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Title:
COMBUSTION ENGINE COMPRISING A SWITCHING RACK WITH CAMS INTERACTING WITH A SWITCH ON CONNECTING RODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/013692
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Combustion engine comprising a switching rack (1) and a plurality of connecting rods (15), where the switching rack (1) comprises a longitudinal body (2) having a face side (3) and a rear side (4), where the face side (3) comprises a plurality of switching arrangements (7) where each switching arrangement (7) comprises a first cam (8) and a second cam (9), where each switching arrangement (7) is adapted to interact with a switch (18) on a connecting rod (15), and where the switching rack (1) is arranged in a gliding manner in a groove (22) between a cylinder block (20) and an engine bedplate (21) of the combustion engine. The advantage of the invention is that a means for switching a variable compression switch in a connecting rod in a combustion engine can be mounted in a simple and reliable manner.

Inventors:
PETROV, Peter (Malörtsgatan 110, Angered, 424 61, SE)
Application Number:
SE2018/050750
Publication Date:
January 17, 2019
Filing Date:
July 09, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VOLVO CAR CORPORATION (. Göteborg, 405 31, SE)
International Classes:
F02B75/04; F02D15/02; F16C7/06
Foreign References:
DE102015224157A12017-06-08
US20170089257A12017-03-30
US20150260109A12015-09-17
US20160281614A12016-09-29
DE202014010758U12016-07-28
US20120118270A12012-05-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ZACCO SWEDEN AB (P.O. Box 5581, Valhallavägen 117N, Stockholm, 114 85, SE)
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Claims:
Combustion engine comprising a switching rack (1) and a plurality of connecting rods (15), where the switching rack (1) comprises a longitudinal body (2) having a face side (3) and a rear side (4), where the face side (3) comprises a plurality of switching arrangements (7), where each switching arrangement (7) comprises a first cam (8) and a second cam (9), where each switching arrangement (7) is adapted to interact with a switch (18) on a connecting rod (15), characterized in that the switching rack (1 ) is arranged in a gliding manner in a groove (22) between a cylinder block (20) and an engine bedplate (21) of the combustion engine (31).

Combustion engine according to claim 1, characterized in that the rear side (4) of the body (2) of the switching rack (1) is provided with an actuating lever (12) adapted to slide the switching rack (1) sideways.

Combustion engine according to any of claims 1 to 2, characterized in that the body (2) of the switching rack (1 ) comprises a first protruding end stop (5) and a second protruding end stop (6) adapted to cooperate with stop surfaces (25, 26) of the groove (22).

Combustion engine according to any of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that each cam (8, 9) of the switching rack

(I) is provided with an entrance region (10) and a switching region

(II) .

Combustion engine according to any of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the first cam (8) and the second cam (9) of the switching rack (1 ) extend perpendicular from the face side (3).

6. Combustion engine according to claim 5, characterized in that the entrance region (10) and the switching region (11) of each cam (8, 9) in a switching arrangement (7) face each other. 7. Combustion engine according to any of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that the cross section of the body (2) of the switching rack (1) is rectangular.

8. Combustion engine according to any of claims 1 to 7, characterized in that a switching arrangement (7) of the switching rack (1) comprises an interconnection (14) which interconnects the first cam (8) with the second cam (9).

9. Combustion engine according to any of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that the switching rack (1 ) is arranged in a groove (22) in the cylinder block (20) of the combustion engine (31 ). 10. Combustion engine according to any of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that the switching rack (1 ) is arranged in a groove (22) in the engine bedplate (21) of the combustion engine (31).

11. Combustion engine according to any of claims 1 to 10, characterized in that the combustion engine (31 ) comprises an actuator (13) mounted on the outside of the engine bedplate (21) adapted to control the switching rack (1).

12. Combustion engine according to claim 11, characterized in that the actuator (13) is a rotary electric motor.

13. Vehicle comprising an internal combustion engine according to any of claims 1 to 12.

Description:
COMBUSTION ENGINE COMPRISING A SWITCHING RACK WITH CAMS INTERACTING WITH A SWITCH ON CONNECTING RODS

TECHNICAL FIELD

5 The present invention relates to a switching rack adapted to switch a mechanical switch in a variable compression ratio system integrated in a connecting rod for a vehicle engine.

