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Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 2:42 PM

I recently filed a patent application on a CVT that I have been working on for many years. I think it has a lot of potential since it is driven by solidly interlocked components, and unlike other designs that employ one-way clutches, the output is completely smooth and the driving arms move in one direction instead of oscillating.

Find the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdlOuZeYHLw

Be sure to listen to the audio; it will help immensely.

Looking for comments,

Jeff Lucas - inventor

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#1

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 3:51 PM

Well here is what your competition has to offer.

Near infinity:1 reduction ratio plus overdrive capacity in both directions in one unit.

>97% average mechanical efficiency.

Service life in excess of 20K running hours with minimal maintenance.

Scalable from fractional HP to multi 1000's of HP.

Multi wheel equal torque/power/speed capacity.

High power density per unit of volume and mass.

Input and output overload proof.

Already and industry standard and proven design in rugged and severe service industrial applications.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 4:08 PM

What design are you talking about? Friction based? Do you have a link?

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#7
In reply to #2

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 8:37 PM

Standard variable displacement hydraulic piston pump and motor combo.

Reliable, mass produced, compact, and well proven tech. Rather cheap when scaled down to meet the requirements of a common automobile as well.

Given that the average vehicle travels around 200,000 miles in it life and puts in less than 4000 running hours while doing it it's a pretty light service life as far as commercial hydraulic drive tech is concerned considering that most heavy equipment will see 10 - 20+K running hours in its life.

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 9:58 PM

Hydrostatic transmissions are ideal for some applications, but there is one main reason that they are not widely used in cars. They rate as one of the worst for efficiency.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 11:03 PM

Maybe 40 years ago hydrostatic drive tech was inefficient but by todays standards if a drive train is less than 90% efficient on mechanical input to output ratios there is something wrong with the system.

The typical specs I see on new axial piston pumps and motors is usually >98% volumetric efficiency and 90 - 95+% mechanical efficiency provide the right oils are being used which system wide wise rivals any modern electronically controlled automatic transmissions efficiency range.

They are not used in vehicles because the automotive industry is at least 40 years behind the industrial application industry. Just look at the overly complicated and dismally functional electric hybrids they have introduced in the last few years.

What they are offering the public now is a sad comparison to what the industrial markets were running 30+ years ago on their hybrid drive systems.

As far as vehicle efficiency goes I thought it was pretty obvious by the fact that in many cases vehicles 30 years ago got better MPG numbers than they do now efficiency was not the auto industries primary concern.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 11:35 PM

In addition to the fact that 90% ranks on the low end to my mind, these efficiencies are reflective of optimal operating speeds. When one combines the mechanical losses with volumetric losses when low fluid volumes being transfered, things start to get ugly. In other words, if people are most often operating their cars in the lower 40% speed range, they are not going to be happy at the gas pump. Moving fluid is just not as efficient as solidly interlocked components.

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#32
In reply to #13

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/25/2013 11:02 AM

At the moment most automotive drivetrains in general are only around 75 - 85% efficient at getting the power from the engine to the wheels regardless of what transmission is being used.

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#38
In reply to #32

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

08/08/2013 5:25 AM

What about the Porsche? I've found that they do an incredible job getting the power to the tires.

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#15
In reply to #1

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 10:04 AM

Very interesting, TCM.

Considering how efficient modern hydraulic drives are,would they be lighter than generators in wind-generator systems?

If so, they could be put on top, and the generators(Very heavy), on the bottom of the tower to reduce loading and maintenance requirements.

Just how much would this reduce overall efficiency and total cost to operate?

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 10:43 AM

Not sure but I have pondered on that myself for my own future wind generator experiments.

The biggest issue with the industrial application tech is its sort of like the automotive industry. Very slow to adapt to new or cross pollination of technology.

For whatever reason each section of industry seems to be hell bent on discovering things themselves rather than asking a neighboring industrial application about refitting its day to day well proven and well designed systems to a new application.

Its like the hybrid automotive stuff we are seeing today where each auto manufacture wants to reinvent the wheel rather than team up with any of the big industrial companies that mastered hybrid drive systems 30 - 40 years ago.

