The Design of an Inline GCI Chain CVT For Large Vehicles By A.W. Brown (A.W. Brown Co.), J.

van Rooij (GCI), and A.A. Frank(UCDavis)

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to indicate the design principals of a Continuously Variable Transmission that is physically about the size of a conventional manual transmission for the same power and torque with an equal or better efficiency and durability. The CVT will be designed for use in either a hybrid electric drive or a conventional vehicle with the addition of a torque converter and reverse gear. The design objectives are as follows: 1. About the same size as a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission for North-South engine orientation and rear wheel drive. 2. About the same weight as the 5 or 6 speed manual transmission 3. Cost about the same or less 4. Much smaller than a comparable performance rated automatic transmission 5. Fewer parts than manual transmissions and less than 1/30th of the part count of an automatic. 6. Ratio span greater than equivalent manual or automatic transmissions. 7. Adaptable up to Class 8 trucks to replace 18 speed manual transmissions with 2000NM and 500kw capacity. 8. Higher efficiency and quieter than a manual transmission. 9. Durability equal to or greater than a manual transmission. 10. Very low noise. 11. Complete flexibility in control using computer controllers for fully automatic to manual ratio control for cars and trucks. The paper will discuss the specific design philosophy of a 500 NM, 250 kw CVT for a SUV and truck application and it’s installation. The prototype is designed for volume production by minimizing the number of parts. The total number of parts for this completely automatic transmission will be about 12 including all bearings. We will focus on the In-line CVT design for the front engine rear wheel drive cars with the design of this paper, but for front wheel drive vehicles a single stage CVT design will generally be the preferred. A discussion of the low cost high accuracy and low power control system used in this transmission will be provided. The geometry used shows the simplicity and flexibility of the design to satisfy a wide range of applications. The components used for the design will be discussed. The following Figure 1, shows the proposed concept. This concept is expected to be installed in a Ford Explorer for demonstration at the CVT-hybrid2004 Congress. It replaces a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission.

Davis that has a wide ratio span with very little motion control. .Figure 1. An Inline CVT design by the authors and the University of California.

The reason for this objective is to make it easy for the manufacturers to adapt this new technology to existing vehicle platforms with no structural modifications to the vehicle chassis or body. The Chain technology has been licensed to a major component manufacturer and will be commercially available World Wide. a single stage CVT design is preferred. To be competitive to an existing transmission technology and manufacturing infrastructure. vans and buses to line-haul semi trucks. efficiency. and yet be completely automatic and finally at a lower cost. In addition there is a movement toward electric motor and battery hybridization. This is shown in the following figure. For front engine front wheel drive vehicles with East-West engines. size. A further objective is to design the CVT in such a way that it can physically replace the conventional Manual and Automatic Transmissions that are almost universally used in the industry. The reason for choosing this technology for this transmission is because of its’ high torque and power capacity (up to 1000kw). This chain concept uses an involute surface to transition from linear motion to curved motion around the sheaves. the Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle transmission is essentially a complex electromechanical CVT. The key technology in this design is the CVT critical element. Hybrid electrics powertrains work best with CVT’s. any new technology must be better in every respect and it must have a supplier able to provide parts and warranties in the quantities needed by the industry. .Design Objectives: The design is motivated by the need by the world wide Automotive and Truck Industry for an inline CVT to directly replace a manual transmission for trucks and buses and large or high horsepower passenger cars with “North South” engine orientation. durability. This action provides this transition with a rolling action between pins without sliding wear or contact surface spin as in many CVT concepts. the Chain to link the Vee pulleys. This paper will describe a design that uses the GCI Chain. This chain concept is “gear like” and uses the basic Vee CVT concept with hydraulic pressure loaded “Vee” sheaves. Thus a transmission system that provides the capability to be used in either Conventional Vehicles or Hybrid Electric Vehicles without mechanical modification is needed. In fact. The base CVT element must be very efficient (over 95%) and low in cost. These styles of cars and trucks are used for a variety of applications from high horsepower sports cars to delivery trucks. The basic technology required is a CVT concept and components that will meet these fundamental objectives. power. high efficiency (95%+) and low noise. This means that this technology must be equivalent to a geared transmission in torque.

