Freevalve: Control and Optimization of Fully Variable Valvetrain-Enabled Combustion Strategies for Steady-State Part Load Performance and Transient Rise Times

Abdelrahman W.M. Elmagdoub, Urban Carlson, Mattias Halmearo, James W. G. Turner, Chris Brace, Sam Akehurst, Nic Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In passenger car development, extreme ICE downsizing trends have been observed over the past decade. While this comes with fuel economy benefits, they are often obtained at the expense of Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP) rise time in transient engine response. Through advanced control strategies, the use of Fully Variable Valvetrain (FVVT) technologies has the potential to completely mitigate the associated drivability-penalizing constraints. Adopting a statistical approach, key part load performance engine parameters are analyzed. Design-of-Experiment data is generated using a validated GT-Power model for a Freevalve-converted turbocharged Ultraboost engine. Subsequently, MathWorks' Model Based Calibration (MBC) toolbox is utilized to interpret the data through model fitments using neural network models of optimized architectures. Calibration Generation (CAGE) toolbox is ultimately used to identify best-case look-up tables for the part load steady state performance points based on concluded, case specific, BSFC values. Transient tip-in events are simulated using a step pedal input to full load from the optimized part load points and total rise times are analyzed. For conventional non-FVVT configurations it has been demonstrated that part load cases with higher EGR rates concluded significantly higher T10 (time to 10% of BMEP) values, while T90 (time to 90% of BMEP) and T10-90 (time between 10% and 90% of BMEP) at the tip-in transient were least influenced by residual content. Assuming a Pareto optimal front, this leads to propose that advanced valve control strategies enabled by FVVT technologies, targeting maximum scavenging and optimized EGR rates, are capable of eliminating the potential burden that is turbocharger lag, otherwise sustained in boosted engines as a result of limited cam-based valvetrains, on tip-in transient events from a minimum BSFC steady state part load initial condition.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSAE Technical Paper Series
PublisherSAE International
StatePublished - Apr 11 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-06-12
Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank the directors of Koenigsegg Automotive AB and Freevalve AB for permission to publish this paper. The modelling work undertaken was based upon a validated model originally developed under the “Ultra Boost for Economy” project funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board, now Innovate UK (IUK), grant number BN008E 2010- 2013. The contribution of Lotus Engineering towards producing the first-generation GT-Power model used and updated throughout this paper for comparative reasons is also recognized. This work is supported by a scholarship from the UK’s EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (AAPS) at the University of Bath, under project code EP/S023364/1.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Freevalve: Control and Optimization of Fully Variable Valvetrain-Enabled Combustion Strategies for Steady-State Part Load Performance and Transient Rise Times'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this