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carman21

Breakthrough Technologies

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Camless Engines
Here's Autoweek's Article

News
Valeo tests camless system for gas engines; supplier hopes to produce fuel-saving technology by '08
RICHARD TRUETT | Automotive News
Posted Date: 10/14/05

Valeo SA engineers say they are close to perfecting camless technology for traditional gasoline engines.

A camless gasoline engine would reduce fuel consumption drastically -- 20 percent, according to Valeo -- challenging hybrids and diesels in the race to improve fuel economy.

Tough technical challenges have kept camless technology off the market. Engineers have grappled with a variety of issues, such as precisely opening and closing the valves electronically, packaging the system to fit inside the engine and developing the software to operate the valves. Cost also has been an issue.

Valeo CEO Thierry Morin says his company has two development contracts for the system.

"As far as we are concerned, we are between 14 and 16 months from market. So you see that we are there," Morin said in a recent interview. He said he expects to have the system in production in North America and Europe as early as 2008.

Valeo engineers have built and are testing two Peugeot 407s with the system. Morin says both cars have worked well in different weather extremes and under strenuous testing.

How it works

In all automobile engines, the crankshaft is connected to the camshaft with a belt, chain or gears. As the crankshaft spins, it turns the camshaft, which in turn opens the intake and exhaust valves in sequence. Much of the energy produced by the engine is lost because the crankshaft has to spin the camshaft.

In a camless engine, the valves are opened and closed electronically.

The advantages are numerous:

    * Internal friction is reduced greatly because there are fewer moving parts. At low speeds, about 25 percent of an engine's friction is caused by the valvetrain.

    * Horsepower, torque and fuel economy are improved because the crankshaft's power is driving only the wheels.

    * Emissions are reduced because the computer-controlled valve timing is infinitely variable. Each valve in each cylinder can be opened and closed independently, something not possible with a traditional engine.

Valeo's system uses electromagnetic actuators to open and close the valves. The actuators are placed on top of each valve under the valve cover.

Valeo, of Paris, specializes in transmissions, motors, actuators, switches and electronics. The company would not say who its customers are, but it's likely PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA would be a customer. Valeo already supplies a mild hybrid for a Citroen model.

Valeo ranks No. 13 on the Automotive News list of top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $9.9 billion in 2004.

The Holy Grail

Camless engine technology long has been a holy grail of engineers from automakers and suppliers. BMW AG, for instance, has spent millions trying to perfect a camless system. But no one has developed a camless engine system that delivers the reliability of the camshaft for anywhere near the same price.

But Morin says the reliability and cost are no longer the biggest obstacles. "With a camless system there is a strong need for the automaker to change the architecture of its engine. And this is what is time-consuming. It will have to start initially on low-volume engines," Morin says.

Peter Brown, vice president of powertrain engineering and design for Ricardo Inc. of Detroit, says his company also is working on a camless engine system. He says a 20 percent reduction in fuel usage is more than Ricardo engineers would expect a camless system to deliver.

Brown says perfecting a camless engine is one of his company's most important projects. With fuel prices hovering at $3 per gallon, there is a renewed emphasis on developing such a system, he says.

Engine improvements rarely yield more than a few percentage points of fuel economy gains. To get 20 percent with just one system would be a colossal jump.

"It comes to down to complexity and cost," Brown says. "Technically there is enough knowledge. People have experimented with all sorts of techniques."

Brown also warns of the dangers of camless engines. A computer glitch or electrical problem, for instance, might cause a vehicle to fail to meet emissions standards. Or worse, if the valves opened at the wrong time, the pistons might hit them, destroying the engine.



Well, This may be the next big thing in engines technology. Overhead Valves became the new standard over L-head valves during the 1950s. Overhead cams became the standard in the 1980s over Overhead valves. It appears Overhead Actuators will likely become the new standard for engines in the 2010s over the current overhead cam engines.
Let's all hope GM jumps on this technology as it emerges over the next decade.