Thus some noise and other effects will occur. This technology in conjunction with a much more efficient hydraulic loading system is essential to making such a transmission as described above possible.Figure 2. Thus.. The second chain and pulleys are then transmitting a higher torque and consequently must be loaded higher. it does not solve the momentum change that must occur at speed. The involute GCI chain This element is critical to the increased efficiency and durability of a CVT. of course. The concept in Figure 1 shows two chains in series with an idler that transmits the torque from the first chain to the second chain The idler does not have to have any hydraulic control since the forces are transmitted from the primary to the secondary chains directly. the primary chain and pulley is loaded to transmit a given torque. to have the transmission work effectively. This element and concept solves the geometry problem at slow speeds by this approximation but. Reference [1 ]. In maximum reduction. The principal of the series chain inline system. the primary . The clamping forces for the two chains are also transmitted by the chains from the first stage to the second stage with the use of the idler pulley on the shaft.

the GCI chain is not as sensitive in efficiency to the clamping load as other chain and belt concepts.chain will have to be loaded the same as the secondary chain. the secondary chain and pulley set is slightly overloaded. so the input torque rating is a little less (500Nm vs 700NM) for the inline CVT vs the single stage CVT. This means a small change in dimensions can make the square of the ratio change of a single pulley set CVT system. The reason for this is that the ratio of the first chain and pulley set is multiplied by the ratio of the second chain and pulley set thus the maximum ratio span is the product of the ratio spans of the two pulley sets. and it can be accomplished with much smaller diameter pulleys. the power ratings may be the same or more since the smaller inline CVT can be spun faster. . Fortunately. This concept is illustrated by following figure. The same becomes true in minimum ratio overdrive since the output torque will become considerably less. Actually. Thus the concept can be much more compact than a single pulley and chain system for the same span of ratios. One of the advantages of the system is that a wide overall ratio span can be achieved with a very small movement of the clamping pistons and a small movement of the chain. thus for a given rated input torque. The motion is approximately inversely proportional to the square root of the ratio. It should be noted that the CVT’s both use the same chain size. A slightly larger chain would provide similar torque ratings. Thus the first chain can be overloaded slightly in maximum reduction and not suffer much loss in efficiency.

An analysis of the forces show that the idle shaft has all forces contained within the shafts themselves and the alignment of the shaft is self regulated so as to not require any . The transmission is built symmetrical to reduce part count since many parts are duplicated. This relationship has many consequences: 1. 6. In fact the dimensions are almost the same as a manual transmission of equal torque and power ratings.. 7. the system controls is the same as in a conventional CVT. The input and output shafts are in line. 9. The system can be scaled up to much higher power ranges and much wider ratio ranges. The CVT dimensions are much smaller laterally but only a little longer longitudinally. As shown in Figure 3 below. The weight of the system can be equivalent to a Manual Transmission of equivalent power and torque. 3. The speed capability of the CVT is improved over a single stage CVT due to the shorter chains and smaller pulleys. The overall efficiency is not much different than a single stage CVT because the elements are operating at or near the 1:1 high efficiency (97% to 98%) range. 4. There are only 6 duplicated physical parts including bearings. For conventional trucks and passenger vehicles the transmission will not require auxiliary cooling due to the efficiency of the transmission elements. A comparison of the In-line CVT left with a single stage CVT of the same Ratio Range or Span The ratio of the input to the output of the transmission is R1xR2 where Ri is the ratio of stage i. ie one to one.Figure 3. Each stage of the inline CVT can operate closely around the best efficiency point. 8. But the product still holds. but using electro-hydraulic systems with PWM servo-motors Reference [ 2 ]. The control system will be discussed in more detail below. Thus if R1=R2 then the overall transmission ratio is R1 squared = R2 squared. 2. Of course R1 and R2 do not have to be equal. The control system becomes more critical using conventional hydraulic techniques. The projected cost of this automatic CVT transmission will be substantially less than the equivalent manual or automatic transmission at any equal manufactured volume. The power required for control will be on the order of 100 watts or less with hydraulic pressures of over 1500 psi or 100 Bar. 10. 11. 5. All the way up to class 8 vehicles with 500 kw and 2000 NM of torque and ratio spans of 15 to 20 to one in a much smaller package than possible before. This squaring of the ratio makes the movement of mechanical components of each stage of the variator be the square root of the movement of a single stage variator.