BACKGROUND ART

Vehicles comprising an internal combustion engine are subjected to a 10 plurality of different legislative requirements and regulations. Some of these requirements and regulations are directed to fuel consumption and exhaust emission. One way of reducing fuel consumption is to provide the internal combustion engine of the vehicle with a variable compression ratio, which is a technology used to adjust the compression ratio of the internal 15 combustion engine while the engine is in operation. This technology is used to increase the fuel efficiency of the engine when the load varies. Higher loads require lower compression ratios to be more efficient and vice versa. Engines comprising variable compression ratio allows the volume above the piston at Top dead centre to be changed. For automotive use this needs to 20 be done dynamically in response to the load and driving demands.

The advantage of an engine having a variable compression ratio is that the maximum pressure during a compression stroke can be limited at high power outputs, and can be increased at lower power outputs. If the compression of the engine is too high for the used fuel, the fuel/air mixture 25 will "detonate" and will not burn in a proper way. In a conventional internal combustion engine, higher power outputs at the same speed is achieved by injecting more fuel. For a high performance vehicle, more air may be forced into the engine by the use of a turbocharger or a supercharger which increases the inlet pressure. A high load and a high compression ratio may lead to a too high pressure in the cylinder, which in turn may result in detonation of the fuel/air mixture. One way of avoiding detonation is to delay the spark ignition timing, but this will affect the efficiency of the engine in a negative way. By decreasing the compression ratio, i.e. increasing the volume above the piston, the compression ratio can be limited to a safe value. If the compression ratio is fixed to this safe value, the engine may lack power and torque under lighter loads. By using a variable compression ratio, the compression ratio can be adapted to the actual load of the vehicle. By using an engine with variable compression ratio, a high compression ratio can be obtained at lighter loads that will provide a higher thermal efficiency of the engine, and a low compression ratio can be obtained at higher loads which will avoid knocking of the engine and which will allow an optimal ignition timing.

There are different known ways of providing an internal combustion engine with a variable compression ratio. Some systems comprise an eccentric arrangement on the crankshaft that will adjust the effective length of the connecting rod, which in turn adjusts the compression of the engine. Some systems comprise cylinders in the connecting rod which acts on an eccentric mount for the piston, which also adjusts the effective length of the connecting rod. Another proposed system comprises a tiltable cylinder head with connecting rods having a fixed length.

WO 2014/019684 A1 discloses a switching rack adapted to actuate a switch arranged at the lower side of a connecting rod, where the switching rack is arranged at the bottom of the engine bedplate, below the crankshaft. Such a mounting position requires several components and is relatively complicated.

There is thus room for an improved way of mounting a switching rack in a combustion engine.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION An object of the invention is therefore to provide a combustion engine having an improved mounting position of a switching rack for controlling a switch valve unit comprised in a connecting rod. A further object of the invention is to provide a vehicle that comprises such a combustion engine. The solution to the problem according to the invention is described in the characterizing part of claim 1 regarding the combustion engine and in claim 13 regarding the vehicle. The other claims contain advantageous further developments of the inventive combustion engine.

In a combustion engine comprising a switching rack and a plurality of connecting rods, where the switching rack comprises a longitudinal body having a face side and a rear side, where the face side comprises a plurality of switching arrangements, where each switching arrangement comprises a first cam and a second cam, where each switching arrangement is adapted to interact with a switch on a connecting rod, the object of the invention is achieved in that the switching rack is arranged in a gliding manner in a groove between a cylinder block and an engine bedplate of the combustion engine.

The internal combustion engines is provided with an ignition system and can be used for petrol engines and engines using compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas. The switching rack is used to switch a switch between a first position and a second position. The switch is positioned in a connection rod arranged between a crankshaft and a piston. In the shown system, the switch is arranged in the upper part of the connecting rod, above the split line. The switch is arranged at one side of the connecting rod. The switch will switch between two pressurized oil channels comprised in the connecting rod. In one position, the switch will allow oil to flow to a first cylinder arranged at the mount position of the piston. The first cylinder will position the piston mount in a first, raised position, such that the effective length of the connecting rod will be at its longest extension which corresponds to a high compression ratio. In the second position, the second cylinder will position the piston mount in a second, lower position in which the effective length of the connecting rod is shorter. This will in turn provide a lower compression in the cylinder.

