CAMLESS ENGINES A NEW APPROACH IN I.C.ENGINES
internal combustion comprise the valve train hardware . In the camless valvetrain, the valve motion is controlled directly by a valve actuator there's no camshaft or connecting mechanisms. Various studies have shown that a camless valve train can eliminate many otherwise necessary engine design trade-offs.Automotive engines equipped with camless valvetrains of the electrohydraulic and electro-mechanical type have been studied for over twenty years, but production vehicles with such engines are still not available. engine development i.e., the camshaft, has been the primary means of controlling the valve actuation and timing, and therefore, influencing the overall performance of the vehicle. Camless technology is capturing the future of internal combustion engines. It has been known to man that if valves could be controlled independently in an Internal Combustion Engine then there would be benefits like increased power, reduced emissions and increased fuel economy. In the camless technology valve motion is operated by valve actuators of electromechanical and electro-hydraulic type. In this paper we compare camless valve operation with conventional valve operation and we deal with the valve actuating mechanisms of camless engine by considering the electromechanical and electrohydraulic camless engines. Keywords: Valve actuation, Electromechanical actuators, Electrohydraulic actuators. Introduction Cams, lifters, pushrods... all these things have up until now been associated with the internal combustion engine. But the end is near or these lovely shiny metal actuators as the
The issues that have had to be addressed in the actuator design include: Â¢ reliable valve performance
important types of actuating valves in cost packaging power consumption noise and vibration Noise has been identified as the main with the electromechanical problem actuator technology, arising from high contact velocities of the actuator's moving parts. For this noise to be reduced, a socalled soft-landing of the valves has to be achieved. In a conventional valvetrain, the The valvetrain in a typical internal combustion engine comprises several moving components. Some are rotating and some are moving in a linear manner. Included are poppet valves that are operated by rocker arms or tappets, with valve springs used to return the valves to their seats. In such a system the parasitic power losses are major - power is wasted in accelerating and decelerating the components of the valvetrain. Friction of the camshaft, springs, cam belts, etc also robs us of precious power and worsens fuel economy, not to mention contributing to wear and tear. The power draw on the crankshaft to operate the conventional valve train is 5 to 10 percent of total power output. Another factor working against the conventional valve train is that of the cam soft-landing is mechanically embedded into the shape of the camshaft lobe. Conventional Valvetrain profile. Usually , it is fixed to deliver only one specific cam timing. The cam lobes have to be shaped such that when the valve travels up and down at the engines maximum speed it should still be able to slow down and gently contact the valve seat. The valves crashing down on their valve seats results in an engine that is real noisy and has a short life expectancy. Having different cam profiles will result in different engine characteristics. While high-rpm power and low rpmtorque can be each optimised, a compromise is required to obtain the best of both in the same engine. With Variable Valve Timing (VVT) technologies the compromise is getting better and better reasonable low down torque and highspeed power are being produced by many sub 2-litre engines.But the problem remains that the cam grind is still a fixed quantity - or two fixed quantities in the case of Honda VTEC engines. That's Valve why Train the is Electromechanical manufacturers. 1. Electromechanical Poppet Valves This type of system uses an armature attached to the valve stem.The outside casing contains a magnetic coil of some sort that can be used to either attract or repel the armature, hence opening or closing the valve. Most early systems employed solenoid and magnetic considered the next evolution of VVT. With the potential to dial in any conceivable valve timing at any point of the combustion cycle for each individual cylinder, valves can be opened with more lift and/or duration , as the computer deems necessary. Camless Valvetrain Operation The types of camless variable valve actuating systems being developed can be classed in two groups: electrohydraulic and electromechanical. When it comes to electromechanical valve trains, there are several designs that are being trialed. Most developers are using the conventional poppet valve system (ie valves that look the same as in today's engines) but an alternative is a ball valve set up. Both use electromagnets in one way or another to open and close the valve. Originally created for the Apollo space program, the electrohydraulic valve actuator works by sending pressurised hydraulic fluid to the engine valve to move it open or closed. These systems are mainly retain poppet valves and are preferred by truck engine attraction/repulsion actuating principals using an iron or ferromagnetic armature. These types of armatures limited the performance of the actuator because they resulted in a variable air gap. As the air gap becomes larger (ie when the distance between the moving and stationary magnets or electromagnets increases), there is a reduction in the force. To maintain high forces on the armature as the size of the air gap increases, a higher current is employed in the coils of such devices. This increased current leads to higher energy losses in the system, not to mention non-linear behaviour that makes it difficult to obtain adequate performance. The result of this is that most such designs have high seating velocities (ie the valves slam open and shut hard!) and the system cannot vary the amount of valve lift. The eliminate electromechanical the iron or valve
