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Jan 11, 2012

The Easy Way to FIA FT3 - ATL Saver Cells

ATL has grown to become the world’s leading manufacturer of motorsport fuel cells and systems. A cornerstone of this success has been ATL’s ongoing development of fuel-resistant flexible composite materials. Since 1970, ATL has homologated a broad portfolio of materials which meet the tensile, tear and puncture strengths specified by the FIA’s FT3, FT3.5 and FT5 standards.

As it is the base-level FIA standard, FT3 is the standard most commonly specified by customers. In response to this demand, ATL developed a cost-saving semi-rigid material that passes all FIA FT3 safety tests – the Saver Cell.

Saver Cells are the obvious option for racing competitors that require a simple and low-cost FT3 fuel cell within a short lead-time. Despite their low price (approximately half the price of a comparable fabric cell), the rotational moulding process used to manufacture Saver Cells results in a seamless and highly durable bladder which exhibits excellent resistance to race fuels (including ethanol/methanol).

The regular Saver Cell is a rectangular box and is available in varying capacities and dimensions from 20L to 170L. The cell is supplied ready-assembled with a standard 6x10” top-plate featuring two -6 fuel outlets, a -6 rollover vent valve and a Ø2¼” filler neck (with safety valve and cap). Full safety foam baffling is fitted inside the cell, along with two lengths of -6 pickup hose (plumbed to a pick-up filter housed within a pick-up shroud).

For customers who wish to locate a saver cell inside the spare wheel well of their car, ATL also offers a Saver ‘D’ Cell in 30L and 45L sizes. Or, for customers who compete in categories with very short races (rallycross, drag-racing, trials etc.), there is the Racell – a small cell (10L and 20L sizes available) fitted with a flush filler-cap, a -6 rollover vent valve and a -8 return. The Racell features two -8 outlets and a sloped floor which acts as an internal sump – making rapid fuel delivery possible, down to the very last drop. Finally, ATL also offers a Porsche 911 Saver Cell for fitment to any pre-1989 ‘Classic’ Porsche 911.

Not only does a Saver Cell help a competitor to save money at the initial purchase: The cell is so easily upgradable that if a competitor’s requirements change from one year to the next, changes can be made to the cell without needing to purchase a new one. For example, the installation of a fabric collector system can enable a pump to be mounted inside a Saver Cell (whilst also ensuring consistent fuel pick-up). A pressure regulator and in-line filter can also be plumbed to the collector, thereby enabling the operation of a ‘return-less’ system – so only one hose need be routed from fuel cell to fuel rail.

Saver Cells use a 6x10” pattern coverplate – the same bolt pattern used by ATL’s ‘Modular’ plate system. For instance, should a customer wish to change from direct-fill to remote-fill refuelling (if they wish to upgrade to dry-break refuel valves), or if an electrical connector needs to be retro-fitted to the cell, the coverplate can be changed without the expense and hassle of machining/fabricating a custom plate.

The Saver Cell has been designed with ease of installation, operation and service/upgrade in mind – so replacing an original equipment (OE) road car fuel tank with an FIA FT3 specification fuel cell is a very simple step to take. With the Saver Cell, ATL has demonstrated that it is committed to supporting competitors in all categories of motorsport – from clubman level all the way through to Formula 1.

 

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