The objective of current research on internal combustion engines is to further reduce exhaust emissions while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption. The resulting measures often mean an increase in complexity of internal combustion engines, which on one hand increases production cost and on the other hand increases the susceptibility of the overall system to defects. It is therefore necessary to develop technologies which can generate an advantage for the consumer despite increasing complexity. Within the scope of the project “High Efficiency Diesel Engine Concept” (“Hocheffizientes Diesel-Motoren-Konzept” HDMK), funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy with TÜV Rheinland as project management organization (funding code: 19U15003A), two engine concepts were investigated and combined on a John Deere four-cylinder inline engine.

On the one hand, a new cylinder activation concept (“3/4-cylinder concept”) was implemented with the aim of reducing fuel consumption. On the other hand, a fully variable valve train was developed for this engine, which both improves the functionality of the 3/4-cylinder concept and can have a positive influence on exhaust emissions through internal exhaust gas recirculation.

A comparison of this engine concept with its series reference based on measurement data showed a fuel economy advantage of up to 5.2% in the low load field cycles of the DLG PowerMix. The maximum fuel consumption benefit in the low load engine regime exceeded 15% in some of the operating points.

As a final step, the engine was modified for the integration into an existing and working tractor, maintaining the available installation space of the powertrain.

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