News » Ultrasonic Fuel Flow Metering in F1 and WEC explained

Ultrasonic Fuel Flow Metering in F1 and WEC explained


Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMP1 are facing new regulations on fuel usage in order to improve the efficiency of the sport. The first regulation enforces a fuel consumption reduction of 30% meaning teams are limited to only 100kg of fuel per race. The second regulation limits the fuel flow rate to 100kg per hour and it is the monitoring of these fuel restrictions which the Ultrasonic Fuel Flow Meter has been designed to measure.

In both Formulas the fuel flow rate is dependent on a number of factors including acceleration and engine speeds.

Using the time of flight technology principle, the meter measures the velocity of the fuel using ultrasonic pulses. The flow rate is calculated using the time it takes ultrasonic pulses to pass from one end of the sensor to another.  As the meter is designed with no moving parts, it does not restrict or interfere with the flow of fuel passing through it. With measurement update rates up to1kHz, the meter provides an immediate response to flow rate variations, measuring bi-directional fuel flow up to 8000ml/min, significantly larger that the 100kg/h motorsport restriction.

In Formula 1, each car is requireFFM In Car Diagram 300x166d to have a fuel flow meter installed into the fuel cell of the vehicle which streams real time data to the FIA and race teams throughout the race. The fuel flow meter is located so that it measures the volume flow of fuel passing from the fuel cell along to the injectors. The ultrasonic meter is also capable of measuring bi-directional flow, giving teams and the FIA a clear representation of the total rate of flow being measured per race.

In WEC, the fuel rate restrictions also apply, however each car is required to run two meters positioned on the outside of the vehicle and to have one as a backup. The external positioning of the meters allows quick and easy access so that they can be changed during a pit stop if required, unlike F1 which is more difficult to install.

The Ultrasonic Fuel Flow Meter is designed to be compatible with most fuel types and the heavy stress and vibrations found within the Formula series. Due to its design and ultrasonic technology the meter achieves a higher accuracy compared to other flow meters in harsh environment applications such as this