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#3

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 6:53 PM

Love the graphics. but I think many others here will agree in order to be a success in the market your design has to do one of two things, if not both. (1) be less costly to produce, (2) save money (Fuel) your piece addresses neither, its just a pitch for money on an unproven design. btw, patents are issued daily simply on design without a functioning prototype EVER being made or manufactured and making it to market.

best of luck but I think the hill you're attempting to climb actually gets steeper from here

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 8:01 PM

As I see it, it will be significantly less costly to produce because it relies on locking clutches as opposed to friction, which will provide for a smaller design handling more torque. In addition, it is by design smaller since it only has one "circle", as opposed to the two pulley "circles" of conventional designs.

As for fuel efficiency, that is the whole point - to reduce friction and/or high forces that drain efficiency. The gearing on the backside is merely for reducing to a starting output of zero, which would be required for most all conventional designs too.

(Always so many naysayers in this group.)

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 8:15 PM

call me a naysayer if you like but I'm the first person to try something new. I've been at the patent and business game for decades, I just know how big the challenge is and how resistant any auto company is to sign over millions to a little inventor with a dream. if you in fact have the "new deal" in transmitting power I applaud you but you're going to have to work a lot longer than posting a YouTube vid and then posting a link here. and just trust me your figures aren't even remotely close to the dollars required for proper R&D, I'm not knocking you I just know you're a few million short and the auto companies are in no hurry to pay that for you...why would they? they've already spent 10's of millions designing their current line up and they want a return on that investment. I'm not a naysayer, I'm a realist and I just have a real world viewpoint on how tough it is to get any product to market, at this point all you have is a fancy graphic and a dream. that and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee

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#12
In reply to #5

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 11:17 PM

Rest assured I agree with you on the numbers, especially for the automotive industry. But, you can also be sure that I'm not going to raise those kinds of funds through crowd funding, which is what the video figures relate to. My goal with crowd funding and posting here, is simply publicity. Crowd funding might help to keep me going long enough to find the venture and/or angle capital that is needed. That said, it would take a much smaller investment to build it for bicycles.

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#6

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 8:36 PM

I question if people are understanding the full magnatude of this cvt design. This is a fully interlocked cvt. You might just as well call it a geared cvt. It is doing what vmt technologies is doing, only in a much less complicated fashion.

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#8

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 8:56 PM

This has been around a while and has less parts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variomatic

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/23/2013 9:46 PM

I am well familiar with this design, and am quite confident that you can't show me anything that I am not familiar with, at least in a general sense. I am over 50 years old and have had a fascination with cvt's since I was under 10. I have been developing my design with the chief motion analysis expert from Tetra Pak and the chief engineering advisor to Merchant and Gould. As for the referenced design, one has to consider the very pronounced wear issues inherent in these types of transmissions, not to mention vibrations that occur as belt pins only partially align with pulley ribs. I am not saying that it is not adequately operating in some vehicles, but I am saying it has its own set of problems. I have talked with owners of such vehicles.

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#14

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 12:03 AM

Everybody sing now--

Bringing in the sheaves,
Bringing in the sheaves...!

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#17

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 10:49 AM

Could be better than present designs, but I wonder what the market would be. Nissan has been refining CVTs for decades and I can't imagine they would change now unless you had some huge advantage they could advertise. And since most of the automotive world is using 5 to 7 speed automatic trannys, and will soon be converting to electric cars, the future of CVT, at least in cars, seems dim.

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#18
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Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 12:35 PM

The biggest issue with the CVT in automotive applications has been the highly limited power/torque transfer capacity.

So far I have yet to find any references to them being used in any vehicles over 100 HP and 2500 pounds curb weight and all of them are not rated for towing anything either!

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 1:15 PM

You have hit on the main point of my CVT. The design is solidly interlocked. It does not depend on static friction to transfer torque loads, and each solid component can be spec'd out to handle significant torque loads easier than the pins inset into some belt type systems currently on the market. Torque is transfered through one-way clutches from input shaft to the radial arms (where they move slower), the torque then continues transference through the belt to the same radial arms (where they move faster) through one-way clutches to the output shaft.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 1:32 PM

Any solid theoretical numbers to back this claim up? I have my doubts on the life expectancy of an application with so many one way clutch units that are constantly cycling with every single revolution of the engine. Same with using a flexible rubber belt held in place by side loading friction to its driven member.