The inpact on vehicle weight and powertrain suspension design in the vehicle chassis is trivial. CVT shift rates are very slow in general and are implemented by high-pressure hydraulics so that there is no need for low friction shifting components. The movable sheaves and cylinder have splines. In production. Of course. that transmit torque from one side of the chain to the other. thus keeping the mechanical efficiency high. The clamping forces required by the coefficient of traction are so high that the moving sheaves can easily overcome the friction and move accurately. an automatic transmission weighs considerably more than 200 pounds. A comparison of the Inline CVT with a comparable power and torque rated Manual transmission is shown in Figure 4 below. All forces on the transmission case are in the direction to resist opposing bearing loads. Thus the In-Line CVT is considerably lighter than automatic transmission and slightly more than a manual transmission. To help this movement the asymmetrical chain load on the sheaves cause a natural oscillating motion on the sheaves reducing the friction to movement to a negligible amount. It can be seen that the Inline CVT is actually smaller in width than the manual transmission and about the same length for the same span of ratios. the weight should come down to about 150 lbs. . These are designed at a large diameter to reduce the friction loads and eliminate the need for rolling ball contacts. This prototype transmission weighs 175 pounds plus the servo control system which weighs 10 pounds. The input and output shaft forces are also self-contained and are held in place by the two main ball bearings. The use of labyrinth seals reduces the need for conventional transmission shaft seals since the pressures are high by conventional transmission standards. Obviously the transmission is considerably smaller than an automatic transmission of the same power and torque rating.physical restraint. These seals have very little drag and will last a lifetime since there is no wear. trucks and buses. The profile of the Inline CVT can easily fit where the conventional manual transmission fits in current cars. Again showing the compactness of the concept. The manual transmission shown below weighs 100 pounds but a six speed weighs 125 pounds. There is no thrust load in the inline direction as there are in conventional transmissions due to the use of helical gears or torque loading devices.

The Low Level CVT Control System (LLC). Comparison of an equal power Manual transmission and the new Inline CVT Control system for the Inline CVT The control system for this transmission thus is the same as the conventional single stage CVT with an input sheave piston loading the primary input V pulley set and the output sheave piston loading the output V pulley set. It is instructional to separate the functions as described below. These two pistons are all that is required since the idler pulley sets are linked together. Of course. There are no valves in this control system at all and no need for calibration and valve plates etc as in conventional CVT and automatic transmissions. These positive displacement gear pumps are simple and inexpensive to manufacture. in implementation they will be integrated together as in most CVT systems. They do not need to be high precision since a little leak within the pump generally helps to stabilize the . The clamping pressure control system as mentioned above is a servo hydraulic system creating high pressure with electric servo-motors and simple bidirectional hydraulic gear pumps or the equivalent.Figure 4. The Low Level control system for a CVT is used to provide the clamping forces for torque transmission and the shifting forces for CVT operation. The Hydraulic control of these pistons can be separated into two separate control loops residing one inside the other.

The clamping forces are created by the pressure feedback servo-hydraulic pump system shown in Figure 5 below. The delay is on the order of milliseconds. As a matter of fact the clamping forces are set by the servo pump before the torque of the engine or traction motor and shift ratio rate is commanded thus insuring that the proper clamping pressure exist before engine or motor torque or shift rate is developed. Only one servo motor pump system is required to supply clamping pressure in this CVT. The calibration of the transmission is simply in the pressure transducers thus saving a lot of development time to adapt the transmission to different applications. Or “The transmission is the King and the engine is the Slave!” Figure 5. This figure shows a single stage CVT but the In-Line CVT is controlled exactly the same with the same hardware to control only the input pulley and the output pulley. Low level Servo-Hydraulic Control System with Pressure Feedback . It is applied to the input and output pulleys of the CVT. The clamping pressure control signal for this servo-pump is determined by the vehicle driver commanded torque or power from the accelerator or brake pedal and the shift rate desired.pressure feedback control loops. The implication of this strategy means that the accelerator or brake pedal commands the CVT and the CVT system then commands the throttle of the engine and not the other way around as found in conventional vehicles.