The switching rack can slide sideways such that either the first cam or the second cam will interact with the switch of the connecting rod. The sideway position of the switching rack is controlled by an actuator acting on an actuating lever. The switching rack will either be positioned to the right or to the left, having two predefined positions. With the switching rack positioned to the right, the switch will be pushed to a first position every time the switch passes the switching rack, i.e. at every revolution. The first position may e.g. allow oil to flow to the first cylinder and to drain oil from the second cylinder, such that the piston mount is in the raised position. With the switching rack positioned to the left, the switch will be pushed to a second position every time the switch passes the switching rack, i.e. at every revolution. The second position may e.g. allow oil to flow to the second cylinder, such that the piston mount is in the lower position.

The switching rack is mounted in a groove between the cylinder block and the engine bedplate of the combustion engine. In one example, the switching rack is mounted in a groove in the bottom of the cylinder block of the engine. The switching rack is placed in the groove, and when the engine bedplate is mounted to the cylinder block, the switching rack is mounted in the correct position without the need of any screws or additional fixing means. This is an advantage over known switching rack solutions, where the switching rack is mounted at the bottom of the bedplate or at the bottom of the cylinder block for a deep-skirt block. Such a mounting position requires additional screws, fixing elements, specific end stops and also additional screws and fixing elements for the actuator. The actuator must further be mounted with a specific flange on the oil sump and requires a relatively long actuation shaft in order to reach the switching rack. In the inventive solution, the actuator is mounted on the outside of the bedplate, very close to the switching rack.

A further disadvantage of the known solution is that the connecting rod itself is more complicated. In a known solution with the switching rack at the bottom of the bedplate, the switch of the connecting rod is mounted on the bottom of the connecting rod. The oil lines to the adjusting cylinders must thus also pass through the split plane of the connecting rod.

The switching rack is provided with two end stops that will provide the proper operation positions, i.e. the correct right and left position. The body of the switching rack is rectangular, and resembles a strip of steel. This will prevent the switching rack from rotating in the groove and will maintain the switching rack in a correct vertical and horizontal position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The invention will be described in greater detail in the following, with reference to the attached drawings, in which

Fig. 1 shows a switching rack according to the invention standing on a bedplate,

Fig. 2 shows a front view of the switching rack according to the invention standing on a bedplate,

Fig. 3 shows a bottom view of a cylinder block with a groove for a switching rack according to the invention,

Fig. 4 shows a bottom view of a cylinder head with a switching rack according to the invention,

Fig. 5 shows a view of a connecting rod comprising a switch, Fig. 6 shows a detail of a switching rack according to the invention during an interaction with a switch, and Fig. 7 shows a vehicle comprising an internal combustion engine according to the invention.

MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

The embodiments of the invention with further developments described in the following are to be regarded only as examples and are in no way to limit the scope of the protection provided by the patent claims.

Figure 1 shows a switching rack 1 standing on an engine bedplate 21 of an internal combustion engine 31 . The switching rack 1 is provided with a body 2 which comprises longitudinal regions and which interconnects the switching arrangements 7 of the switching rack. The body is provided with a face side 3 which is pointing upwards in the figure. The rear side 4 is at the opposite side. The switching rack 1 is also provided with a first end stop 5 and a second end stop 6. The rear side 4 is provided with an actuating lever 12 that is controlled by an actuator 13 mounted on the outside of the bedplate 21 . The actuator controls the switching rack to either a right position or a left position. The actuator is provided with a sealing that will prevent oil from escaping through the mounting hole for the axle of the actuator. The actuator is here a rotary electric motor with an eccentric wheel acting on the actuating lever. A linear actuator, such a solenoid, would also be possible to use.

A switching arrangement 7 is provided at each cylinder of the engine. In the shown example, a three cylinder engine is used as an example, but any number of cylinders is plausible. The switching arrangement extends from the body of the switching rack in a substantial perpendicular direction from the face side of the body. A switching arrangement comprises a first cam 8 and a second cam 9, which are spaced apart such that the connecting rod attachment to the crankshaft with the switch can pass between the cams. The first cam 8 and the second cam 9 are interconnected with an interconnection 14, which also helps to stabilize the switching rack. The upper part of a cam comprises an entrance region 10 and the lower part of a cam comprises a switching region 1 1 , which will interact with the switch of the connecting rod. The entrance region will allow the switch to enter the switching region in a gentle way. The entrance region has a shape of a ramp that will allow a smooth movement of the actuating means of the switch without creating audible noise and which will further prevent excessive wear of the switch and the entrance region.