What dimensions is this design supposed to take up when it's finished and what is the realistic reduction and overdrive ratio capacities as well?

The common automatic and manual transmissions tend to have first gear ratios between 4.5:1 and 3.5:1 with over drives in the .6:1 to .8:1 ratios.

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 2:50 PM

True, cycling clutches is probably the weakest link in the system, although you'd be surprised at what's out there, especially considering the smaller indexing angles of my CVT design.

The belt can be composed of any number of materials, including steel. When V-Shaped, having rollers or oil infused bushing material, and in an oil splash; the belt is not going to have wear problems.

The dimensions, as stated earlier will be smaller than what is currently out there because everything is aligned on a single axis with a single "controller", as opposed to one input axis and one output axis and two pulley wheel "controllers".

The gear ratio is a non-issue. The animation shows an output ratio of zero to approximately 0.3 per input revolution. If you simply add a spur gear set, for example 4:1, to the differential output, you will have ratios going from infinity in/zero out to 1 in/1.2 out. The internal ratios (with ALL gears are stripped away) are a derivative of whatever reasonable radius discrepancy (between small side radius and large side radius) the system will accommodate. 2:1 is easily within range, 4:1 is likely pushing it too far.

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#33
In reply to #20

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/27/2013 3:29 PM

Regarding "solid numbers" tsubaki.ca claims 33,000 N*m or 25,000 ft.lbs for their MR series indexing clutches. If one considered the idea of gearing down through the CVT, 500 RPMs would give you 2380 HP.

2,500 ft.lbs of torque should satisfy most of us at 238 HP. In short, a solution is not inconceiveable.

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 1:47 PM

My 2013 Altima has 270 hp and a CVT.

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#25
In reply to #21

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 6:36 PM

Would that be the 2013 model that has all around marginal reviews and recall notices on it for CVT belt and airbag issues?

Guess they put the wrong belts in at the factory amongst other things.

For more details on other common issues. Nissan Help Forums.

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#23
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Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 4:40 PM

There are quite a few CVT cars out there. Nissan has been a leader with the Murano, Altima, Versa, Leaf, Maxima, Pathfinder, Quest, Rogue and Sentra. Honda Accord for '13, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid and Insight. Toyota Prius standard, Prius V and Prius C and Camry Hybrid. Audi A4, Ford Fusion Hybrid. Lexus CT, ES 300h, GS 450h, LS600h and RX 450h, Subaru Imprezza, Legacy, Outback

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#24
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Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 4:45 PM

How many of those are >100hp and >2500# curb weight?

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 8:49 PM

All are over 100 hp and 2500 lb curb weight except maybe the Nissan Leaf (electric car) and the Honda Insight (hybrid).

The Nissan Altima and Maxima V-6 are CVT with around 260 hp and curb weight from 3300 to 3600 lbs.

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#30
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Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/25/2013 12:26 AM

Thanks! I was just curious, and that was a GA.

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#27
In reply to #24

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 8:50 PM

Also, the Lexus GS, LS and RX hybrids are over 300 hp and 3800 + lbs

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/24/2013 11:03 PM

I did some reading up on the CVT vehicles and so far there are two very distinct sides. Either they work great or they go to bits in a hurry.

The city driving mileage misers seem to be the ones with all the good thing to say and the people who try to use them like a normal vehicle which occasionally hauls heavy loads or pulls a small trailer seem to think that it's well worth getting the extended warranty otherwise avoid them all together if they are used.

Personally I see that industrial equipment leaf the CVT drive tech in the dirt to die some 40 years ago for a reason when variable displacement piston type hydraulic pumps came into play. Now to be fair that tech is starting to turn over to electric drive. I hear that Caterpillar came out with a diesel electric dozer a few years ago.

Car & Driver report on Cat D7e hybrid dozer.

Construction Equipment.com Cat D7e review.

Not to rain on the OP's parade but the next generation of hybrid CVT type drive trains is all electric and gets rid of the whole mechanical coupling system from the engine to the wheels entirely plus has a lot less parts moving or otherwise.