The equation controlling the vehicle dynamics is: Reference [3. Thus it is expedient to use a duplicate servo-motor/pump system for shifting as for clamping pressurization. R R dot Idrshaft Ie Te Tlosses = CVT ratio or engine speed/driveshaft speed = CVT ratio rate = vehicle inertia reflected to the driveshaft or CVT output = Engine or CVT input inertia = Engine input torque to the CVT = CVT losses transferred to the output shaft = Engine speed ωe . The High Level CVT Vehicle Control System (HLC) The clamping pressure and ratio rate or ratio commands are determined by a “transmission system low level controller described above” with inputs from the driver for torque or power commanded. This high level vehicle control (HLC) system. α driveshaft = [− R I ω + T R − T − T ] [I R + I ] e e e e losses drag 2 e driveshaft Where: αdrshaft = Acceleration of the driveshaft – proportional to vehicle accel. This sequence of action insures that proper clamping pressure exists before a change in torque is applied to the transmission.A second servo-motor/pump system is used to provide shift rate or ratio rate control and to hold ratio if so desired.4]. With the use of pulse width modulation for the control of these motor/pumps then the power used is not significant compared to conventional hydraulics. The power for this shifting servo pump motor is considerably less than the power (30 to 50 watts) required for the clamping pressure servo pump system but the power for the clamping pressure system is less than 200 watts. Thus the accelerator and brake pedal of the vehicle commands the transmission and not the engine as in conventional vehicles as mentioned above. The transmission pressures signals then will in-turn control the engine throttle or set the electric traction motor torque if a hybrid configuration is used. the ratio is rarely held constant unless needed for things like mountain deceleration or similar applications. In automatic CVT vehicles. After the controller has the transmission appropriately set as determined by the pressure transducers. can then be used to optimize the efficiency of the prime mover. then the engine or electric traction motor prime movers can be commanded by the transmission high level controller (HLC) or vehicle dynamics controller. with either conventional or hybrid drive. It also needs to consider the dynamics of the overall vehicle.

with the electric motor inline with the engine. For conventional vehicles. this can only be done by an increased engine torque. It is in exactly the opposite the direction you would generally like. This means operating the engine in a throttled and low efficiency condition at cruise load so that the extra torque to overcome the Rdot term is available for faster shifting and good driveability. These two parameters could be a “dream” or a “nightmare” for the Optimal control of vehicle dynamics while maximizing fuel efficiency because they are often in opposition to each other. A simplified block diagram of the control system is shown in the following figure. This reduces the maximum possible efficiency of the engine and vehicle fuel economy for good vehicle response. Thus to go to reduction for acceleration Rdot needs to be positive. the electric motor can be used for the additional torque to counter the rate of ratio torque term. . These two independent control parameters determine the instantaneous output torque at the driveshaft. Generally to counteract this torque term additional torque is needed. The second is the torque from the engine or motor. The first parameter term is the rate of change of ratio or Rdot. with only an engine. The important feature is to notice the negative sign of the Rdot term. which then determines the acceleration of the vehicle and the clamping forces needed to control the LLC system.Tdrag = Vehicle drag reflected to the driveshaft This equation shows that to control a CVT it is necessary to control two parameters independently. however. This two input parameter system then provides flexibility and constraints for the dynamic control of the vehicle. In a hybrid electric vehicle. but the negative sign on this term means torque is decreased by the rate of change of ratio multiplied by the input momentum. It should be noted that the angular acceleration times the total system inertia at the driveshaft is the output torque of the transmission. This allows the engine then to operate at it’s highest possible efficiency for the power demanded thus improving fuel economy by as much as 20 to 30%. In the mathematics it is preferred to use “R” for the CVT ratio rather than “i” because of the existence of Rdot .

The hybrid electric powertrain can use the electric motor to perform the function of starting the vehicle and reverse.Figure 6. Of course. Figure 7 shows a front wheel drive single stage CVT most effective for front wheel drive. if a specific ratio is desired then an additional control loop can be simply added for that reason. Figure 7 Electric hybrid CVT vehicle configuration . Physical Configurations for CVT and CVT-Hybrid Electric Vehicles Vehicle configurations for CVT conventional or hybrid powertrain systems is shown in the following two figures. Simplified Block diagram of a hybrid CVT Control System The diagram shows that there is no direct command of ratio to the CVT. These figures show that a conventional system will have the same configuration as a hybrid with the electric motor replaced by a torque converter and a reverse gear system. . only ratio rate.