The entrance region 10 and the switching region 1 1 are provided on an inner surface of a cam. The inner surface of the first cam 8 and the inner surface of the second cam 9 are directed towards each other. The inner surfaces are slightly angled outwards with respect to a centre plane between the first cam 8 and the second cam 9, such that the distance between the entrance regions is larger than the distance between the switching regions.

Fig. 2 shows a front view of the switching rack 1. In the shown example, the switching rack is in the left position, i.e. positioned as far left as possible such that the first end stop 5 will bear on the end stop surface 25 of the mounting groove 22. The first cam 8 will now be able to interact with the switch of the connecting rod such that the switch will be pushed to a second position every time the switch passes the first cam, i.e. at every revolution. The second position may e.g. allow oil to flow to the second cylinder, such that the piston mount is in the lower position.

Fig. 3 shows a bottom view of a cylinder block 20 with a groove 22 for a switching rack 1 . The groove is provided in each bearing bridge 24 of the cylinder block. The groove 22 further comprises a first end stop surface 25 and a second end stop surface 26 adapted to interact with the first end stop 5 respectively the second end stop 6 of the switching rack. The face side 3 of the switching rack 1 will bear and slide in the groove 22 in the cylinder block. Fig. 4 shows a switching rack 1 positioned in the groove 22 of the cylinder block 20. In the shown position, the switching rack is seen from below and is in the left position with the first end stop 5 bearing on the first end stop surface 25. The switching rack is controlled to the left position by the actuator 13 through the actuating lever 12. The actuator is adapted to be attached to the outside of the bedplate.

Fig. 5 shows a connecting rod 15 arranged to connect a crankshaft to a piston. In the shown figure, the switch 18 is arranged in the upper part of the connecting rod, above the split plane. The switch is arranged at one side of the connecting rod. The switch will switch between two pressurized oil channels comprised in the connecting rod. In the shown first position, the switch will allow oil to flow to a first cylinder 16 arranged at the piston mount 19 of the piston. The first cylinder will position the piston mount in a first, raised position, such that the effective length of the connecting rod will be at its longest extension which corresponds to a high compression ratio. In the second position, the second cylinder 17 will position the piston mount in a second, lower position in which the effective length of the connecting rod is shorter. This will in turn provide a lower compression in the cylinder.

Fig. 6 shows a detail of the switching rack during an interaction with a switch 18 of a connecting rod 15. In the shown example, the switch is in the second position and the switching rack has just been positioned in the left position. The switch 18 is in the shown example at the entrance region 10 of the first cam 8 and will continue downwards in the figure. The switch will now be pressed into the connecting rod by the inclined surface of the entrance region 10. When the switch continues downwards, it will be pushed in completely into the connecting rod by the switching region 1 1 and the other end of the switch will extend outwards towards the second cam 9, and the switch will change position to the first position. The switching rack will remain in the left position until a signal is sent to the actuator to change position. This means that the switch will be pushed in every time it passes the first cam if it should displace somewhat, e.g. due to vibrations or the like.

Fig. 7 shows a vehicle 30 comprising an internal combustion engine 31 . The internal combustion engine 31 comprises a switching rack 1 arranged in a groove between the cylinder block 20 and the engine bedplate 21 .

The invention is not to be regarded as being limited to the embodiments described above, a number of additional variants and modifications being possible within the scope of the subsequent patent claims.

REFERENCE SIGNS

1 : Switching rack

2: Body

3: Face side

4: Rear side

5: First end stop

6: Second end stop

7: Switching arrangement

8: First cam

9: Second cam

10: Entrance region

: Switching region

12: Actuating lever

13: Actuator

14: Interconnection

15: Connecting rod

16: First cylinder

17: Second cylinder

18: Switch

19: Piston mount

20: Cylinder block

21 : Engine bedplate

22: Groove

24: Bearing bridge

25: First end stop surface

26: Second end stop surface

30: Vehicle

31 : Combustion engi