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Old 21st November 2016, 09:33   #1
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Default Koenigsegg's camless engine

The future is here gentlemen!!!

In recent times, the technology has become saturated in terms of advancements in IC engines. There has been a enormous shift towards electric and fuel cell engines. I believe the last major advancement was the Ecoboost engine which could fit on a A4 paper.

But now, Koenigsegg's sister company, Freevalve, has come out with a technology that removes the traditional CAM drive. They have replaced the Cam mechanism with electro pneumatic actuators. The advantages are humongous. Weight savings and infinte variable valve timing possibilities are more than enough for this being a seller.

Quote:
The cam-less engine from FreeValve, a sister corporation of Koenigsegg, will prove that the technology works by driving onto the stage during Qoros’ presentation at the Guangzhou Motor Show in November 2016. It’ll be a major step towards the innovative valve-control system actually going into production.
The tech will roll onto the stage in the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine in a specially modified Qoros 3 hatchback. According to FreeValve, the powerplant produces 230 horsepower (172 kilowatts) and 236 pound-feet (320 Newton-meters) of torque. The figures reportedly equate to 47 percent more power, 45 percent more torque, and 15 percent better fuel economy than the same powerplant with a conventional valvetrain.
“This move closer to mass production of FreeValve technology is also a first baby step towards the promise of important reductions in CO2 emissions,” said FreeValve Chairman Christian von Koenigsegg.
The video below offers a brief explanation of how the tech works. Rather than conventional rockers and camshafts, there are pneumatic-hydraulic-electronic actuators controlling the valves. FreeValve claims the results are revolutionary. An engine with it would have infinitely variable valve timing, including being able to completely shut them for cylinder deactivation.


The system also means that the engine doesn’t need any traditional timing gear and can even do away with part like the throttle body, wastegate, and direct injection systems. The changes free up a claimed 44 pounds (20 kilograms) off a powerplant and make it smaller by removing so many components.
Before the cam-less engine can actually go on sale, there’s still more testing to do. Qoros and FreeValve will now start evaluating it in fleets of vehicles, and they’ll be edging closer to actually putting an engine with this tech on sale.
FreeValve has been working on its cam-less engine since 2000. In 2012, the company even reportedly developed a prototype version using Koenigsegg’s biturbo V8. The company also displayed a concept of the system with Qoros at Auto China earlier this year.
Source: http://www.motor1.com/news/128991/ko...amless-engine/

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Old 21st November 2016, 12:44   #2
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

Its been available for a long time, not for car engines, but it has been applied in Marine Diesels. E.g. MAN has had a camless engine on the market for many years. Others too.

http://ingmarz.com/Bow%20Cecil.pdf

Some more info:

http://hackaday.com/2016/02/16/where...mless-engines/


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The system also means that the engine doesn’t need any traditional timing gear and can even do away with part like the throttle body, wastegate, and direct injection systems.
I understand that with this solution you can do away with the timing gear. But why would you be able to do away with the throttle body waste gate and injection systems too?

Jeroen

Last edited by Zappo : 23rd November 2016 at 15:14. Reason: Edit: carless changed to camless
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Old 21st November 2016, 13:00   #3
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I understand that with this solution you can do away with the timing gear. But why would you be able to do away with the throttle body waste gate and injection systems too?

Jeroen
Throttle body: Throttle body controls intake of air. With camless engines intake of air into the cylinder can be controlled by the valves themselves. Valves need not close and open with engine revolutions. Its independent. With the finer control of individual valves made possible by these electro-hydraulic and electro-pneumatic systems the TB will become redundant.

Wastegate: Wastegate bypasses exhaust gases away from the turbine. With fine valve control possible irrespective of the engine speed why not just control the amount of air getting in/out of the combustion chamber and thus reduce the amount of exhaust driving the turbine to bring the boost under control? If thats possible (which it should be with individual valve control) whats the use of wastegate?

Injection systems? No idea!!
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Old 21st November 2016, 13:13   #4
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

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Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Throttle body: Throttle body controls intake of air. With camless engines intake of air into the cylinder can be controlled by the valves themselves. Valves need not close and open with engine revolutions. Its independent. With the finer control of individual valves made possible by these electro-hydraulic and electro-pneumatic systems the TB will become redundant.