(Unfortunately the large scale heavy mining industry figured that out about the same time the construction industry dropped CVT drive tech for hydrostatic drive some 40 years ago. )

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#29
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Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/25/2013 12:20 AM

We just bought a Camry Hybrid with a CVT. I sold my Infiniti M45, due to the cost of gas and bought a Camry Hybrid.

The Camry is much more updated with modern conveniences like Navigation, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Audio, USB port, etc. The seats are fair and not of the caliber of the Infiniti. Ditto for the suspension and the overall feel of the car. I can feel where they cut corners. It does get 35 mpg highway or city (actually we get around 38 in the city) vs 15/20 with the Infiniti. It's only $55 to fill the tank vs almost $80. And we get over 500 miles per tank vs 300.

The CVT is okay and since it's a hybrid and makes all those weird noises; I don't know if it's the tranny or the regenerative braking or the hybrid motor or ??? The transmission feels pretty robust and I don't worry about it breaking. Heck, it's a Toyota, right.

I don't know how comfortable I'd be with a Murano with a V-6 and CVT, but a Camry Hybrid seems okay.

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/25/2013 10:59 AM

So what was the selling price of the old car and the purchase price of the new one?

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#35
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Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

08/01/2013 9:26 PM

The old car was a 2003 I sold to a friend for $5,000 (actually to the son). It had 138K miles and was in pretty good shape, but it did show the miles.

The Camry is a 2009 that we bought for $12,500. I got a loan a 2.24% and I paid the tax and license out of pocket.

I figure that in five years, the Camry will still be worth $5,000, so the difference will be a around $9.5K compared to keeping the M45 (12.5K = t&l = 13.7K + .8K interest for 5 years = 14.5K - 5K from M45 = 9.5K). I also am not sure the M45 will make it another 5 years (we put about 20K mi/yr on our cars) and I know it will need some pretty large repairs as we near 200Kmi. The Camry ... it's a Toyota, so I don't expect many repairs and the battery should last 5 years.

I did like the M45, but the Camry does make more sense. Also, I did my friend a favor by selling it for $5K - I think it's worth closer to $7,500 or so.

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#36
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Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

08/01/2013 9:32 PM

This is my first hybrid and only the second time I've bought an economy car. The first was in 2004, when I bought a Honda Civic LX coupe with a 5 speed. After about six months, our daughter asked to "borrow" the car and of course it was never returned.

I think the Camry is an okay car and it fits our needs. The leather is not as soft as our other cars, the door panels are hard plastic (when I drive, my left knee rests on the door panel, which is uncomfortable), the steering is vague, the brakes touchy and the seats lack good lumbar support. Because it's a hybrid, it feels a bit heavy for the chassis - it isn't a luxury car, but if needed, we still have our nice cars to drive, which we do.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

08/05/2013 7:00 PM

This is not so much a discussion of hybrids, but when I worked in an auto parts store, the two brands we couldn't sell (they wouldn't break, so no one needed their parts) were Hondas and Toyotas.

That is why I'm on my fourth Honda now (wrecked one, wore out one that had too little power for what I used it for, wore out another at >250K miles, and have 188K on my current one).

Haven't had a Toyota only because I haven't run out of Hondas yet.

And interestingly, when I bought each one from private owners, I paid about 60% of KBB's private sale price. The one I wrecked brought me more about 70% more than I owed, even though the accident was my fault.

I don't have any experience as an owner of a hybrid, but I rented one for about two weeks once, and my wife and I loved it. It was a Toyota hybrid.

If they are as dependable in the hybrids as they are in conventional gas powered versions, they can't be beat.

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#39
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Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

08/08/2013 5:31 AM

Honda's and Toyota's are my #1 recommendation for "regular" buyers. Nissan is 3rd, with Mazda, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru next.

You're right about Honda and Toyota cars - particularly the older ones. Our old Lexus had 236K miles when it was totalled (and we still got $3,500 from the insurance company). My sister still has her Lexus, ditto for my mom and my other sister has her Acura.

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#34
In reply to #28

Re: Best Continuously Variable Transmission?

07/27/2013 3:36 PM

That mining and construction turned to hydrostatics is no surprise, given that the primary limitation of CVTs has been (up to this point) high torque applications. With their lower efficiencies, hydrostatics has no trouble boasting in the high torque arena.

Again, herein highlights the need for a CVT with higher torque capacity.

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