Software Meets Engine
Software instead of a crankshaft
The Next Evolutionary Stage Of Engine Development – Or More Than That?
Do you remember your first car? It probably had an electric starter. Very, very few people reading this will have still cranked their combustion engine. Many however will certainly have driven with a carburettor or contact ignition – both of them mechanical systems and in today’s age of electronic engine controllers almost relics of a bygone age.
Since then we’ve observed a trend that continues today: perfecting the combustion engine with mechatronic components. Injection valves, turbochargers, valve gears – hardly any component would have been able to resist it. It is only thanks to the variability that electronics allows that it’s been possible for combustion engines to become as efficient and economical as we are accustomed to them being today.
However, the core of the combustion engine has remained unchanged since the days of Gottlieb Daimler. Pistons, connecting rods and crankshafts still govern the operation of every piston on a purely mechanical basis. This is precisely the point at which the FreeP concept comes in. For the first time, it will now be possible to also control piston movement electronically, with flexible control software replacing the connecting rod and crankshaft.
Variable compression ratio
Features On Demand
The elimination of forced guidance by the crankshaft opens up completely new possibilities for optimising the engine’s core: the combustion. One decisive factor here is for example the compression ratio – previously a design parameter that had to be determined once and in the case of which compromises were unavoidable.
With the FreeP on the other hand, the compression ratio is no longer defined by the designer but is instead determined continuously during operation of the engine controller. When the power requirement is low, compression at a higher ratio is possible than at full-load power, and with higher compression in winter than in summer. These adjustments are made permanently during operation, and run fully automatically without the user having to intervene. The electronics select a lower compression ratio for American “Regular” petrol than for European Super or Super Plus. The value can be increased even more for operation with gas or bio-fuels so as to make full use of their high knock resistance – increasing efficiency still further.
Nomen Est Omen
The great significance of a software controller is the basic philosophy behind the FreeP, from which many potentials are derived.
SWEngin is bringing together the worlds of software and combustion engines to an extent that has never been seen before – something which is apparent not just from the technical properties of the FreeP but also in our company name: