technical teams to make all on-site activity more efficient, regardless of the power source, per ABB.

Jamie Reigle, CEO of Formula E, added, “As the first sport to be certified as net-zero carbon since inception, we are always looking for more ways to make the series as sustainable as possible. With ABB Ability OPTIMAX we are able to better monitor our energy consumption and see where potential savings could be made.“