British boffins say digital valve actuation could dramatically improve gas engines
A year ago it was reported that Koenigsegg’s FreeValve sister company had put its camless engine technology in use in the Chinese carmaker Qoros’s Qamless concept car. Direct valve control is a more agile way of managing valve lift and duration, compared to the time-honored way of having a camshaft or two. Koenigsegg compared a regular camshaft to playing a piano with both hands tied to the opposite ends of a broomstick, while direct valve control gives a Liberace-level freedom of top end wizardry.
Now, British technology firm Camcon Automotive has also announced own take on the technology, called Intelligent Valve Actuation. Using a similar simile as Koenigsegg, Camcon compares the jump from camshaft tech to a digital valvetrain system as being similar to moving from carburetors to fuel injection. Camcon says IVA allows valve lift, timing and duration to be independently and infinitely controllable, giving petrol engines “the driveability and economy of diesels but with more benign and manageable emissions”, as quoted by Autocar.
With Camcon’s IVA, there are electromechanical actuators that are housed on top of the engine, each controlling a short camshaft that manages a single valve or valve pair. As the system allows complete flexibility, benefits include more sophisticated cylinder deactivation, more low-down torque and more high-speed power as situations demand. Autocar says Jaguar Land Rover is showing interest and offering technical help to Camcon, and both indoor and road testing is in the cards. Camcon says the setup could be only two-three years from production if adopted by a major automotive supplier.
VIDEO: Intelligent valve actuation