Wastegate: Wastegate bypasses exhaust gases away from the turbine. With fine valve control possible irrespective of the engine speed why not just control the amount of air getting in/out of the combustion chamber and thus reduce the amount of exhaust driving the turbine to bring the boost under control? If thats possible (which it should be with individual valve control) whats the use of waste gate?
!
Easier said then done.

Replacing the traditional camshaft is relatively speaking easy and straightforward. It will be a long time before they can do away with the throttle body. Not sure if they could ever do away with the waste gate all together.

Jeroen
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Old 21st November 2016, 13:24   #5
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Easier said then done.

Replacing the traditional camshaft is relatively speaking easy and straightforward. It will be a long time before they can do away with the throttle body. Not sure if they could ever do away with the waste gate all together.

Jeroen
Replacing camshafts were also easier said than done till a few years ago. If replacing traditional camshaft is relatively easier with a system offering individual valve control on a motorcar engine which sees wider operating RPM range and much higher peak RPM compared to large diesel engines; the rest should be easy now that they have achieved the first step and will surely follow if these ever get to production.
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Old 21st November 2016, 14:29   #6
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

Valves are still related to engine revolutions, piston position etc. With people trying to vary the valve openings, lifts etc with cams, I guess it was getting a little complicated.

So the removal of cams was a good thing to do. Not sure if throttle body and waste gate are part of the deal and can work the way they are.
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Old 21st November 2016, 15:38   #7
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Valves are still related to engine revolutions, piston position etc. With people trying to vary the valve openings, lifts etc with cams, I guess it was getting a little complicated.

So the removal of cams was a good thing to do. Not sure if throttle body and waste gate are part of the deal and can work the way they are.
It was/is complicated. that’s why a lot of modern cars have all sorts of clever bits that adjust your cam. Not sure when it was widely introduced for car engines, but even my 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider has already an electrical cam adjust.

Plenty of very clever variation on the same theme and this Freevalve is the latest/most advanced taking away all conventional bits and pieces. Very clever. It will be interesting at what point it starts to introduced into main stream car engines.

One of the main reason these cam less systems were introduced on marine diesels was fuel efficiency and emissions. If you don’t care about those, such a cam less system can/will improve overall engine performance considerable as well. At least potentially of course!

Some will say another piece of the engine that becomes electronic and therefor unreliable and nobody knows how to fix it when it breaks. I have some different thoughts around these developments.

Jeroen
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Old 21st November 2016, 17:34   #8
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

Though this camless engine technology sounds very interesting to me, I am just thinking how the timings of both intake and exhaust valves would be taken care of. At high speeds, the control of valves would involve a lot of parameters to consider. What if the driver puts the pedal to the metal suddenly? Or what happens in case of panic braking? In these cases, the engine RPM increases/decreases drastically. Without a camshaft, how would the valves be controlled properly? Though electronics might pitch in to do similar work, will it be that accurate?

The concept of turbo was introduced to increase the power without having to increase the cubic capacity of an engine. It is indeed an excellent thought to use the exhaust gases to spool the turbo and increase the power. But even today after so many years, don't the turbo fitted engines (I am not talking about supercharged engines) suffer lag below certain RPM?

What I am trying to say is that though technological advancements happen, I suspect there might still be some drawbacks compared to the old school engines.
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Old 21st November 2016, 18:42   #9
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

More electronics. More control modules. More patented technologies. More complications. More things to go wrong.

All for the sake of reducing emissions from the internal combustion engine.

No major advantage for the driving enthusiast. But this is technology that will become common soon, whether we like it or not. Like fuel injection, EGR, DPF and a multitude of other techs that are purely focussed on emission control.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 21st November 2016 at 18:44.
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Old 21st November 2016, 20:35   #10
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

I happened to have worked recently on a MAN B&W 6S60ME-C engine which is a camless engine.

I was also fortunate enough to have done a course for the same in Copenhagen.