valve stem. Depending on the direction of the current supplied to the armature coil, the valve will be driven toward an open or closed position. These latest electromechanical valve actuators develop higher and better-controlled forces than those designs mentioned previously. These forces are constant along the distance of travel of the armature because the size of the air gap does not change. Referring now to Figures 1 to 4, an actuators of the latest poppet valve design ferromagnetic coil. A armature. Instead it is replaced with a current-carrying armature magnetic field is generated by a magnetic field generator and is directed across the fixed air gap. An armature having a current-carrying armature coil is exposed to the magnetic field in the air gap. When a current is passed through the armature coil and that current is perpendicular to the magnetic field, a force is exerted on the armature.When a current runs through the armature coil in either direction and perpendicular to the magnetic field, an electromagnetic vector force, known as a Lorentz force, is exerted on the armature coil. The force generated on the armature coil drives the armature coil linearly in the air gap in a direction parallel with the electromechanical valve actuator of the poppet valve variety is illustrated in conjunction with an intake or exhaust valve (22). The valve (22) includes a valve closure member 28 having a cylindrical valve stem (30) and a cylindrical valve head (32) attached to the end of the stem (30). The valve actuator (20) of the poppet valve system generally includes a housing assembly (34) without valve springs as shown in Figure 1 consisting of upper and lower tubular housing members (36) and (42), a magnetic field generator consisting of upper and lower field coils (48) and (52), a core (56) consisting of upper and lower core member (58) and (68), and an armature (78) suitably connected to the valve stem (30). The armature coil is preferably made from aluminium wire or other electrically conductive lightweight material, which is highly conductive for its mass. Minimising the armature mass is especially important in view of the rapid acceleration forces placed on it in both directions. The ability of the electromechanical valve actuator to generate force in either direction and to vary the amount of force applied to the armature in either direction is an important advantage of this design. For instance, varying the value of the current through the armature coil and/or changing the intensity of the magnetic field can control the speed of opening and closing of the valve. This method can also be used to slow the valve closure member to reduce the seating velocity, thereby lessening wear as well as reducing the resulting noise. This system is able to operate
or can equally be equipped with them as shown in Figures 6 & 7 2. Electromechanical Ball Valves An alternative to the conventional poppet valve for use in camless valve trains is a ball valve. This type of electromechanical valve system consists of a ball through which a passage passes. If the ball is rotated such that the passage lines up with other openings in the valve assembly, gas can pass through it. (Exactly like the ball valves many of us use to control our boost.) Opening and closing the valve is accomplished by electromagnets positioned around its exterior. Referring to Fig, the valve housing (7) is shown in two pieces. Ball valve (8) has two rigidly attached pivots (12). The
the ball valve needs only to rotate on its axis to achieve the desired flow conditions, rather than be accelerated up and down in a linear fashion. A partially open ball valve state may also be able to be used to create more turbulence. Electromechanical disc (10) is permanently attached and indexed to the ball valve and contains permanent magnets around its perimeter. The electromagnets (11) are situated on both sides of the ball valve (8) and they are fixed to the valve housing. The electromagnets are controlled through the ECU. A crank trigger sensor on the crankshaft provides information about the position of the pistons relative to top dead centre. Thus, at top dead centre of the power stroke, the ECM could be used to fix the polarity of both electromagnets so that they are of opposite polarity to the magnets in the ball valve, rotating the ball valve to the closed position. The arrangement substitution in a a of a simple, stroke efficient ball valve and valve housing four reciprocation piston engine eliminates all the independent moving parts in the valve train. This may even be an improvement over the poppet valve camless system valve train implementation would not be possible with a normal 12V electrical system, the automotive industry has chosen a 42V electrical system as the next automotive standard. Electrohydraulic Poppet Valves In general terms, present designs of electrohydraulic valves comprise poppet valves moveable between a first and second position. Used is a source of pressurised hydraulic fluid and a hydraulic actuator coupled to the poppet valve. The motion between a first and second position is responsive to the flow of the pressurised hydraulic fluid. An electrically operated hydraulic valve controls the flow of the pressurised hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator. In one design, the provision is made for a three-way electrically operated valve to control the flow of the pressurised hydraulic fluid to the actuator. This supplies pressure when electrically pulsed open, and dumps actuator oil to the engine oil sump when the valve is electrically pulsed to close.
The use of engine oil as the hydraulic fluid simplifies and lowers the cost of the design by removing the need for a separate hydraulic system.
