Intelligent Valve Actuation

Concurrent with the complete collapse of MG-Rover, their powertrain department has released some pretty interesting technology – a prototype K-engine that does without camshafts entirely:

picture of valve actuators

The engine uses actuator technology licensed from Camcon Technology (UK):

The introduction of Camcon’s digital actuator technology will allow each valve of the engine to be independently controlled; will support a number of lift positions; will allow for energy recovery to support low power consumption and provide low seating velocities to ensure durability and low noise. Intelligent Valve Actuation (IVA), as the product has been designated, will significantly improve the engine combustion efficiency, enhancing engine performance and fuel economy, whilst at the same time enabling reduced emissions from the engine.

Camcon’s binary actuator fundamentally differs from the traditional valve designs. Using high power permanent magnets and a spring-loaded armature the configuration requires a very short electrical pulse to disrupt the magnetic field, causing the armature to switch from one stable position to another, thereby opening or closing the valve. No electric current needed to maintain the on or off position, creating a unique opportunity to drive even multiple valve systems from a local battery allowing precise and programmable delivery of any gas or fluid.