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For auto enthusiasts: Major breakthrough with the internal combustion engine


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What is it? I'm much, much too busy and my time is far too valuable to sit through an entire 10 minute video. 

 

They came up with a pneumatic actuator to control the valves.  No more cam shafts and drive belts/chains.  Makes the engine lighter and more efficient.  All mechanical controlled by the engine.

 

As Wicked said, most major high end auto manufacturers have been trying to do this for years.

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They came up with a pneumatic actuator to control the valves.  No more cam shafts and drive belts/chains.  Makes the engine lighter and more efficient.  All mechanical controlled by the engine.

 

As Wicked said, most major high end auto manufacturers have been trying to do this for years.

 

I'm not a car guy. What does this mean as far as reliability and increasing efficiency?

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I'm not a car guy. What does this mean as far as reliability and increasing efficiency?

 

I couldn't tell you on the reliability end.  As with all automobiles, it likely will run the gamut based on the quality of parts used.

 

For efficiency it reduces a large amount of weight and is much more precise allowing better performance and efficiency.  In the video they state a 30% increase in performance and efficiency.

 

In the video they say that they have been testing it endurance wise in a car for the last 2.5 years while also upgrading parts along the way.  They estimate it is about 4-5 years from going into a production car, which will most likely be a car only the 1% can afford.  Probably 10 years before it really hits the major consumer market.  Assuming their trials continue to be successful.

 

It also greatly reduces the size of the engine by removing the cam shaft(s) and timing chain/belt assembly.  The actuators themselves are much smaller than the current valve assemblies as well which saves space.  All of which also makes it lighter.

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Sadly, doubt this goes anywhere. Read something back in the 90's where Nissan had built a 80+ MPG engine that just never saw the light of day because the oil companies suppressed it. Can't get in the way of a three million dollar plus a day enterprise.

There are so many of these efficiency changes that are held back for profits.

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Sadly, doubt this goes anywhere. Read something back in the 90's where Nissan had built a 80+ MPG engine that just never saw the light of day because the oil companies suppressed it. Can't get in the way of a three million dollar plus a day enterprise.

There are so many of these efficiency changes that are held back for profits.

And yet Nissan comes up with the Leaf that uses no gas.

The old argument oil companies are supressing fuel efficient cars is bs. Car companies are in intense competition with each other but they are tied to a manufacturing assembly line that is only as cost effective as the few changes that are made. To bring out a car like the Volt cost Chevy a billion dollars and required a government subsidy to fund it. Same with all the other Hybrids, the retooling and assembly line modifications are huge.

These guys are three years into testing their actuator valves. I would bet Ford, GM and Chrysler have already been down this road but an entirely new engine costs as much to develop as the rest of the skin that wraps around it. Also this custom car company is selling theirs for a quarter million plus for your exotic that only a dozen people can actually work on it. So for the 20,000 miles these cars see in a lifetime the reliabity issues are not there. The big auto compsnies have to stick with designs that will live through commuter warranties.

Cool stuff but not truly rocket science. Just really damn expensive to develop for mass production based on ten year lifespans.

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The Nissan engine was built in the 80's....I had a hippie Lib teacher that made us read about it.

Big oil either buys the patent or pays them off. Auto manufactures are in no hurry to create more efficient automobiles, that just cuts into their profit margins of selling cars at an expected pace. The assembly line needs to keep running.

The only time you saw drastic measures were the initial electric cars that magically had no recharge stations (and still don't, which is absurd) and more recently when gas prices shot through the roof and the nation had a riot mentality and all of a sudden cars are being produced as hybrid and the marketing leans heavily on MPG and the propaganda of everyone pissed at gas prices.

It's actually funny talking to older folks that were in the car business and when cars were affordable. Not much has changed yet prices have exponentially risen. These types of engineering changes should have happened a long time ago or at least started to be implemented, but then you are cutting into someones pocket which is a no no.

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I know guys at Berkeley that would doing crazy cutting edge research on new fuel types and such but were stymied all the time by oil/gas companies. It was impossible for them to get grants to do their research because they would lobby against it.

 

Whereas for us CS folks they would throw millions our way for every crazy idea we had.

 

Probably not the same way now, especially given Tesla/Volt/etc and hybrid stuff that's been in the works for a long time. But still it's pathetic they the internal combustion engine is still in use. The 2013 chevy suburban gets the same mileage as the original one from 1930s.

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The Nissan engine was built in the 80's....I had a hippie Lib teacher that made us read about it.

 

I also heard a story for years about a 100 MPG carburetor that was suppressed by the oil companies - and this was when gas was 25 cents a gallon. I don't buy everything I hear about stuff like that.

 

Car companies are looking for sales. How much do you believe that it would be worth to a car company to put out a line of cars that was, say, 25 percent more fuel efficient than those of their competitors? They wouldn't be able to keep vehicles on the lot.

 

Looking at this logically, fewer parts means fewer things to break, provided that the parts that are there are of adequate strength and durability. I also like the idea that the valve actuators are not electronic. Electronics tend to deteriorate over time, especially under the harsh environments created by combustion engines. Heat is the main culprit.

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I don't really understand the actuator.  I get how an internal combustion engine works and how it creates the energy for propulsion.  If he takes out the belt or chain how does energy get transferred to the driveline?  In the video, he says that "section" of the engine is now empty.  What am I missing here?  Can anyone help me out?

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I don't really understand the actuator.  I get how an internal combustion engine works and how it creates the energy for propulsion.  If he takes out the belt or chain how does energy get transferred to the driveline?  In the video, he says that "section" of the engine is now empty.  What am I missing here?  Can anyone help me out?

 

Do you understand how cylinders and pistons work?

 

Essentially, right now, when the engine runs, the piston drives a belt that turns a cam shaft, that opens and closes valves.  The valves let in air (intake) when the piston is being driven down in the cylinder and let out air (exhaust) as the piston is shot back up.  Engines have "timing" because not all pistons are in the same position at the same time.  For balance they fire at different times.  Below is a picture of a cam shaft.  Imagine each little piece pushes up a valve and gravity (edit: a spring) forces  the valve back closed.  In a "V" engine you will have at least two of these, one for each side of the V.  In the case for the one below it is working for 4 cylinders with 4 valves per cylinder (2 intake, 2 exhaust).  Most likely this is one side of a V8.

 

camshaft.jpg

 

The engine also turns a crank shaft which turns the gears inside the transmission.  By removing one of the parts of the engine that needs to be turned and the weight involved you make the engine more efficient.  Basically more power is going to the wheels instead of being recycled into the engine.

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on the auto front - anyone see the new corvette?

wow.

i was always of the thinking that i would never buy a current american car, but man did they do a good job on the vette.

finally got rid of the POS easy bake oven knobs inside and brought in an italian with some taste to re-design the interior.

not sure about axe'ing the usual round tail lights tho.

 

corvette.jpg

 

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