For all buffs,
MAN first developed the engine in 1991.
Although the first engine only came in to use in 2003.
The engine had a cam although for operation of exhaust valve.

They got rid of that cam in around 2008-09 .
They work with solenoid valves operating the fuel pumps and enhaust valve.

Let me know if anyone wants any further details or is keen on knowing more stuff.

Also I was under the impression that this tech used to exist in cars long ago.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd November 2016 at 11:30. Reason: Typo
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Old 21st November 2016, 22:37   #11
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

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Originally Posted by samcan123 View Post
Though this camless engine technology sounds very interesting to me, I am just thinking how the timings of both intake and exhaust valves would be taken care of. At high speeds, the control of valves would involve a lot of parameters to consider. What if the driver puts the pedal to the metal suddenly? Or what happens in case of panic braking? In these cases, the engine RPM increases/decreases drastically. Without a camshaft, how would the valves be controlled properly? Though electronics might pitch in to do similar work, will it be that accurate?
Actually, mechanically speaking drastically increasing/decreasing has it’s own challenges as well. So a mechanical design has some inherent limits on what it can and can not do as well. With the introduction of this same some of those limits are actually overcome. It’s partly due to the electronics but also how these valve/actuators are designed and manufactured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samcan123 View Post
The concept of turbo was introduced to increase the power without having to increase the cubic capacity of an engine. It is indeed an excellent thought to use the exhaust gases to spool the turbo and increase the power. But even today after so many years, don't the turbo fitted engines (I am not talking about supercharged engines) suffer lag below certain RPM?
These days turbo lag is a thing more or less of the past for most car engines at least. On plenty of cars you would simply not notice, or even care, whether you have or not have a turbo.

As an example, bit extreme; I had the pleasure of test driving the new Porsche Panamera recently. It delivers an astonishing 550Nm of torque between 1600 to 5600 RPM. The curve is actually completely flat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by samcan123 View Post
What I am trying to say is that though technological advancements happen, I suspect there might still be some drawbacks compared to the old school engines.
Not sure what you are comparing to? Turbo engines have been available for cars for more than two decades at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
More electronics. More control modules. More patented technologies. More complications. More things to go wrong.

All for the sake of reducing emissions from the internal combustion engine.

No major advantage for the driving enthusiast. But this is technology that will become common soon, whether we like it or not. Like fuel injection, EGR, DPF and a multitude of other techs that are purely focussed on emission control.
It really depends on how they use this technology. As I said earlier if you leave fuel efficiency and emissions apart, this technology has the potential to increase an engines potential performance. It should be considerable lighter and faster revving at least in theory. Big tickets items for driving enthousiast. Whether it’s going to be used to that effect remains to be seen. I would say we might see this technology first in high performance cars rather than in any mass produced cars. But I have been wrong before of course. But you can see the potential case for using it in high performance cars.

Fuel injection was/is not necessarily introduced for emission control only. In fact there is a long list of cars that was delivered as carburatted cars for the USA due to very strong emission regulations whereas the same cars came standard fitted with fuel injection in Europe! (E.g. TR250, TR5, TR6). So it depends a bit how you measure/define emission.

Also, I can’t speak for India, but in Europe fuel injection was introduced as the big sexy power boost. There has been a whole host of cars that had the very desirable “i” in their model designation. You got yourself say VW Golf GTI instead of GT, that would give you a few extra horsepower and endless admiration from your pals. The girls were supposed to be hugely impressed by the “i” as well, but for some unknown reason never were. So the manufacturers ultimately dropped the “i” and sneaked in an injection system in just about every car. Not sexy anymore, just very mundane. And by and large, very, very reliable!

My 1986 L-Bosch injection system on the Alfa has never missed a beat!. Whereas the carburator on my 1982 Mercedes always needs attention!

Yes, today fuel injection might be required to meet emission demands. But it also provides a whole host of additional advantages to the true motoring enthusiast. To name one, it allows the actual fuel usage to be seen on the dashboard. We have another thread on the accuracy (or lack thereof), but that aside, I like that feature. Obviously, there are other advantages of fuel injection over carburators as well. Precise control over the amount of fuel/mixture being the most obvious one. That give control over emissions, but also power/torgue delivery amongst others.

