October 25, 1995
Web posted at: 3:30 p.m. EDT
From Correspondent Dick Wilson
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Almost since the development of the internal combustion auto engine, inventors have been trying to make it lighter, cleaner, more efficient and less costly. California engineer Ron Goldstein thinks he's accomplished all that with his electromagnetic valve actuator (EVA).
The EVA replaces the single-speed mechanical valve train and camshaft on current auto engines and allows the valves to run at variable speeds. "The benefit of variable valve timing," Goldstein said, "is that you'll now be able to optimize the air-fuel mixture. You'll be able to combust fuel optimally, whether you're at idle, accelerating or flat-out. That will help in your pocketbook and in your lungs, because you're properly combusting the fuel."
Despite having fewer mechanical parts, the EVA is designed for use on a wide array of engines, everything an electric hybrid to a giant diesel that can pull an 18-wheeler, down to something as small as a motorcycle engine. "The only moving part is the armature. It's the only part attached to the valve," Goldstein said (54K AIFF sound or 54K WAV sound). "It's a very simple series of parts. That's why it's so low cost. The valve has a lower spring, a lower electromagnet. Then there's an upper spring, an upper electromagnet and an armature, which is connected to the valve actuator."
The EVA, he said, will add 10 percent more power, get up to 30 percent better fuel economy and reduce emissions by about 25 percent. An independent research group called Calstart said Goldstein's approach makes sense and a leading heavy industry company in Korea, Daewoo, is testing the EVA system. Goldstein told CNN his Los Angeles company, Aura Automotive, already has contracts with eight engine manufacturers interested in his new system.
If EVA is so simple, why hasn't a similar system been built in the past? Resistance to change, says the inventor. "What people are used to is what they will fight for, because they know what it is." He cites fuel injection as another advance that was not widely accepted at first.
Next off the drawing board at Goldstein's company is a new kind of sparking system that could make fuel burn more completely. Meanwhile, he predicts the big-three automakers could be building cars with EVA-equipped engines as soon as the 1998 model year.
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