FreeValve Engine

Optimizing the performance of Boston Whaler boats
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FreeValve Engine

Postby jimh » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:56 pm

I came across a news release about the introduction of a new type of four-stroke-power-cycle engine that has no camshaft and no conventional poppet valves. It is called the FreeValve engine. The engine has the expected intake and exhaust valves, but each valve is controlled by its own electrical actuator. This gives the engine designer and the engine microprocessor controller the freedom to operate the valves in any sort timing and duration; the valve timing and opening distance is not locked in place by a mechanical camshaft.

In an initial application to a four-cylinder 1.6-liter displacement engine, the results are impressive. Changing to a FreeValve design resulted in:

--increased power output

--increased torque output

--reduced fuel consumption

--improved exhaust emission

--reduced operating noise

--elimination of the throttle body

--reduction in cost of fuel injectors (by going back to port injection instead of direct injection)

--simple implementation of displacement on demand

--improved operation with turbo-charging by elimination of waste gate

--improved operation with catalytic convertors by very rapid initial warm up

--reduced size compared to conventional cam and valves

--reduced weight compared to conventional cam and valves

This technology sound great. What worries me is the technology was developed by Koenigeggs. They're the people who make hyper-cars--cars that are faster, lighter, more exotic, and much more expensive than anything you could imagine, and cost millions of dollars per car. However, it is being demonstrated now in a Chinese-made German-design engine called the Qoros. Keeping the "Q" theme, it is a Qamfree engine. More about this technology at ... echnology/

Since everything sounds so positive about the FreeValve, the cost must be the hold-up. But they used to say the same thing about early transistors when they were being made by hand in laboratories. Now, with mass production and a lot of manufacturing refinements, you can get a billion transistors on a chip for $5.

I thought I would throw this into the PERFORMANCE discussion to see if we have any gear heads whose boating is done for the winter and want to chime in.

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Re: FreeValve Engine

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:35 am

That's a very promising concept. If it proves to be as discussed how can engine builders fail to integrate it into their products If, big if, it becomes commercially viable. I would guess we may see it first in racing applications where cost seems to be the least of the problems faced by teams like Ford, Mercedes Benz, etc. If the concept can be proven in racing it will soon be adopted by large scale manufacturers.

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Re: FreeValve Engine

Postby Newportme » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:22 am

I believe Formula-1 [racing] has been experimenting and testing this technology. The valves in F-1 engines have been using pneumatic "springs" for a while.


Ridge Runner
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Location: Matawan NJ / Punta Gorda FL

Re: FreeValve Engine

Postby Ridge Runner » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:30 pm

I believe Renault has a patent on an electro-hydraulic valve actuation system. Renault Racing was developing an electro-hydraulic system, where pressurized circuits operate the valves. The design eliminates cams in favor of a hydraulic circuit controlled by an electronic valve. The system was engineered to use the pressure of the cars hydraulics to operate the valve. The result is suppose to be infinite variable valve timing with the added benefit of weight reduction due to the removal of the cam(s) and drive gears.
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