In a related technology, I've heard rumors that some engineers are working on electromagnetic drivetrains that could transfer the engine's hp and torque via electricity to any or all linear induction(used in maglev trains) discs in each wheel. This revolutionary technology could replace the transmission, drivetrain, and even braking systems in current vehicles reducing weight significantly and increasing efficiency tremendously while providing handling and performance unimaginable today. I appears that hybrids are useful in only to quickly increase fuel efficency in a rather low-tech way. Displacement on Demand, Camless engines and electromagnetic drivtrains and brakes will likely be a more high-tech way to improve the internal combustion engine & likely put hybrids drives in the history books. Perhap, it's still too early to really know?
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Well, despite what the media loves to claim hybrids aren't revolutionary in any meaningful way. 'Hybrid' Diesel-electric locomotives have been around for a good 70 years and 'hybrid' Diesel-electric submarines for longer. The concept of dual-power isn't even that high-tech - look at a $5 Casio for another example of 'hybrid' technology in pairing a solar cell with a battery to conserve the more expensive 'fuel.' Stuff like this that changes the very fundamentals of automotive engineering are where the real revolutions lie.
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What will become of OHC vs OHV arguments that we get into when not filling time with Camaro vs No Camaro and BOF vs UniBody?
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Right on Target FlyBrian. Satty,I guess we'll manage,lol. Edited by carman21
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Heart: awsome, cool idea Head: Great,more F***ing $hit to break. :P Satty: you just love being an instigator, don't you? Does a day go by when you don't bitch about annoying threads while throwing porverbial gasoline on some fire somewhere on this forum? [/semi-serious rant] Edited by Sixty8panther
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valve opening solenoids (yea yea yea I cnat spell) I invented them 20 years ago. BFD ! LOL :-) It will be a real nightmare, theres already so many electronic problems on cars now its insane. Its the biggest thing in shops anymore "hmm I wonder whats making it do that ?" Only good thing about this is when it fails we'll be bending valves and cracking pistons. Great job security for the industry. Something that worked off a rotary much like an old distributor would work but then theres problems with that too. Still it would not bend valves upon failure, they simply wouldnt open. Now a computor and 4-5 sensors haveing a bad day, well thats another story. I agree with guy #2, 20% just doesnt sound realistic, camshafts dont rob that much power. Iknow guys that have removed their balance shafts, for a net gain of about .5 HP. Woo hoo ! Sounds interesting though.
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DOHC Engines first premiered on a production Duesenburg in the 1930s. Technologies may sit a wait for many years before they are mainstreamed. Hero of Alexandria invented the steam engine 2000 years ago yet it took until the 1700s for it to find widespread use.
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Supercharged DOHC engines were winning races for Alfa Romeo in the 30's. Most of the European companies have always been overhead, its just a handful of people that think its some new tang. I want my I want my I want my overhead cams single inblock most likely has least friction, no ? electronics have come along ways toward reliability. So long as they make it fail safe for the valve timing and the system user friendly for diagnostics and tuning, rather than little tricks that get people stuck having their blood sucked out by the dealerships, it will be OK.
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Camless Engines
Here's Autoweek's Article
Well, This may be the next big thing in engines technology. Overhead Valves became the new standard over L-head valves during the 1950s. Overhead cams became the standard in the 1980s over Overhead valves. It appears Overhead Actuators will likely become the new standard for engines in the 2010s over the current overhead cam engines.
Let's all hope GM jumps on this technology as it emerges over the next decade.

In a related technology, I've heard rumors that some engineers are working on electromagnetic drivetrains that could transfer the engine's hp and torque via electricity to any or all linear induction(used in maglev trains) discs in each wheel. This revolutionary technology could replace the transmission, drivetrain, and even braking systems in current vehicles reducing weight significantly and increasing efficiency tremendously while providing handling and performance unimaginable today. I appears that hybrids are useful in only to quickly increase fuel efficency in a rather low-tech way. Displacement on Demand, Camless engines and electromagnetic drivtrains and brakes will likely be a more high-tech way to improve the internal combustion engine & likely put hybrids drives in the history books. Perhap, it's still too early to really know?

[post="29977"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


both of these are exactly the type of stuff Ford and GM need to latch onto and be leaders in, and also, I've always thought that once these tow ideas became feasible, they would be HUGE.

I would defintiely give my OHC and OHV up for a 'camless engine'.
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Didnt GM say this technology would make it into the Corvette? It was a few years ago. I think it was Siemens who was developing it. Did GM just drop the idea, or are they just quietly developing it still?
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Honda has another take on this. The camless, valveless engine. It works with a ceramic cylinder that runs the length of the head. In the cylinder are holes cut to line up with the intake and exhaust ports at the top of the combustion chamber, and the intake manifold and exhaust manifold respectively. If you've ever seen the inside of a trumpet valve, it looks kinda like that. The ceramic cylinder spins overtop of the combustion chamber and as it is spinning the intake and exhaust ports open and close as the holes line up then disallign. The advantage here is there is no longer the reciprocating mass of a valvetrain. This allows much smoother operation and extremely high rpm. There is also a substantial friction benefit. The disadvantages are that the ability to do variable valve timing has been eliminated and that this setup requires some sort of at least light forced induction to work fully.
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An ((OLD)) idea whose time has COME!!---I was reading about this 20 or so years ago in POP MAC. Its ABOUT TIME!!
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Screw the valves, clean up 2 cycle engines and lets get on with it, No valves, less cycles without power, lighter weight!
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Hmm, the article didn't mention the large amount of power that several large solenoids will draw. That is another hurdle, one that could be eased by increasing automotive electrical voltage to 36V or 48V, as has been tossed around for a while now. I suppose the valve solenoids themselves could be supplied by separate 48V power...
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Hmm, the article didn't mention the large amount of power that several large solenoids will draw.  That is another hurdle, one that could be eased by increasing automotive electrical voltage to 36V or 48V, as has been tossed around for a while now.  I suppose the valve solenoids themselves could be supplied by separate 48V power...

