Electronic valve control system launches for heavy diesels29 July 2020

Camcon Automotive is launching the concept of a digital engine for heavy-duty diesels, following development of a dynamic prototype of the technology for passenger cars.

The design sees the company’s proprietary ‘intelligent valve technology’ (iVT), replacing the camshaft with electric actuators for full, precise control over the engine’s breathing, combined with innovative control software.

This, claims the company, can improve the efficiency of the average heavy duty diesel truck by five percent.

Camcon Automotive technical consultant Neil Butler says: “All key combustion process parameters have been under digital control for some time now. But breathing has been stuck under the control of increasingly complex but essentially mechanical variable valve train systems. iVT is as big a leap forward as the change from carburettors to electronically-controlled fuel injection.”

IVT gives infinite control over the valves, bringing enormous benefits for Heavy Duty Diesel commercial trucks, from cold start emissions pserformance to exhaust gas recirculation to on-demand cylinder deactivation and management of harmful pollutants, like NOx, which is a major contributor to poor air quality.

On top of this system, Camcon Automotive’s vision is to incorporate a suite of software that allows iVT to be calibrated through machine learning, combining hardware and software in one package, resulting in the most optimised ICE yet: the digital engine.

In addition, iVT can be used to reduce the size, weight and cost of the after-treatment equipment fitted to a heavy duty diesel engine significantly and can also better control the exhaust after-treatment temperature. Catalysts can be maintained at their optimum operating temperature over a greater proportion of the drive cycle and, while iVT cannot eliminate after-treatment equipment entirely, it can reduce the size and cost and weight. For instance, thanks to the system’s greater optimisation of emissions control, a truck would not need to use as much AdBlue.

But the most significant area is how iVT can also significantly reduce fuel consumption. Camcon Automotive believes it can improve the efficiency of the average Heavy Duty Diesel truck by five percent. For just one truck that would save almost £2,500 a year in diesel*; so for an average fleet of six HGVs, an operator could save £15,000. For a large fleet of 1,000 vehicles, annual fuel costs could be slashed by £2.5m.

Butler added: “We believe iVT can reduce running costs, dramatically improve emissions and require no change to the current refuelling infrastructure.”

William Dalrymple

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