Jeroen
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Old 22nd November 2016, 19:20   #12
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

@OP: searching for camless engines on this forum would have been productive.

Re: Throttle body: What does BMWs Valvetronic system do?

Regards
Sutripta

Last edited by Sutripta : 22nd November 2016 at 19:21.
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Old 23rd November 2016, 03:19   #13
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

Let’s get the basics out of the way.
  • Do camless engines work…yes they work
  • Are they viable/feasible for mass production? Possibly,…who wants to go first?

Camless engine was invented probably 25 years ago and has been in the lab ever since waiting for cost of hydraulics and other components to drop

The problem with that is the camshaft that we know of today is simple and works so beautifully for what it costs with fantastic reliability. When was the last time you experienced or heard of a camshaft failure??

So camless engines of electro-hydraulic valves did not make any sense 25 years ago when the camshaft was just opening and closing the valves with a fixed timing.

But that was then, since then..in order to improve the operation bandwidth, VVT on the intake came (or camphasing) feature was added and is now almost universal

Over the years, more and more pressure to improve economy & emissions with upping power and torque, the humble camshaft has been pushed to deliver more and more functionality like:

• VVT Intake Cam (with ever increasing operating angles)
• VVT Exhaust Cam
• Variable Lift on Intake cam
• Load control using valve lift (instead of throttle)
• Single Intake valve deactivation (or masking) for better charge motion
• Complete cylinder deactivation
• Atkinson and Miller Operation modes
• Jake Brake for truck diesels

In order to execute these functions, the cam drive system has been getting more and more complex

With a camless or electrohydraulic valve, all of this functionality is gained instantly !!!!

So 25 years ago, the camless engine seemed gimmicky while not really offering a solid value proposition. Couple this with high cost of hydraulics and electronics and was quickly dismissed

Fast forward 25 years, with the camshaft getting more and more added hardware to deliver the added functions, the hydraulic cam deserves a second look

Another reason working in its favor is engine downsizing. A V6 engine would require 24 actuators whereas a 4 needs only 16. With I4s replacing V6s, the business case is tilting in its favor

Contd…



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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Its been available for a long time, not for car engines, but it has been applied in Marine Diesels. E.g. MAN has had a carless engine on the market for many years
Not exactly an apples to apples comparison. These marine (container ship) engines are 2 stroke diesels, are about the size of a 4 story building and redline at 400 rpm

Last edited by Mpower : 23rd November 2016 at 03:29.
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Old 23rd November 2016, 04:02   #14
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

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Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Not exactly an apples to apples comparison. These marine (container ship) engines are 2 stroke diesels, are about the size of a 4 story building and redline at 400 rpm
Agree with you, it might even be more challenging on these large engines rather then on those little car engines. The high revving is a bit of a challenge but that’s about it.

When talking about reliability marine diesels are in different league from car engines. They might run a little slower, but the size brings it’s own complexity. Reliability is everything. It’s one thing if your little Nano breaks down in town or on the highway, but a supertanker loosing its main engine is potentially a disaster of a totally different order. So the certification process of these new technologies is quite something.

Even so, I don’t think (I might be wrong) that it has taken of big time even in Marine Diesels.

As with any new technology in commercial applications. You have to be able to make a business case and be able to market/sell it. History has shown that the best technological solution don’t necessarily imply automatically a commercial succes.

The video tape format war is a good example to that effect.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 23rd November 2016 at 04:21. Reason: spelling
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Old 23rd November 2016, 13:04   #15
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Default Re: Koenigsegg's camless engine

I would think that most companies would focus on electric cars now and spend their R&D budget on it. However good this technology, it's going to be temporary 'upgrade" before electric power take over.
With the changing opinions of governments and people, these companies would also find more support for it.

For a boutique car company like Koenigsegg, it makes sense. Even as something to differentiate themselves from other exotic cars but I don't think the same can be said for the mass-market manufacturers.

slight digression: I love Christian and his passion and focus, the guy is just awesome. And the youtube Drive series is always a great watch.
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