[post="30687"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Maybe it could be used in the GMT-900 hybrids, since the electric engine could supply some power to open the valves.
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I don't see the amount of power for solenoids being much of an issue, they can use unrectified AC power from the Alternator and boost the voltage (they will have to in order to get the speed for the solenoid) by use of a transformer and just use that to power the soleniod as opposed to using regular 12/14V!
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So how many cycles is that at 6000 rpm ? 3000 per valve right ? Im tired, is that 50 per second ? Can electro magnetic function a 50 cycles per second ? Fuel injection has constant pressure, that makes it far easier than something that needs to push a valve open and release it 50 times a second. Did I figure that right ? 50 per second seems mind boggling. maybe that two stroke sounds better.
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Satty: you just love being an instigator, don't you? Does a day go by when you don't bitch about annoying threads while throwing porverbial gasoline on some fire somewhere on this forum? [/semi-serious rant]

[post="29985"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

I think Satty just has a sense of humor...something many on this board lack.
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couldn't they make 'valve' openings similar to a camera shutter with some sliding plates or something? i dunno, its late.
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Electronic valves and 48V electrical systems will happen in time.. as expenses on these new products decrease & as the electrical demand grows. Look at the "by-wire" technology in your car now: propulsion, steering and throttle. You can't tell me that brakes won't be next (wires & small motors have to be cheaper than calipers, steel lines, proportional valves and master cylinders). Didn't Mercedes debut some sort of eletronic braking system a couple of years back on one of their models? Electronic components are lighter, cheaper, and are less complex. The only limitation is that current technology is bound around 12V systems. At some point, somebody will make the jump and costs will start to come down (think Toyota and hybrids). As for electronic valves, I believe the capability has been around for quite some time -- but it's application has been limited by computing power (think D-O-D and Caddy's 8-6-4 system). I believe one of the hurldes has been programming the algorithm for the "soft landing" of the valves. Instead of having the valves noisily slap shut at full-force, you need for the valve to slow down and shut softly - so you need an algorithm developed that allows the valve to open/close in time necessary and allow for the valve to speed up/slow down as necessary to fascilitate quiet operation.
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Screw the valves, clean up 2 cycle engines and lets get on with it, No valves, less cycles without power, lighter weight!

[post="30677"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Ford tried that for YEARS. They just couldent get it CLEAN or DEPINDABLE enough. To bad! :)
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You can't tell me that brakes won't be next (wires & small motors have to be cheaper than calipers, steel lines, proportional valves and master cylinders).  Didn't Mercedes debut some sort of eletronic braking system a couple of years back on one of their models?

[post="31085"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Well, in a popular mechanics a few years back they had an article on electronic componets. Brakes are one of them. I am not exactly sure how it would work, I don't picture a motor at first, but maybe a DC solenoid used with a variable voltage to apply the desired pressure to the pads. In the long term they will use regenerative braking and eliminate ABS, the regeneration will just not lock-up until the speed is reduced to a certain level.
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Electric brakes would be a nightmare, water, weather, hot, cold, think about it ! They have had them for trailers for years, they are considered a junk system. Electrical failure and you are going to be killing people. End of story ! This electronic steering is balongna too, what in the heck is the point of that ? Better feel ? :lol: I really cant see this electric valves the more I think about it either, your just not going to get an electronic device to actuate a valve @ 50 cycles a second and you say they are trying to figure out how to slow down the close time ? Its simple, its called a cam lobe :) Ah I dont know, Id think they would put the effort into getting the weight of cars back down to a sane level again.
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Electric brakes would be a nightmare, water, weather, hot, cold, think about it !

They have had them for trailers for years, they are considered a junk system.

Electrical failure and you are going to be killing people. End of story !

This electronic steering is balongna too, what in the heck is the point of that ? Better feel ? :lol:

I really cant see this electric valves the more I think about it either, your just not going to get an electronic device to actuate a valve @ 50 cycles a second and you say they are trying to figure out how to slow down the close time ? Its simple, its called a cam lobe  :)

Ah I dont know, Id think they would put the effort into getting the weight of cars back down to a sane level again.

[post="31837"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I don't think that there would be such a problem with speed. Solenoids actuate extremely fast. Reliability is another issue!
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