Improving automobile fuel efficiency is an important research and development effort in the automotive industry. In the transmission area, it is generally understood that optimum fuel economy can be achieved via a combination of highly efficient power transfer (gears, for example) and an ability to transmit power at an infinite number of ratios (CVT, for example). In this paper, a geared infinitely variable transmission (IVT) is analyzed for efficiency through static analysis. This IVT is based on a non-circular gear concept described in [1, 2]. This IVT consists of multiple function generators with each function generator comprising two sets of non-circular gear sets whose outputs are combined with a summing planetary gear set. Each function generator provides the desired gear ratio for only a part of the driving rotation. So, multiple function generators are combined along with multiple one-way clutches to provide an infinitely variable transmission.
This paper first explains the operating principle of the geared IVT. A static analysis of the IVT powerflow is derived and it is shown that this powerflow exhibits a torque recirculation phenomenon, which is not desired. This recirculation phenomenon is expected to be present in all similarly arranged IVTs where two inputs are combined using a planetary gear set to provide infinite gear ratio capability. The efficiency of the IVT is calculated based on assumed individual component efficiency and it is shown that, owing to torque recirculation, the efficiency of this transmission may not compare well with that of current automatic transmissions for a passenger car application.