FreeValve: What is cam engine technology and why you should know it?


FreeValve developed by the Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg, but today we will try to know a little more in depth. Basically, it is an idea based on the solution independently driving the intake and exhaust valves in an internal combustion engine, which allows without some key mechanical elements, such as the camshaft or timing belt.

The system, whose name literally translates as ‘free valve’ , provides complete control and programming independently acting valves, depending on the type of driving, in order to maximize performance and reduce consumption, as the case . At the moment, only the Chinese manufacturer Qoros has implemented this technology in a series model.

Image Source: Google Image

What is FreeValve?

Variable valve lift is something that exists today, and for years, but no system offers the possibilities of this FreeValve. The main feature of this engine is the absence of camshaft and other necessary for the operation of the valves, known as the timing belt, which saves weight components. Why do not you need these items? Because each valve is operated individually, independently of the other sisters.

Traditionally the pattern valvelift must find a compromise between performance and consumption, but this solution opens a new range of possibilities when altering the combustion cycle. Thus, an efficient engine can be offered at any speed, but at the same time refined and with a good level of power and maximum torque. In addition, in ‘normal’ driving, the company claims that the engine needs 10% less power to operate than a conventional design engine.

Unlike other previous systems, FreeValve uses hydraulic-pneumatic actuators, electronic control, allowing great precision when operating each valve. Its creators claim that these components have an equal to the engine itself life and no maintenance is required. “After hundreds of millions of simulated cycles, no measurable wear,” says the company.

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Diesel consumption for a gasoline

Of course, this system has significant advantages over the design of a traditional combustion engine. FreeValve ensures that you can reduce consumption by 12 to17% (and therefore CO2 emissions) compared to a modern propeller 2 liter four-cylinder, direct injection and variable intake. So, we talk about consumption of diesel in a petrol engine.

In the case of the Chinese model qoros 3 with 1.6 – liter four – cylinder, first car to equip this technology outside the laboratory testing, reducing consumption FreeValve is of 15%, with a power increase of 45% and Maximum motor torque 47% higher. In addition, the noise generated by the engine idling FreeValve is equivalent to an ordinary gasoline engine, and considerably lower than in faster spin.

Image Source: Google Image

What if something fails?

You may be wondering what happens if one of the actuators fails. The company claims the engine, although several of them fail, continues to operate normally, albeit with slightly less power at high rpm. Even with 75% of the actuators failing, the brand ensures that the engine would be able to operate in a “limp” mode to at least get home.

If a was given catastrophic failure in the engine, it would simply cease to function without damage to the drive itself, while in a conventional engine with camshaft irreparable damage would be generated if the chain or timing belt broke.

Why is not it already on the street?

The main problem with this technology is that, while not occur on a large scale, the costs are higher than those of a traditional engine. In any case, the added cost of a FreeValve engine would be lower than the price difference between a gasoline and a diesel, even offering the same consumption as the latter and with multiple advantages (those already mentioned).