Old 09-01-17, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by FBOATSB View Post
Look Ma, no springs. Desmodromic valve trains were hugely successful in high revving superbike racing. Maybe a double acting push/pull solenoid could get this going in a simple automobile engine. No heavy spring tension could allow this to be pretty light weight, yes?

Like my old Ducati. I had to carry a set of wrenches and a feeler gauge under my seat, as the valves needed adjusting every two or three weeks.

Mechanical valve systems are used because they are simple, reliable, and require little in the way of maintenance. They are also inexpensive. An electromagnetic valve train would require several things, a fair amount of copper and magnets, as well as a larger alternator/generator to provide the power to open and close the valves. An alternator under a normal load absorbs a fair amount of power from your engine, turning on your headlights causes enough drag that the engine was to kick in a little more fuel and air to maintain the same idle speed. The amount of energy needed to operate at least 2 valves per cylinder would be significant. Though combustion would indeed be more efficient, the amount of electrical energy needed to run it might cause more mechanical resistance than a conventional valve train system.

Though modern engines aren't fundamentally different than engines of half a century ago, they are remarkably efficient at powering vehicles. If you live in an area without hydroelectric, wind, or nuclear power, a gasoline powered car uses less fuel than an electric car, when you consider how much gas, coal, or oil which must be burned to create the electricity to charge your car (only 25% of what a power plant makes is delivered to your home, 75% is lost in transmission). Hydrogen fuel cell cars are also not very efficient, as more than 95% of hydrogen used today is created by burning fossil fuels. And, lastly, the amount of C02 created to build modern electric car batteries is incredible. Studies show that it would take a gasoline-powered car 8 years to generate as much C02 as is emitted in the production of an electric car battery system. And for those of you who own electric cars, you know that batteries must be replaced more often than once every 8 years.

Personally, I will stick to a good, old-fashioned internal combustion car. If I ever buy a car, I have been car free for 9 years now.
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