There are two battery packs shown but this is only by way of illustration. The driveshaft is inline with the engine and electric motor shaft. The difference will be that the electric traction motor will be located behind the gasoline or Diesel engine as shown below. This configuration actually shows a system that can provide 62 miles of pure electric operation before needing the use of the gasoline or Diesel engine in a Chevrolet Suburban [ 5 ]. Figure 8. The configuration of an inline CVT can now be used for a wide variety of vehicles constructed with inline engine and transmission configurations as with most trucks and . Regeneration of braking energy is also possible if the weight distribution is appropriate and the road conditions are right.The system can be constructed the same for an inline CVT vehicle system of a truck chassis shown in Figure 8. An In-line hybrid CVT Powertrain Configuration This configuration shows the internal combustion engine with a conventional automatically operated clutch followed by an electric motor which is connected directly to the CVT input shaft. Conclusions The concept of a compact and small CVT that will fit the current manufacturing infrastructure with the capability to adapt to new powertrain configurations of hybrid electric or conventional gasoline or diesel engines has been proposed and designed and demonstrated. The engine starter motor can also be eliminated.

VDIBerichte Nr. a higher reduction final drive axle would be required to maintain the exact performance characteristics of the vehicle. Reference [ EPRI report5] In addition. Aknowledgements: We wish to thank the cooperation of our industrial partners GCI and A.buses in the world. This flexibility in the use of this CVT provides vehicle manufacturers the possibility of providing all possible customer choices with this one element. it can convert a conventional transmission vehicle to a hybrid electric simply by adding an electric Traction motor in front of the CVT. . The existing CVT design does have a symmetrical ratio span so that the transmission goes from reduction to overdrive symmetrically. it can directly replace a manual transmission with the addition a torque converter and a forward/reverse planetary gear set in front of the CVT. Since the inline CVT is approximately the same size as a manual transmission. or a reverse gear. the features of this design using the GCI chain and Servo hydraulic controls are that the entire system weight is only slightly heavier than the same rated manual transmission and the dimensions are only slightly larger. Battery size and location can be determined as desired in the hybrids’ specification. W. To adapt to most vehicles with transmissions that have a larger reduction and smaller overdrive ratio. J. their affiliate companies and. Thus little or no change in vehicle mounting points and engine mountings are required to adapt the inline CVT into the vehicle in either conventional or hybrid electric form for large front engine rear drive vehicles. References 1. Such a change is not significant in most cases. Thus eliminating the need for an engine starting device such as a clutch or torque converter. the many Students at the University of California and affiliated universities around the world in making this project possible. Future dynamometer and vehicle tests are planned with future manufacturing partners to help develop this concept toward production. 1709. The advantages of this inline CVT design with wider ratio range than previously possible with other CVT concepts and the possibility of much higher power and torques possible makes this CVT concept attractive to applications not possible before. We prefer the large battery hybrid with a large electric motor and minimum gasoline engine because our studies show that this gives us the best possible fuel economy and highest possible performance with a CVT. Brown Company. Or. This concept can be a model for many more transmission designs in the future.A. 2002. of course. between the engine and CVT. Eaton Corporation. This Inline CVT is the first of a series of CVT’s and these will need to be further tested and proven for durability and capability. Frank "Development of a 700 Nm Chain-CVT" . van Rooij and A.

Y. 2004. 6. Frank. LA. Brian Bender. Palo Alto. New Orleans. D. William Allan. CONTROL AND RESPONSE OF CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION (CVT) VEHICLES Proceedings of the American Control Conference '85. Frank. and A. Yang. Z. Guo. Proceedings of SAE Detroit. 3. SIDDHARTH SHASTRI AND ANDREW A FRANK “Comparison of energy consumption and power losses of a conventionally controlled CVT with a ServoHydraulic Controlled CVT and with a belt and chain as the Torque Transmitting Element” published in the CVT-Hybrid 2004 Congress. "Comparing the Benefits and Impacts of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Options. Andrew Frank ‘Design and Development of the 2004 UC Davis FutureTruck”.International Congress and Exposition. Counts. CA July 29 2001 . 5. pp. Di. 3. R. Sept 23-25. Powars.-C. X. Yang and A. Unnasch. Aaron Singer-Englar. ON THE USE OF ENGINE MODULATION FOR DECELERATION CONTROL OF CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION VEHICLES. E. Aashish Dalal. Nikko Lubinski Chris Carde. Peter Hutchison." Electric Power Research Institute. S. Christopher Nitta. Kassoy. 1438-1445. Browning. February 1989 4.2. Alex Chun Lap Yeung. Vol. L. SAE Congress publication January2004. and C. and Prof. MI. CH2119-6. A. Charnjiv Bangar. 8950490). Dahlia Garas. UCDavis. June 1921. (SAE Paper No.

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