Efficient valve system improves combustion engines

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A team of researchers at the Canadian University of Waterloo have developed a new system to control the in- and outlet valves of an internal combustion engine more efficiently.

Current gasoline and diesel engines use a camshaft for valve timing, which is a robust system but it offers limited flexibility. The university of Waterloo has developed a hydraulic valve system, offering an increased flexibility in timing and a reduced energy consumption.

According to theĀ Amir Khajepour, professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the university, “The patented system combines the well-established benefits of a fully variable valve system with the relatively low cost and complexity of production engines”.

Operation of this new system requires 58% less energy than a traditional camshaft; which could potentially improve the total efficency of the engine by over 10 percent.

Although several car manufacterers have developed flexible valve timing systems in the past, these systems were either more expensive, energy inefficient or less reliable, according to the university.

The study on optimizing the hydraulic variable valve system began in 2008 and will be published in the journal Mechatronics.