In racing, fractions of a second in lap times can make the difference between winning and losing. Teams don’t waste any weight carrying extra fuel, as doing so can compromise speed, and spending extra time in the pits can be even more costly. In trying to stretch a single tank as far as it will go, many teams run a fuel cell as close to empty as possible. With the heavy g-loads of racetrack duty, standard fuel pickups sometimes struggle to keep normal fuel pressure due to starvation at the hand of fuel slosh, leading to engine hiccups at the least opportune times. Holley’s HydraMat fuel reservoir was designed to combat fuel starvation without the need for expensive or complicated fuel tank modifications.
The Fluid SolutionHolley’s HydraMat was specifically designed to mitigate fuel starvation until the entire fuel tank is emptied. Its fuel reservoir system can draw fuel from almost any section of the mat itself, effectively expanding the fuel pickup point to be the entire surface area of the HydraMat. This delivers stable fuel flow through the system, especially when running low amounts of fuel.
Gravity ComplexThe downward force of gravity is a constant we’ve learned to understand in great detail, but fueling challenges arrive when introducing lateral g-forces and axial rotation into the equation. In a dynamic environment like inside a racecar, fluids can slosh around during hard cornering, acceleration or braking. This can pull fuel away from the pickup point, especially when running close to empty. Without fuel to draw, the fuel pump will pull air into the system. Inconsistent fuel delivery can disrupt the combustion cycle causing engine performance to drop, sometimes even stalling altogether. Traditional solutions to solve fuel delivery issues include fuel surge tanks, modified pickup pump reservoirs and interior tank baffling, but these are often cost prohibitive for all but the most serious race setups. HydraMat, on the other hand, offers a simple drop-in solution to minimize starvation issues in both fuel cells and factory fuel tanks.
HydraMat can be used in factory fuel tanks, or in racing fuel cells with foam inserts. Mats vary in shape and size to best match the fuel tank being used.
Inner WorkingsIt might look like an oversized Band-Aid, but the HydraMat is a simple solution to a potentially race compromising issue. Unlike a standard fuel pickup which typically pumps fuel from a single centralized location, the HydraMat has an expanded footprint from which to draw fuel. By taking advantage of fluid behaviors, it can pull fuel from virtually any area of its surface. In essence, if any part of the HydraMat is in contact with fuel, it should provide uninterrupted flow. As fuel enters through small holes in the mat’s surface, it travels toward the pickup location. If fuel passes over an uncovered pore on its way to the pickup, the liquid surface tension effectively seals it closed, allowing the mat to continue to draw fuel from submerged areas. The pores act as a 15-micron filter, eliminating the need for a pre-pump fuel filter. Furthermore, fuel inside the media of the mat acts as a reservoir, minimizing the amount of air traveling through the fuel lines and allowing nearly all of the fuel in the tank to be used. In fact, the HydraMat works more effectively in fuel systems with return lines, as the fuel return can be positioned to help saturate the mat and keep the reservoir filled.
Variations of the HydraMat include different locations or multiple fuel pickup points, some of which are designed specifically for certain style fuel tanks or cells.