oil sump (34). The pump output pressure is also limited by an unloader valve (36), as controlled by an accumulator (38) connected to the oil pressure rail. With this design the hydraulic pump could be periodically disconnected, such as under
Electrohydraulic Poppet Valves The illustrated in basic design of the electrohydraulic valvetrain hardware is Fig. The engine poppet valves (22) and the valve springs (24) that are used to reset them are shown. The poppet valves are driven by hydraulic
braking, so that the valve train would run off the stored accumulator hydraulic pressure. As is the trend with all modern engine systems, the camless engine has an even greater reliance on sensors. The valve actuation and control system typically needs a manifold pressure sensor, a manifold temperature sensor, a mass flow sensor, a coolant temperature sensor, a throttle position sensor, an exhaust gas sensor, a high resolution engine position encoder, a valve/ignition timing decoder controller, injection driver electronics, valve coil driver electronics, ignition coil driver electronics, air idle speed control driver electronics and
actuators (26), which are controlled by electrically operated electro-hydraulic valves (28) supplying hydraulic fluid to the actuators via conduit (29). The preferred hydraulic fluid is engine oil, supplied to the electro-hydraulic valves by the pressure rail (30). An engine-driven hydraulic pump (32) supplies the oil pressure, receiving the oil from the engine
power down control electronics. A valve developed by Sturman Industries is said to be about six times faster than conventional hydraulic valves. To achieve such speeds, it uses a tiny spool sandwiched between two electrical coils. By passing current back and forth between the coils, a microprocessorbased controller can quickly move the
spool back and forth, thereby actuating the engine valves in accordance. Benefits of Camless Engines The benefits of camless valve actuator systems are numerous. The most obvious one - infinitely variable valve timing. More torque is made available through out the rev-range due to the valve timing changes efficiency. performance emissions, enabling This and increasing optimal volumetric engine fuel and increases decreases durability
increase overall valvetrain efficiency by eliminating the frictional losses of the camshaft mechanism, the weight of the mechanism and the cam mechanism's drain of power from the crankshaft. Valve speed comparision between
mechanical cam shaft and camless engine actuation The improvement in the speed of operation valve actuation and control system can be readily appreciated with reference to Fig..
consumption, also decreasing harmful engine life, and allowing compensation for different types of fuel and varying altitudes. Cylinder deactivation (ie an eight cylinder can become a six as needed!) is also possible, with the associated reduction in emissions. Further fuel consumption reductions could be obtained by combining camless valve technology with a high-pressure direct fuel injection system. The amount of engine oil required would also be dramatically traditional reduced complex because camshaft no valve lubrication would be required for the system. Cold start wear would also be minimal to the valve train hardware. There is also a general consensus that electromechanical valve actuation will
It shows a comparison between valve speeds of a mechanical camshaft engine and the camless engine valve actuation. The length of the valve stroke in inches versus degrees of rotation of a mechanical camshaft is illustrated. When graphed, the cycle of opening and closing of a valve driven by a mechanical camshaft will display a shape similar to a sine curve. The opening period (as measured in crankshaft degrees) remains constant for any engine load or rpm. However, the cycle of
opening and closing of valves driven by the electromechanical valve actuators operates much faster. Designed to match valve-opening rates at the maximum engine rpm, the electromechanical valve actuators open the valve at this same rate regardless of engine operating conditions. Because of this improved speed, greater flexibility in programming valve events is possible, allowing for improved low-end torque, lower emissions and improved fuel economy. The massive opening period for the electromechanically driven valve can also be seen! Controlling the intake valve event can also eliminate the need for throttled operation in petrol engines, thereby reducing pumping losses and improving fuel economy - the throttle butterfly becomes redundant. In the un-throttled camless engine, the intake valves' opening duration is used for cylinder airflow regulation, rather than a throttle or airbypass valve. A simplification of the induction system results and a more compact engine design is thus possible. This leads to valve specific intake trumpets with less restriction to give the best breathing capabilities. Although, it needs to be said that there are reported problems with respect to idle control of a throttleless design, with stable unthrottled
engine operation difficult to achieve during low load, and more precisely, during idle conditions. Using to wire pair. camless valve actuators permits reprogramming to allow the engine operate in reverse . This Reverse operation is can be done by simply inverting one input advantageous in marine equipment having dual outdrives or T-drives. This feature would also eliminate the need for reverse gear in the transmission since forward gears would be used to operate in either vehicle direction. This provides an opportunity for multiple reverse gears without the added hardware. However, the future is not necessarily as rosy as the above states. There are many problems to be overcome with the The electronically controlled valves.
problems lie not only in the software required but also the mechanisms of the actuators. Coil transient response times and saturation effects at high rpm are just some of the issues. Conclusions The main difference between camless engine and conventional engine arose when we deal with the valve actuating methods in both of these engines. In conventional engines the valves are actuated by using camshafts, lobes and
gears. But in camless internal combustion engines all these are eliminated by using actuators like electro-hydraulic or electromechanical type by which we can overcome the problems with conventional i.c.engines. The benefits like reduced emission, increased power, increased fuel economy can be obtained by applying camless technology to internal combustion engines. From all these we can conclude that by applying camless technology to internal combustion engines the overall performance of the vehicle will enhance. References: 1. Fundamentals of J.B.Heywood. 2. Kim D, Anderson M. A dynamic model of electrohydraulic camless valve train system SAE article. 3. Schechter MM, Levin MB Camless engine. SAE article. 4. Article in autospeed on camless engines. 5. A Website http://www.autospeed.com, article on camless engines.